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Episode 37: Galaxy S4 unboxed, Surface Pro road testedIt's the premiere of Always On, Season 4! We're opening up the hottest phone going, testing Microsoft's laptop-replacement tablet, and previewing the season to come.
-[unk] I'm doing-- like an asteroid showdown. This week on Always On. Your eyes were gone. I don't remember asteroids having screening. It's here. -It's time. -What is this crap? -Not-- -Yeah. -necessary. -I love to take softies. -This is a very heavy tablet. -Hey, how is it going? -It's going well. Don't hang up on me with your eyes. Women do that to me all the time. -Welcome to Always On. I'm Molly Wood. -And I'm Jeff Cannata. -And this is the show where we take a look at the tech that's part of your life. -And your future. -Welcome to season 4, everyone. -This is gonna be an awesome season. -We are so excited to be back. And we have some great stuff this season, like torture test on the beach of Hawaii. -How about a super techie road trip. -And Jeff gets to go to NASA. -Yes. Life-long dream-- -Good. -achieved. -I'm so jealous. All right, here's a little sneak peek at what's coming up in season 4, and then after that a super hot un-boxing. -Been waiting for this one for awhile. -Are there lasers? -Oh, now we're talking. Really, I only got three stars? Time to road test the innovative Chromebook Pixel-- Pel no. Oh my god. I hate that. It's here. -It's time. -It's time. -Finally. -Like everybody else has already seen it, but we have been waiting with perfect discipline. -Oh yeah, look at how not unboxed that is. -Not even a little bit. -For you. -Inside this box is the Samsung Galaxy S4. -Let's do it. -This is the-- this is the follow up to-- I gotta say one of the most durable phones that this show has ever tested. -Yeah. -And generally kind of the phone that put Samsung on the map. -Right. -So here it is. -It's kinda got this cool wood box thing going on. Look at that. -They did that with a note. A [unk] that kinda recycled look thing. -I like that. -That's just more. -It's good. -Color. My god-- -Cool. -Quite fascinating here in your phone. -I'm a little disappointed 'cause I like the blue one. Oh my gosh, you guys look, it looks exactly like S3. -Well. -Want one. We have more. -Adorable handbooks. -Recycled looking adorable handbooks. -Uh huh. -I heard something about that handbook. Let me-- let me see that. The phone's okay. Look at this manual. Okay. The introduction, so Samsung's saying with the S4 has been like we need to try to tell a story-- -Right. -about the user and how they would experience the phone. So here we have our little family: dad, a long time galaxy user. -Right. -Tech type of guy. -Uh huh. -Mom, still new to the latest innovations-- daughter, shy and reflective. Son-- -Eager and curious. -eager and curious. -Yeah. Well you can't-- -So this-- -help but see some positive stuff with the male characters and negative stuff with the female characters. -You're so gentle. What is this crap? Like really? She did learn how to take a call though. It doesn't seem like she's a moron throughout. Anyway, you know what, not-- -Yeah. -necessary. Oh, you can answer a call with Air call-accept. -Oh, you can go like this. -It's like-- it's like Nike like there that's have air in front of everything. -You do the hand jiving thingy-- -Yeah. -you do the hand jiving. -I'm just saying, don't bother with them-- -Somebody's seeing grease a couple of times. -I'm just making a call. So, here without it. Okay. Power [unk] look at all that. Oh there's the battery. All right, that explains why it was so-- -So light. -so light. Still though, you know, people complain about this plasticky feel. -You like it. -I don't mind it. -I agree. -I got no problem. Although, I mean after having seen the Hdc1 and phones like that, that premium feels-- -Well, but everybody-- -tempting. -everybody who's got the metal back put some plastic case on their phone anyway. -I know. And I think that this plastic and its ability to come apart has been what protected it in our torture test like it's a-- -Yeah. -it's a big one for durability. All right, now that we have the battery in, I think it's safe to take this sticker off. -Yes. -We're gonna fire this guy up. Meanwhile, we will give you the specs. -The Samsung Galaxy S4 has Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 1.9 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon processor or a 1.6 gigahertz octa-core processor for the international version. -The Galaxy S4 has 2 gigs of RAM to help power that processor, and it starts with 16 gigs of onboard storage. But you can get up to 64 gigs and then add another 64 via microSD card slot. -It has a 5-inch screen with a full HD super AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 pixel screen resolution. -The phone features NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi of course, and support for 4G LTE networks. It also has an IR Blaster because there's software onboard to communicate with Samsung TV. Is it-- should you be all ecosystem minded? -The battery is 2,600 milliamps per hour. The front facing camera is 2 megapixels and the rear facing camera, a whopping 13 megapixels with an LED flash. -It's available on all US carriers for about $200 for the 16 gig or the smallest version with the new contract. So I have to say despite the annoying manual-- -Yeah. -and the annoying introduction-- I mean it's a-- it's a really nice phone-- -It really is. -I do like though-- have its life companion on the left screen. -That's more than just a phone. It's a life companion. -It's a life companion. -I'm really excited to try out all the hand gestures, I think-- -Yeah. -[unk] like vogue or certain things. -I think our road test should have a dancer in it. -Do you think that the phone is too legit-- too legit to quit? -We'll find out. This season we are gonna road test this with Jeff the dancer. And to torture test it because I wanna see if it's as tough as the S3. -Yeah. -Also I kinda wanna break it because of the manual. We are going to take a quick break. When we come back we're gonna road test the Microsoft Surface Pro actually, with three professional techies. -Yes. And this phone has Eye-tracking. We're gonna talk a little bit more about controlling things with your eyes. -Coming up. Welcome back, everyone. Now we've have a lot of request to road test Microsoft Surface Pro because it has sort of the power of a laptop but the form factor of a tablet. -But it doesn't come cheap. Let's see how it holds up to our road test. -Yes. Time for our road test of the Microsoft Surface Pro. We've gotten a lot of request from people for a road test of this device because it sort of a combination of laptop and tablet, at least if you include the optional keyboard accessory, and it is running a full version of Windows 8. So we put together an expert panel of users. We have Jason, Philip and Jasmine. Each of you is gonna get a couple days with this device to evaluate design, features, and usability. -Hi. My name is Jason Heming, and I'm a dad and attorney. And I enjoy gaming. -Oh, wow. -Hi. I'm Jasmine Washington. I'm the support specialist for SideCar. I used to be a cowgirl. Now I'm a Cali girl. -Hi. My name is Philip Zow. I'm an evaluation consultant and I like to watch NBA basketball. -The design of the Surface Pro is a very solid one. In my hands it's clearly a serious piece of equipment. You can feel that it's well engineered-- nothing moves, nothing shakes. Looking out with gaming in mind-- this is a very heavy tablet. Playing it for any period of time with one hand, I'm gonna be switching hands a lot. It's also getting hot the longer I'm holding it. -I really like the design. I think it's sleek. I feel like the back is a little bit bulky. The back and the keyboard are not as proportionate as I would like. Like the way it has its built-in kickstand back here. -As far as the cost over features, it's very convenient. If I wanna just bring this portion of the tablet, I could just bring it with me without the keyboard. And putting it together, it's very simple. You got magnets in here that connects it very quickly. -I love to take softies. And I love, love, love how I can easily take a picture with the click of the screen. That's awesome. Uh-oh-- the pin fell off as I was kinda taking pictures. Let's try some video. I think the video is awesome. I also think you have to be really careful about not moving too fast because it can get blurry. But I love how you can start and stop the video with the touch of a button just like the camera. -I'm actually been playing Fruit Ninja on here which I would be the first to acknowledge as not a real game game. But one of the interesting functions of this is that the game store they've got set up does not have a wide variety of serious games available to it. -You know once you install Excel it's a fully functional Excel software. It's not like a light version of it. So, if you wanna do more advanced features, more advanced [unk], you could use all of that Excel. Anything that you could do on a PC or a laptop, it could do with this tablet. -So the windows desktop is really nice 'cause it's more like a traditional computer. I would actually rather use the tile screen. It's really cool 'cause you can actually open up certain windows like this, and move things off to the side or makes things bigger. So I just find what I need. And I just click on it. It's really simple. -The screen is a very nice screen. Has a very resolution. It's very easy to navigate and the screen is very responsive. -If I'm defining apps as the sort of tiles and touch screen stuff, they've got a really good set up of basic functions. I'm finding one-- I'm trying to select items, the stylus shows up on the screen before you're touching it, because it doubles as a mouse. That level of precision can make it a little bit challenging to work with the stylus sometimes. -It's time to find out what you guys thought of it. Jasmine, give me your overall impression of the Surface Pro. What do you think? -I thought it was a really good device. Easy to use. Nice, sleek design which is basically my most concern. And I really liked it. -Okay, and then Philip? -Overall, I liked it. It's a nice compact portable device. It's very functional so I was able to use all the office products on it. Overall it was a good product. -Okay. Jason how about you? Overall, at the end of the day did you love it? Would you wanna go out with it again? -At the end of the day it was so close. I think as a tablet, it's a little too heavy. It's a little too hot. But using it as an actual laptop replacement more as an ultrabook, if you're willing to cough up for the extra keyboard that is, it's pretty great. -So this is the moment. The final determination, if you were in the market for either a tablet or an ultrabook, would you buy the Surface Pro? -As a tablet, no. As an ultrabook, maybe. -All right, Philip. Be brutal. -You know, I wouldn't buy it just because-- you know-- it's a little more on the expensive end. And I would choose a laptop or an ultrabook over this. -And then Jasmine. How about you? -If I were on the market for a laptop, I would definitely buy it. It's sleek, it's easier to carry around. -Yeah. -Yeah, I would purchase it. -All right, cool. I would say that 1 out of 3 is not bad for the Surface Pro. Thank you guys so much for your valued opinions. So, the Surface Pro-- not so bad. -Yeah. -It's pretty expensive. -Yeah. -And that might be a problem for some people. But I'm really anxious to get my hands on it 'cause I like the first Surface. -All right, I'll send it to you 'cause I tried to use it, and I did not love it. -No, huh. -Yeah. I know we'll have like a little comparison. -Well, what if you could use your eyeballs to control it? -Then I might like it more. And in fact, I think the future is coming in which eye tracking is not just like a novelty on the S4, it's everywhere. -Now track eyeballs to this. -The headline feature on the new Samsung Galaxy S4 is something called Eye Scroll. You can scroll through web pages using just your eyes or even pause a video by looking away from the screen. But Eye Scroll just scratches the surface of new eye tracking technologies that could change how we interact with all our devices in the future. So when I look at that asteroid, they blow up? Oh my god-- -Exactly. -look at that. Swedish company, Tobii is building eye tracking into video games. -You realize it's the whole experience. You didn't actually use your hands. -No. I know it felt weird. -No mouse. -Yeah. -I mean, did you see my hands? I was sort of like-- they were creeping up like-- -We can get-- -I felt like I need to stop it. -we can get you a mouse. We can get you a mouse if you go through with all here. -And they've made it possible to control Windows 8 all with your eyes. -So right here I'm gonna actually have our gaze interaction, full and within implementation. -Uh huh. -And so it sort of having to reach out and touch the screen, it knows where I'm looking. The other thing called Scroll here as you notice is I'm reading. I'm not scrolling. It's actually following my reading. It's scrolling down. It's gone to the bottom of the page. -Okay. -I'm selecting the calculator with my eyes. And I'm actually gonna run the calculator. Again I'm just gonna tap. It just says select-- -Right. -but I'm actually not gonna say 8 or 9-- I'm not gonna press the 8 or 9 key. -Wow. -Pretty amazing, right? -Okay. You know what, I have to say I'm starting, pardon the pun, I'm starting to see it. Like I'm starting-- -Exactly. -to get the idea of-- -It's-- -how this would be super useful and natural. -seeing is-- yeah. -Then there's Virginia based LC Technologies. This is their Eyegaze Edge. The idea here is that you basically type with your eyes. The computer translates the words on the screen into synthesized speech. -Hello, how's it going? -The eyes can point very precisely. So if we can get camera technology that can harness that, then we can turn that into-- say-- the essentially the same thing as a mouse on the screen. -Hello. -I ask one of our producers to Skype with Jeff Cannata to give it a try. -Hey, how is it going? -It's going well. It's a lovely day-- a lovely spring day here in Los Angeles. So how's the weather there? -Foggy. -Well that's San Francisco for you. It's sunny, sunny here. So you are typing with your eyes. What is that like? -My eyes are a little bit petite, but I think overtime you get pretty used to it and you get stronger. But it just gets to show you how cool things are getting me a lot. I could just look at your picture on the screen and hover over you right now like this and I can hang up on you with my eyes. -Don't hang up on me with your eyes. Women do that to me all the time. -I think that makes two of us then. -Eye tracking is part of a revolution in input-- a future where we will control devices with our eyes, our voice. Give me a massage. This is awesome. Our hands-- the possibilities seemed endless. Even our minds-- I am exhausted. It's not clear yet which new input technology or a combination of technologies will turn out to be the most useful or effective. For now I'm just enjoying the R&D phase. Go. I'm doing [unk]-- like an asteroid showdown? -I'd love to. Yeah. -Shoot asteroids by looking at them. I love the future. -Here we go-- all right. -Okay, I got that one. -The duel is on. -Oh no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. I looked right at you. Oh, Earth. Oh, that was a big one. I don't remember asteroids having screening. Was it always this dark? Your eyes were gone. I can't save everybody. -Seeing is believing. -It is. -Exactly. -I see the vision. -Yeah. -I can't stop now, I can't stop. I wish you had been there for the asteroid eyeball video game. -Oh, I wanna play that so badly. You looked like you're having so much fun. -It was pretty fun. -Are you-- do you wanna just control everything with your eyes now? -I do. It actually made me want eyeball laser implants more than anything. -Just stare at your TV and go, "change the channel." -I know a lot of you have already emailed us about eyeballs in the past. Here's your chance to keep it coming. In the meantime, let's answer some of your current mail. It has been a long time since we dipped into the mail bag. And I am happy to report you have ideas for season 4. -Big ideas. -Big ideas. Here's a relatively big email in fact. Hello, Molly and Jeff. Congratulations on season 3 and I am excited for season 4, in fact, I even marked my smartphone's calendar. -That sound you hear is the [unk]. It was going off. -That's right. -It's happening right now. -It's happening right now. Anyway, I have a lot of torture test ideas, but I'll narrow it down to what could possibly happen in real life. For TV torture test, heat. What's gonna happen if the TV is always placed in direct sunlight especially during summer? -Right, 'cause I always have my TV right in the sun. -On the deck? -Yeah, outside. -Maybe he means like a big window. -Okay. All right. -Okay. -By that-- -Cold. Industrial freezer is the way to go. Wildcard-- I think Jeff, would be awesome to do the wildcard. For example, he's playing Assassins Creed 3 or Injustice on a Xbox and he got pissed for losing-- -Yeah. -then he threw the game controller to the TV screen with a lot of force or maybe a beer bottle. -This guy has seen me play video games. -I wasn't gonna see-- that's how we play video-- I'm gonna lie, we've already had that idea. For summer torture test, maybe it's time you both loosen up and unwind in the beach. -I like this guy. -Honolulu, anyone? Torture test the Kindle Paperwhite by burying it in hot sand and drop it in the sea. -That's great. I would love to torture test the Paperwhite. That's one of my personal favorite devices that I own. -That's so funny 'cause we're totally gonna do that in Hawaii. -Yes. -In a future episode. There's a lot going on in season 4. That was from Jonathan Michael from the Philippines. He sent us a map and he sent it from a Samsung Galaxy Note2 just in time to me. -Thank you for the ideas. This one is a bit of a different tone. Hi, Molly and Jeff. I saw your season 3 bloopers, and after hearing Jeff say that Molly has the sense of humor of a 6th grader, and that she thinks farts are funny, which she does right now-- proof-- I wanna say that I am a 6th grader. And that's a 4th grade thing to laugh about. Thanks. Love the show, Jacks. So-- -Whatever. -it's official, Molly's sense of humor is a 4th graders. And-- -Tuned up again-- -How dare you? How dare you insult the 6th graders everywhere? -A very [unk]-- -Actually that's Mia-- -The sophisticated senses of humor of 6th graders everywhere. -We apologize to all the 6th graders, but-- -We're really sorry. -Fourth graders, high five. -Just farts are funny. Thank you for all the awesome feedback everyone. Please keep it coming. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>. You can also tell us fart jokes on Facebook, Google plus, and Twitter. That's it for this week. Coming up next week, we're road testing the expensive but beautiful Chromebook Pixel. -And also in a future tech segment, I get to play moon patrol for real. I'm in the actual NASA space exploration vehicle. It's amazing. -It's awesome. I kinda can't watch 'cause I'm so jealous. All of that is coming up next week. Stick around and thank you for watching Always On. -See you then.