CNET UK at CES 2012Join Jason Jenkins, Bridget Carey and Luke Westaway as they discuss the best tech live on the CNET stage at CES 2012.
Hello. Welcome to the CNET UK podcast. We are live in... at the CNET stage at CES and we got an audience here. We're not used to this. This is quite interesting. I'm joined here by our podcast, Luke Westaway. Hello. Hello. I'm also joined by Bridget Carey, who's host of the wonderful daily news shows Loaded. Hi guys. Good to be here. Thanks so much for joining us. Thanks so much for joining us. Thanks so much to both of you. You really make us feel like an international CES. That's the idea. It is international. Now for those who are familiar to the show at home, we're not gonna ride with our sections. We'll just kinda talk through the big stuff of the show that we've seen. It's gonna be a bit difficult to cram everything in because there's 2,700 exhibitors here. Yes. And apparently there's over 140,000 visitors. That's a lot of people but I think one of the big things that we can maybe talk about first to get cracking is smart TVs. That seems to be... the whole show is dominated by TVs. So what did you guys have seen in this area? Do you wanna go first Bridget? Yeah. I mean, I am impressed with all the different kinds of interfaces, how you're interacting with your TV. They come with cameras, they know who you are. I don't know how quite everyone's gonna feel about that but it can recognize you versus your husband, your wife, your kid and the apps will correspond with everyone's profile. So I don't know. Do I want my TV recognizing me? Well, it's better than not recognizing you and go like "Who are you? Get out of the house" or something. I've been really excited about OLED or OLED depending on how you wanna say it. Okay. What's so good about that? I'll tell you what's good about it. The panels that we've seen. So LG and Samsung both have 55-inch OLED TVs and they're incredibly thin and they're incredibly slim as well. So just the LG ones is just 4 mm thick and the colors are really bright and you just kinda get this impression that the picture is sort of suspended like hanging in a bubble. It's really cool. It's the best looking of televisions I've ever seen. They really are gorgeous. They're just gorgeous and it's like so true black and it uses 4 colors instead of traditional 3. So yeah, now there's another thing we have to remember. There's plasma, LED and now OLEDs are real. They're gonna happen. They're incredibly expensive. They're $7000. Yeah, like $8,000 you can expect to pay for one of these if they come out. They haven't said the price but that's what you're gonna be probably paying in that range. Although I think LG said that by 2016 or something like that, they should be the price of normal TVs. So even if that prediction is not quite right, that just shows that the expensive price fall pretty quickly which is very interesting. That's right. Yeah, so we're looking at the future of screen tech I think. Well, one of the things that really excites me is voice. Voice has come to TV's voice control. Have to talked to a TV yet? I have and it recognized my voice. It is... I've never got a voice activated thing to ever work with. Siri has no idea what I'm asking it to do. It's just... it is completely useless but I stand in front of a... I think it's an LG smart TV and I've spoken to the remote control and I said "I'm looking for Star Trek" and it went "You're looking for Star Trek." It's like the first thing... first one has ever worked and I'm also really impressed that voice has come to TV. So I didn't think this was happening for years and years and years. So what does it do? Is it like volume up, volume down, change the channel, mute? Exactly. Yeah but also because TVs are now smart and you can download content to them, you can buy content on them, it's actually quite hard to search for stuff 'cause your Qwerty keyboard which is really annoying or you need to like type your way on your remote which is also not great. So that's what the voice is for, to like search for programs you wanna watch. So you tell your TV show me the news and it does, it's great. It also enforces kind of sitting down and being quiet while you're watching a film in case what you're saying to distract everyone accidentally mutes the TV or change the TV channel. Yeah, I can see that being kind of a problem. Like "Quiet everyone, quiet everyone I wanna change the channel. Quiet." The Samsung said you'll have to say "Hello TV." So I said "Hello TV." It was the demonstration today "Hello TV." Can you change your TV's name if you wanted to name your TVs 'cause some people name appliances. I don't think it's too weird but could you be like "Hello Doris." "Hello George." George, see? I think I'll call my TV Jeffrey. Jeffrey. Jeffrey, why not? Very fine. Yeah. Google TV, that's another thing that's been (in town?) quite a bit. You've seen that, Luke. Yeah. What do you think of that? Well, the great thing about Google TV is, I mean, obviously there are great things like you get Youtube in it and access to the Android market and those things are nice but what's really good about it is, you know, Google does search and search is what smart TVs so far have been a little bit rubbish at really. I mean 'cause what you want to do is just quickly find what you're looking for, kind of web browsing or just searching for video on demand and that's what Google brings. Just that kind of... that speed. The other thing that we've been looking at and you're gonna think this is a little weird but it is exciting, remotes, yeah. It's been a long time since you've been excited about a TV remote. Yeah, that's real. It proves that point. All right I will qualify it. Okay. So some of the TVs we've seen you spin it around and it's got a full qwerty keyboard on the back. It doesn't sound too exciting but it means for actual text input it's a lot faster and as being saying so many of them support voice recognition. The LG one, that why you hold the remote kind of... It's got a microphone in it. It's got a microphone in it, yeah. So... Wait. Wait. So, you have keys on both ends and a mic on the front... It's a monster and it works like a Wii remote. So it's got like a cursor. Yeah, it's like... it's kinda like this big. So it's even easier now to like sit on the remote and like have crazy stuff happening... Yeah exactly and the monster starts shouting and panicking, the TV you'll be changing channels. Has anyone seen 4K? 4K TVs? Yes. Yeah. Yeah, I had a look at that. I've seen a lot of 4K cinema and I'm really, really excited by this. It's massively impractical at the moment because there's no way of getting 4K video onto a TV really or having a hard disk or something this transitional. I think the terminology itself is strange for the consumer space. I mean there's 3Gs and 4Gs and 4Ks now. I mean do you think they're gonna have an easier way of explaining it or what do you think? Do you know what I didn't even think of that. High high def. How about that? High high def. HHD. Actually, I was talking to someone from Toshiba who for ages were going this is a 2K4K TV. 4K2K or something like that. And I was going "What?" Then he actually explained to me about a 100 times where "Oh, you mean the resolution is like 4,000 or actually is a bit less by 2,000." So yeah I do think they have a way to get to explain these stuff but the picture looks amazing. Like I know no one thinks that high definition looks bad, right? Right. It's not like fuzzy, and grainy and rubbish but... I'll never look at it again. I've seen the 4's or 4K screen. I can have an even better look at 1080p anymore. One company even had an 8K TV. That's just... I can't bare to look at 4K anymore. That's just... That's just obscene. That's obscene. Yeah, it's obscene. Yeah, it's obscene. It's too much. And we got too much resolution. Going back to the Google TV. That's been out in the US for a while, isn't it? Yes. And it didn't worked, why is that? So, it kinda fizzled a bit because, well, you had one device that if you wanna buy the add on, it was this big keyboard and there wasn't really any much I guess content in terms of making it really worthwhile to spend the money on it but there are a few TVs that had it built in. So it depends on, you know, the kind of person but I... yeah, I would like to see it have a little bit more (umf?) in it. Yeah, okay. That's right. Yeah. The other thing that's been here is 3D. Everyone's been talking about 3D. Now let's not go over the glass of this thing again 'cause we've done that enough for sure. Done that to death. But glass is free 3D. That's here and that's on sale. And it tracks where the person is sitting, correct? Correct, yeah. Yeah. So essentially like what happens if you have a whole room of people, is it gonna customize more to the center like... how do you handle that? Yeah one of them is, the Toshiba one. They've come work with 9 different people in the room and there's a camera that only works at where you you're on it's just the stuff in the panel as a technical term by the way... Stuff... The stuff. The stuff is adjusted. And it adjusts the effect for you and it does work. That's what surprised me. It actually works. I just presumed it will be some rubbish concepts and didn't look too good. I mean there were flaws really. You saw it, Luke. What do you think? Yeah well. I don't know. The way I feel about 3D in general is just that if we're not even at the point where we can agree whether we want active, passive or glasses free. I just... I mean who wants to commit to one type of 3D at this point. If you were looking to buy a TV, it's just a touch of crazy consideration, you don't wanna buy one and then the next year everyone's like "Oh, what you bought on the glasses, you know it's... Yeah, you have a big chunk of the population who just gonna get nauseated by watching it, you know, they're gonna get nauseous, they're not gonna wanna watch it and then on top of that you're going to get a new TV, the best ones already have 3D built in, I guess, anyways right? Yeah. So they're kinda forcing you to be a part of the trend even if you don't care about the trend. That's true. That's true. The other problem with the glasses free tech is because of the sweet spot problem. So it only really looks good from a couple of spots around the TV and if you move your head too far out from them, ti will kinda rotate your eyes a bit... Is that how you rotate your eyes? That's it, yeah. That's how we do it in Britain. Yeah, what's going on? What does this look like from another angle? Okay, probably enough TV I think for now. So the other big trend at CES, Ultrabooks. Yes, it's the year of the Ultrabook. What's been happening here? What is an Ultrabook? Who knows? So an Ultrabook... well it's basically up to Intel. They've kind of invented this category. It's kind of... it's basically a marketing term that means thin and light laptop. So Ultrabooks generally are... they have a good battery life, good performance and they're very thin. So it's sort of everything that you thought laptop should always have been but possibly it's been spared on by Apple's Macbook Air which is, you know, placed with really, really stunning design. So everyone's kinda clamoring to catch up with that. If it's not a Macbook Air, it's an Ultrabook. Yeah. That's pretty much it. And very similar looking and the other thing we were kind of promised with Ultrabooks was that they were gonna be a lot cheaper. So if maybe you can't afford a Macbook Air and almost everyone cannot afford a Macbook Air then maybe an Ultrabook is for you. I'm all about that because, you know, I don't... I don't even want... I want to my laptop to be lighter. I don't exactly have the muscle power to be carrying on heavy laptops so I'm excited about that. Yeah but some of them... Have you seen some of the craziest ones where they get thinner and thinner, the USB ports were actually lower... Yes, this is so real... With mechanics. They were lowered out of the laptop like some sort of space, you know... Yeah it's like an spaceship landing on earth like... coming down. Is that what it sounds like? Smoke comes out, yeah. I would... Smoke is additional I think but yeah... iSmoke if it was Apple. They're releasing it in a couple of years in the by the time they invented. And HP has one that is just so... like so glorious looking because it's Gorilla Glass, so shiny. At their booth they have some blinged out models with like bedazzled with gems, not for sale though. I asked. I don't know on that one. But yes... You said it's from HP? Yes, HP... Is that the Envy 14 Spectre? Right. The Spectre, yes. Now, we take issue with the Spectre. We do. With the Spectre. Oh okay. Oh I'm sorry Bridget. And let us tell you why. You don't like beauty? What's going on? What's going on? No I don't. We don't like beauty. It's very thick and quite heavy. Oh, there goes the light part. There's nothing ultra about it. This is the slightly odd thing I mean it seems like Ultrabooks, they're just now what laptops are. So calling it kinda new kind of category. They would just be laptops. I think they made a mistake in it. It defines... There's a certain set of things you have to do to be called an Ultrabook. Okay. So will you state hard drive? No. No? That's exactly what you would think. It just had to be in a certain way of a certain process, those bits and pieces but the terms is so wide that it comes... it's basically a laptop. Yeah. Ridiculous, yeah. So I mean this NV40 specs which actually as you said, it's a beautiful laptop, it's very nice, nothing wrong with it. But I wouldn't say it's an Ulrabook. It's quite heavy. And talking to the HP guy, I was like well... And it went well... We've actually been designing this for 2 years and we were gonna bring it out anyway and because I think, Intel, I think actually subsidizes some of the Ultrabooks, you can call it an Ultrabook, you get a bit of money. All right. Somehow, somehow. I have to go (??) I would like to... Everything is an Ultrabook. That's why (??) in to Samsung's Series 5. It's their first ever Ultrabook, they say. It's actually quite thick laptop. Yeah. Yeah. And some of them are pretty larger screens now. Okay. So as long as you wait in a certain amount and you have a certain trip in your Ultrabook, it sounds kinda (weird?). Yeah. Well, this is... I don't see it is a problem. I just think if you... it's gonna confuse consumers because... Yeah... because they're gonna think liek should I buy a laptop or an Ultrabook? And really don't have a choice because if they wanna buy a laptop, they're just all gonna be Ultrabooks pretty soon, I think. So why a confusing matter? Exactly. Of course. Right. Well, I was just going on a show. Tablets. Not been actually that many tablets. I thought there would be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Android tablets. Well there were last year, wasn't there? There were last year and then every one (??) it's absolutely not on board. Yes, that was the problem. That's not coming out again. Let's not do that again. Well, there was one quite big tablet from ASUS, wasn't it? Yes. It's ASUS, isn't it? Yes, it got me pretty excited. ASUS has one that's 4 core processes. Quad Core. Quad Core. The power of 4 cores. It's in the price sweet spot that everyone goes crazy about. It's gonna be about $250. Now here, with our eBook readers, we went nuts because Amazon had $200 one, our Bookstore Barnes and Noble had one for $250. They weren't that powerful but everyone was really happy about the possibility of not having to take, you know, mortgage out and having to spend so much money on a good descent tablet and now, got some good (umf?) in it. It has 8-megapixel camera in the back. I'll look in to that. That's pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah. It's got a lot of sweet stuff for $250. It's gonna change the game. Everyone's gotta step it up though. It's a game changer. That's what they say. And the cool exciting thing here which we don't have a new (??). We have the Kindle Fire and that's about $50 cheaper, isn't it? Yes. That's been going great gun for those accounts. That has been setting a lot. Right. Yes. So this is on $50 but is it worth the $50. So you gotta wait to put it into test always. No, you have to make a snap decision based on by seeing it. But you know I actually... I actually am one of the... you know, you always get people who are like I will never need a 7-inch tablet but me, I am all about (??). I never met anyone like that. What a cool thing to say. I need it all the time. Hello, Sir. Nice to meet you. I never even said (??). I don't know who you are. I should declare him today... Yeah. Exactly, but just look at those passion I guess but me, I am looking for something that does really good for 7 inches. Yeah. Okay. Phones. We love all phones. Yeah, we love phones. Yeah. And you have seen the new Sony Ericson XPeria. The XPeria S. Yes. The XPeria S is by all accounts great. I can't really find anything wrong with it. It's got 7.2 inch screen. It's got 1.5 gigahertz dual processor and it's... it's reasonably. There's s a little odd translucent bar along the bottom which is... it looks a bit weird. I think it's gonna be (??). You might look at it and think that's a bit ugly, why is there a translucent plastic there? Well, you might think, it's not a shiny black rectangle. It is where the design has broken up a little bit. It's slightly fancy. The only disappointment is that when it arrives, it's going to be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. No. I know. No. More and more I am getting this kind of sensation that it's not so important to mobile manufacturers to push the latest version. I know that... I know that they... It might not be important to them but it's what users really care about. It's what they always comment on CNET UK. They just, you know, since you run the story about Android, people file in saying when, when, when, when, when. Yeah, and people don't know that what they're buying isn't gonna be upgradeable. Sometimes you get a phone that the carrier is just like well, we'll get to that one later. It's really frustrating 'cause they never... they don't tend to say we won't be updating this even though that would be helpful. They just leave it out of the list of things that they would updating and kinda leave everyone sort of trying to puzzle it out themselves, will they ever get it? I mean, how long is Ice Cream Sandwich gonna be on the scene, I mean since November at least. Long enough if you announce the phone at CES (??). I mean, yeah, so Sony has said that the XPeria will get an update to Ice Cream Sandwich but you know the experts. They're gonna go through the carrier here or the network and they're gonna do all that stuff to it and (??). The whole thing is a mess. Well, they have a new phone. That is the Ascent P1S and it's... that one will come with Ice Cream Sandwich. And it looks like a perfectly great mobile. It's incredibly thin. So it kinda make me think, maybe this is(??) on behalf of the bigger manufacturers perhaps, you know, because Huawei kinda coming after... But come up Huawei. Yeah, how to say their name even. I think it's Huawei. I said Huawei at the stand, and I said "Did I say that right?" and they said "Yes." Unless it was a cruel prank, I am gonna go yes. Have you seen this extra large phone tablet hybrid that Samsung has come out with? We've had that for a long time in UK, the Galaxy Note. Oh okay. That's old news to us. Yeah. Yeah. It's been out for months. So what's the response then? Nothing. Too big for a phone? Yeah, too big for a phone. If you want a 5-inch phone, buy that one. If you don't, remember the human rights. Congratulations. With normal sized-pockets. Yeah, if you're a clown, then maybe. That's perfect for clowns. That's the target market. That's finally, finally the clown phone. We're unfortunately reaching the end of our show now but before we wrap up, I wanna just have everyone his pick... Pick our favorite things from the show because there is so much here. Yeah. What;s yours, Bridget? All right. I get really excited, I guess, about all these 3D printer technology. The kind of technology where you can build something and have a machine make it, whether you wanna buy that machine for your home because you have a lot of money to waste and bought it like for $1300 or you can now see the internet services to build something but I mean, I don't know about you guys but when I was like in my grade school and you had like clay day and you made some sort of pot for your mom that was all indented, now you can just go online and order something that has like some space on it, that's amazing. So... I think I have seen shoes being made with this. I don't think you should walk with them because they're plastic but it's the concept that you can do it. Yeah, it's very cool. So you... this thing actually prints an object. Yes. You use an app or a program to say what exactly you want it to print like someone printed a chess piece. Wow. And you go to a kid's party, everyone can get their own... Mike, your piece is falling off. Don't bother. Whatever. Who made this stuff. Too cynical. How did they print it? So basically you make a 3D model and it will take it and will just start making layers of it going from bottom to the top upward. Very cool. And so there was a chess piece of a castle that has a staircase in it, it's pretty fun, the things you can do now. I can see it tomorrow. I saw one of these and just printing like rabbits, just little (??) of rabbits. And you can give a rabbit to every friend and they will all have that rabbit. I am never gonna be like "Oh, another rabbit." And just I'll put it with the others, thanks. Yeah. One of my favorite things as you asked 'cause you didn't was... is the connect to the appliance. (??). So there are loads of washing machines here that connects to internet. There are fridges that knows what's in your fridge. They scan your receipt when you come home so they know what's in there and they know when it's gonna go out date and they order new stuff. I don't think my fridge judging me. Yes, you do. I would actually really benefit from that. it will be helpful. Yeah. Yeah. You're missing a food group. Yes, sir. We're taking the liberty of ordering some milk. Yeah. Yeah. Like a whole little calcium in this order. For my part, as usual, completely fallen in love with the Ludacris concept. It was on the Samsung stand and you may have seen Samsung's transparent LCD Tech. That itself isn't especially new but it's kind of what Samsung is doing with it and I think it's really cool. It's... they've got basically a little demo window, as in like inside your house, a window, a regular window but the window itself is a touch screen and it's got these translucent widgets on it. So you could like check Twitter, get up a recipe, say a space in the kitchen. So in the window? It's embedded in the window? Yeah. Yeah. The window, the actual... imagine just a window but it is a touch screen and it's got little weather widgets. You might question the point of having a weather widget on a window but you could see what the weather is like. It took us ages to spot that. Yeah. It's like, oh my God, you can see the weather. And I can see that it's sunny, I should go outside, because you can see what the weather is like in other places maybe. Anyway, it was just... it was really really cool and I would love one in my house. That is something. Well, that's pretty all. I think that's pretty much all we've got time today. Thanks very much for joining us. We really appreciate it. If you want to check out any more stuff from CES, make sure you guys go to ces.cnet.com where there are tons and tons of these stuff there. Other than that, I wanna say thank you so much for joining us guys and the CNET UK podcast will be back to its usual time the next time. Ta-Ta. Bye.