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Ep. 104: Debating the CNET 100Fanboy fist-fight! CNET Reviews editor-in-chief Lindsey Turrentine and CNET executive editor John Falcone join Rafe in a debate over the best, worst, and most important tech products of 2011.
-- I -- Welcome to reporters' roundtable. In among San Francisco it's -- rare today irate needling this is our last show of the year so things are Lucy -- forgive me. It has been a great year at the roundtable and I thought we'd wrap up -- the year 2011. By talking about a great feature that just ran on cnet.com the CNET 100. I'm joined today by Lindsay turn -- who's the new editor in chief of CNET reviews. I've worked with Lindsay forward seven years now quite some time I cannot be more thrilled. But you -- editor in chief of CNET reviews congratulations I think he did a great job you also you. I just let that sink in effect if she is awesome you're gonna love which does a scenic views and 2012. Also joining us from New York exactly -- John Falcone holding down -- back there and Big Apple thanks John for joining us today. Thanks for -- -- so we're gonna talk lets you know 101 of the things I loved about the -- at 100 feature by the way you can get to and at what is at cnet.com slash -- 100 yet. No -- -- or anything just. No hydrants and hype and a catchy -- hyphen in -- Don't do it. What are things and all that is instead of saying okay here's the top ten laptops here's the top ten and portables here's the top however the categories or suggests a blast. So categories include the obvious things like winners of the year which will be talking about a lot. And also the let downs that a celebrity winners the design winners and all that. -- I read through it. And I agreed with every single selection -- not actually very few of them. You -- with very few -- with some of them this is gonna be a fine -- and it's going to be great and half an hour we're gonna cover all 100 products known half an hour and a cover I think the most interesting things to discuss and what they mean. Four -- what we should be buying. If anything in hand what's gonna be happening next year so a Lindsay John thank you so much for joining us and let's get started. How we do how was twenty -- just as an overall in the term in terms of the world of advancement consumer technology how how we do. I feel like it was a year when we kind of worked on thing. There nothing. Nothing changed the world I don't think too much and Lindsay -- -- -- evolutionary not revolutionary. Yes I would I think you would say that. I always say that -- what we were hoping for and at the beginning in January 2011 a two dozen leavenworth was there are some big breakthrough that you were hoping to materialize it didn't. There are a couple of things that we were hoping to see -- -- Everybody was hoping to see an iPhone 5 and we -- debate for a long time whether or not that was fair. That all the -- and whether or not. -- -- -- disappointment. That the iPhone 5 didn't arrive in that we ended up with a phone that. Set record sales numbers but it was not. That substantively substantively different from what we had seen before. And we also didn't get. Every Mexican sandwich as quickly as we would have liked to have -- -- Andretti has been trying -- -- making great progress in lot of people. Have Android phones but the experience is not quite there yet we think -- That -- content which has so much promise. That we didn't get enough exposure. Activision this year to really see what its full potential is so we're we're looking forward seeing great things they get the stuff it's hard to build than -- particulates on. I think it takes -- while John. In addition to those I would add -- I -- -- -- a lot of really big frustration in the TV spades. On -- ready. These devices like Apple TV and roku and in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox now have really promising. TV on demand online TV interfaces and some services. And -- me it's clear that the technology. Exists now for all that stuff and and that's all quite doable but. The the rights and their permissions and that revenue plan for -- this hasn't. -- Updated as quickly as the technology has ended with that we have to blame product. -- Big. Hollywood studios and TV networks like the one we worked for -- against. -- -- Let's move on and and eight and it boss and I don't seriously bosses we all wanna cut the cord you know use Les Moonves who -- -- dollar bill our checks. -- personally from his personal. Float fund funny money come on everybody wants cut accordion and it's all just bits can't we all just make it work. Faith that we will it's just gonna take longer than we -- one in this program it's -- -- yet. An idea that's what I mean it's it's frustrating for the consumer because -- -- it there's really yeah and demand for and that's it keeps. I only -- -- about the quote unquote real Apple TV and I still think that's not gonna -- -- people want it. -- will will we will see we'll talk about -- we get in or toggle we're looking forward to in 2012. But let's talk about the top ten products briefly. -- of them are from one vendor. Lindsay and we we got. IPhone app -- -- these are all top ten products according to cnet's editor chief betray iPhone four -- the iPad two Siri and the MacBook here. Really yes really anything here's the thing right if we had left any one of these products off this latest new thing. What the hell no if -- like the iPhone four it's awful -- that would have been okay with it. The iPhone four -- to this -- and the iPad two I want to be clear about this list serial data is. You I'm sorry and please -- miss being -- -- the. The iPhone four -- is every -- and this list is a list of products that. Made an impact. And you cannot deny that this phone made an impact whether or not at the impact that you wanted it to make -- whether or not it's the perfect product. It made a huge impact on the market I mean AT&T. Set sales AT&T. The AT&T that sales records -- what I just say like AT&T discuss -- the evil -- -- phone companies because there. Is. A -- opinion that it is. Maybe not as documented as it could be that the popular opinion is that AT&T -- -- carrier. Doesn't. Work there I have an AT&T iPhone and it it's gotten a lot better actually it -- say it has gotten a lot better. But it it's kind of at the bottom of that -- for reputation okay so and then we have iPad -- -- that that really. -- -- once again because just because the numbers I mean because of numbers because. The we continue to see huge growth in the App Store we continue -- -- Big changes in the landscape with tablets and every single tablet manufacturers chasing this product so -- yeah I think it's. I doubt that -- this is lesson on numbers and is more about quality and and can you. Realistically recommend any other is so he said I want to buy a tablet for 500 dollars. Out what other realistic choice to Kindle 2 Kindle fires. And I don't think -- would be -- -- now. It's a different experience in I didn't meaning unifier that totally legitimate -- -- you'll see in -- it is on your list actually. You know it. I what's interest. To me is not someone I don't really think that these are bad choices I think -- -- make perfect sense what's interesting to me and what I'd like to understand is how Apple. Is really able to with products that are updates not revolutions. Excite from Syria which is a new product which -- -- bought but still. Other MacBook Air is the second version of the MacBook Air the iPad to the iPhone four S I mean none of these are brand new products and yet there at the -- not just -- Not only are -- important and the -- -- that the top of our list. How does Apple do it while -- see who else -- to products in here. Well there are three -- Google products include the Kindle. Ice cream sandwich and the RAZR. And then to other ones which her interest -- the RAZR is it sort of most enterprise it and not how is it that Apple is able to. Do this pull off this -- make products. For consumers that just will resonate so much. Well if we. All need -- We we -- have different jobs will be used as what you guys are the reviews. Gobs of CNET. And what is it about the reason is it something and affable -- -- -- can put your finger on it and anyway there's I think it's a combination of things it's a combination of beauty needs you'll see a lot of Apple products on our list of beautiful products as well -- people. Even if they can't re create it themselves love and appreciate a beautiful product and so you know I think we can all agree that Apple has. That some of the best and has industrial design. -- In its history and it always has and and it continues to do so the MacBook Air was if it is another -- that was sort of evolutionary not revolutionary and yet. There is sort of steady improvement on what was -- initially a good idea. Apple has ended up re setting the stakes for their laptop market in his entire category of laptops. -- Ultra books that are copying their chasing the MacBook Air I think we're gonna see a ton of those at CES. And -- due to this product interest -- Yet -- -- it was really. An older product in the design didn't change much at all but they finally upgraded -- Up to date. CPU. Innards basically and -- that the price was much more. Not that much for premium if at all over competing products in the in the marketplace now. On the Android front we've got the Kindle fire which I think is an obvious solution an obvious -- as that seems to be finally the Android tablet. That has this has a -- area. Yes -- and -- ice cream sandwiches with its. Except what's interesting it's they they. Diminished in in the Android part of it so much that it's almost. Asking him does Android matter in that product while it was was -- just the bridge they built T get to Amazon is that what you think. Yeah I think so I mean it's not. If you if you put that and then a real interest -- somebody they couldn't even tell -- is except for kind of the apps that it was necessarily an Android tablet. Do you think maybe if if if Amazon had built the Kindle on different operating systems so -- their own UI on top of it would still be just as good say they've built that on webos for the sake of argument. If -- behaved in the same way it -- hard they work Kindle ecosystem -- -- -- Kindle not ham knuckle. Kindle right right on a pay interest so and then without ice cream sandwich finally showing up as as we've all agreed -- its late. Not end than the RAZR the Motorola RAZR now when you wrote this story went up -- week or so ago. So that's in the world of Android Smartphones that's like three generations ago is -- the -- still the Android phone to get. No. Now I I mean I would say that at this point. It's it's not -- It's gonna be more tested experience right if you get if you get this RAZR you're gonna have an experience that is familiar to you if you -- -- Android you're not gonna get ice cream sandwich on the stone yet and that's really too bad but. Nonetheless. In terms of phones that are currently on the market if you other than the galaxy nexus. And this phone is it's still a really hot via -- get it for one thing this is a little gimmicky but I love it. It has a Kevlar back. Can -- in -- I know now I do I have Q how do you carried over your heart so -- try to show each of the it looks or the damage sir. I think you know for somebody who has stones -- spent so he obvious having -- having a tough opponents is useful and -- -- tough and beautiful. -- -- More beauty beauty is gonna get up I wanna cover the two other products in the top ten and then kind of get into the other categories which are more fun because we can argue about -- some. And we can -- discussed failure of up for it's always got roku. You guys all know the roku product is this little teeny box -- -- it's about the size of a dime. That -- and exaggerate. That it's it's the -- -- Since I mean it does it gets Netflix Amazon. Everything but iTunes pretty much -- well -- I just. Pop wannabes actually for situation which I had a TV -- -- service -- just Internet and and this basic roku which. I mean there are many reasons that it wins it's a really agree little product -- 49 dollars for one thing comic and it's. It -- YouTube. The basic version probably stop -- I've been other solar -- high quality Condo and you do the ever he says they want you to -- Think on a big screen it's kind of a real. I had -- I had a use case I wanted to to watch something I think I wanted to watch you know like how to prepare a Turkey is on Thanksgiving and I can. Find anything like that on repair attorney Peter -- channel. There is parents yeah that's -- But I think that and if there's something you know you wanna see out there and he's going to find it. Like yet -- to his -- -- and pirated carts and. Then you might -- -- parenting -- went yeah I -- I have I have asked them about that and a number of pelican federally straight answer from like -- they have pretty much everything else. That you expect and he -- a hack to put YouTube on there because. -- -- these private channels or you can just put in electric food on your account name pop up on there now. And violence thanks. This they are great so this is great if you don't have a streaming TV and most people don't because they're pretty new to the market and their expensive. That this does it for you and it is dead simple to do that now not not to take this into the category of things -- -- needs but John -- and I understand the roku can also output in non HDMI in so I are entitled to TV key user recoup that actually -- the converters which Apple TV -- right. Absolutely -- it. It to as it becomes the breakout cable to than normal. Yellow red -- and RCA RCA output via. It comes with the cables. That's not as early in the HDMI cable that -- of the breakout cables so -- you know if you in the monster version of -- cable cost more on the product itself. Yes and that's also -- that that's important distinction from Apple TV which is. It's you might only sell junk -- about the future -- this category -- -- got roku got the Apple TV that Boxee. Google TV. What's gonna happen any. In 2012 I mean we talk to the top about we wanted as the you know big media to get on board with this stuff. He's -- twelve he thinks the year for real cord cutters the year for the outboard. Internet a collector box for TVs. -- Look Fuzzy really even after he -- even with this great brook park on please and because again the technology. Exists and is pretty great but I think there's two -- one as the content issue which is just like. Again how can the -- companies get get here without kind of destroying their existing revenue model basically. What -- Bob -- at Disney always says treating. Analog dollars for digital pennies I mean it it it it's a tough. It's a tough environment. Then you've got. The other problem is that. Even with the content that's on there that's -- good at it it's kind of I for Keating even more and like people are pulling stuff off net -- and may be creating their own channels and then. It's them. It's it's not as straightforward and easy as you want to be in is that there's that whole thing of like oh I wanna watch this show which service supports that. And you often have to go to a a third party service like. Like we -- click. That's right until it gets dark our president Jim when zone presidencies interactive target -- -- clicking on audit rate and in another department package. There is a great site -- app. Manhattan that does the same thing. But that's they -- kind of treated one. Confusing interface into the giant programming -- you have on your cable box with at this point another which is where we're gonna go to watch Arrested Development this week. Yet and you have to be pretty savvy to be able to navigate that landscape -- Even if you even if you haven't -- -- -- -- streaming TV at home that I have to know what lives where otherwise -- end -- spending quite a bit of time searching. Netflix and then searching. We used Amazon's and into different channel if that was a -- channel five is this really that different. I think it is because you have to sort of stop one service and log into another it's not so much just looking at the programming greater pulling up TV guide. -- -- okay well. I'm very X I'm gonna get these things and finally and in the top ten products we had nests. Which is a 200 dollar thermostat. XXX. It's beautiful but explain this one to me. So we think we we got a little push back in the comments on this because people people's responses like what -- held this is. This isn't even really get on the market for very long and that's to -- you can order now they ran out and I think I think -- on back order. But here's what's really amazing about this product -- there's been a lot of innovation in the sort of cellphone. You know. Regular consumer attack. Market there has not been a -- of innovation lately and home automation has been a lot of talk about it but there hasn't been a lot of action. And this is we think the first example of the kind of networked. Device that can really make a difference in your life and it works elegantly with the other. Products -- -- so this thermostat looks it looks cool that's part of it but also its Smart. So eating just turn the dial and send it to the temperature that you want continue to do -- out over a period of time and this thermostat learns. Your patterns here families patterns -- household patterns and then recreate them so there's no programming -- the thermostat at learns from your actions. At and you can actually do the same thing remotely it has -- and -- an Android app I believe and an iPhone app so from a distance you can tell it. You know I'm coming home and a half -- are basically in please turn up the heat. So over time it learns -- patterns and and it also can talk to other devices in the house and and in make your life really a lot easier and it's really simple -- -- -- I'm looking forward to getting it to since it strikes me -- that is basically an on off switch. This is a non athletes that understands. That tells that learned itself went went to turn itself on an -- -- so innocent and done. And end at what levels I mean like a lot of heat -- -- -- like at night you want the temperature to go down to us. The lower level basically concerned that usually answer cranking up that. Whatever 6 o'clock in the morning come. I think it's it's worth being on there -- as. -- -- -- Trailblazing product in that category and having spent. Part of the Thanksgiving holiday trying -- deal with my parents just just the -- Outside -- have programming on their they had this little box with just. For microscopic buttons I mean it was such a poorly designed thing. And and it's like wealthiest had an Android app for this and it talked via Wi-Fi would've been 92 operation. Only -- -- next -- is going to go next -- it might be you know I have to say this is one of those experiences that you have where you change. It's just. Awesome like I I it. You don't really -- you're not prepared to feel so excited about something so simple but when it's a simple and it works. You feel really happy if the same way I feel about programming my DVR from my iPhone a look at really just works I just you know what you've made me want. Let's move on to the let downs he should because they're now again oddly enough. While Apple had. Dominated the top -- animals for products in the -- and category. There are three products from the same company including. And now you're just messing with me -- you do the iPhone four S. Which is also the number one top -- winner. And nothing made our readers more angry and -- -- -- hang -- take that creators I am so sorry readers and yet I would do it all over again. -- because. Here's the thing. This isn't you know this list is not necessarily -- -- a product recommendations. It's a list to show you what made waves in this year and a -- for a lot of people the iPhone four S not having a bigger screen now. That not being forgy that was of that select down announcing they arrive on the back and not -- well hidden I think five which is you know of course totally arguable that -- just market. But -- -- listening. And I think -- supporters say there's also -- a list of the worst products of the year either it was a list of let downs and disappointments and that's not necessarily the same thing -- this -- like if you're a parent and and your kid gets a B -- instead of an A minus and you just tell your. So I'm I'm I'm just disappointed yeah I -- -- little -- and it's worse than angry. Yeah I mean it it it was a little bit of a let down there and you know I still I I went out and bought this phone because it had. A lot of what I needed that I was I am I continue to be disappointed that has such a small screen. That's -- finished fifth wag of the finger that's right iCloud and iTunes match is -- -- kind of like iTunes match. And it works for me. Does it tell it to you sync your library overnight but who cares -- just looked really run overnight you know really. Maybe overnight in the day I don't know but we had we had -- -- there right still going. For five days later you know there are products that you just set up and leave alone and they'll be fine as long as you don't like -- -- -- you know do some along there are a couple things like that may be iTunes match shouldn't faster but. I mean they the it was like they woke up the next day and had some weird. You know syncing stop it matters that they have a light works the first time in eighty if you have to fiddle and all its interior very un Apple non Apple messages lot of Apple products that do -- that -- -- And then iCloud to mean that's a very interesting and very important product from Apple's idea here is that you just don't want stored files or file -- -- -- all your stuff is everywhere. And what's from a iCloud. -- iCloud as a newbie get to it and we've we've had the experience that some people. Who do using have a good experience and for them they say don't carry my staff and everywhere. That. I think this is a big challenge for Apple because Apple likes things to be dead simple and it had a very hard time explaining to people the power of the cloud and exactly how to use and and what it's gonna do for them and and that's why it's had been a disappointment we want -- this is one of those products that we want to see work. We're sort of rooting for it. And that it is just not quite there -- you know I would like to -- I would like to see the work cloud abolished from consumer electronics discussions. I mean talk about -- fluffy I mean it just doesn't mean anything anybody always has to be explain. I think that's true lots of things now and it'll get there yeah I mean. This may be oversimplifying but at some point people didn't understand the difference between the web in the Internet I think they get it now gets the that you can't explain and -- if you wanna talk about. Bad technology terminology yeah I think that's like a whole other ninety manage -- And -- his role editors it would probably take like three hours and we would love it and everybody else's fault status Steve yeah that's a so another product the sign here of which made me very happy is 3-D as a letdown can. Can we you know Michael Packard it to dual we -- to kill 3-D just because -- hurts my eyes. Or is it for you -- yet anything please I would argue we think it's actually gonna take off eventually. Or is it in another one of those. It's and yet another stab at 3-D experience and will this when Dyer will that will we finally see an -- John on the gives you. IA was never -- with three to Begin with and so not thrilled with it -- Unlike you -- -- -- and see the 3-D effect and I'd prefer to watch movies without it -- and that's even in the theater basically. I'm I just think it's still really gimmicky it's still. Trying too hard and it's basically just unnecessary except in a certain really narrowed use cases. Like that the -- her side he keeps gaining documentary you know -- mean. Com I don't -- -- even in action movies and studied I don't like it is that a personal preference yes Tom -- but. The thing the thing about it at home and -- or -- that at home. It's even worse than on because there's there's still they -- the -- problem I mean they finally have the 3-D blu rays but they're still sort of few and far between. There's very few TV networks -- broadcast up in 3-D. And then even when it's there it's still like okay let's all sit down and put on the glasses and turned. What's kind of a communal activity into something it's much more -- isolating. -- -- And do what do you think -- you -- your parents well you are you fan of three -- you know. I am well we don't have three in -- home not really very interested -- -- sort of like -- although I have to. I have to admit that I'm not really TV person in general you know -- I'm not gonna tell my boss -- -- I am not well and everybody knows -- I appreciate really -- TV but I'm not walkie about. -- TVs that I -- And I think it might be one of those products kind of like. The Nintendo three ass where it ends up being relegated to to what we -- -- drama called -- -- via. Right this is something that kids love and maybe kids who grow up with 380 will find that that's their expectation maybe it's gonna take. Twenty years for treaty to become a fabric of how we watch television part of the fabric of how we watch television -- I asked. Right now I feel like there -- a lot of people who just don't have time for and they don't have time to get glasses and they don't have time to fiddle with the experience and they don't care yet. But I I think I think three things are here and here in in the consumer space are like I wouldn't expect it to go away because at this point is basically -- it's so cheap. That it was in all that the high end TVs this year it'll probably it's -- and a few weeks we'll see it in less than mid tier TVs to you know any mean. Whether or not and -- ever turns it on. Different story. Let's move on -- got a couple other products and wanted to discuss before we run at a time I see that Brian Cooley had an impact on the let -- -- electric cars is on your list here. Or is that you I know I don't you know to be honest I -- -- -- recommended that. I feel that was me really go along with -- Com I just. Kind of like 3-D -- -- point in terms of it it doesn't I understand what. We're trying to solve with that issue but it's still not easy and transparent and especially like. And younger and I. I mean full disclosure I don't. Own a car you live in New York you've taken and I haven't had an idea -- to work every day -- And that's -- even fare because I understand I can do that in in the vast majority people. At least in in the US that and yet they need a car and that's fine. But I was just I think like how would even have one and and how I would charge it in any mean like we'll be set up urban charging stations -- -- go there and I guess take the whatever. Thirty minutes or two hours to chargers being in get a -- -- a Conficker sending. To play devil's advocate you're not gonna have any car so. The worry about the charging is continent. I think it is but that but then there's the I just for an article that the prices of electricity -- actually skyrocketing over the past. Several years so whether -- India a money saving thing seems to be. Questionable this point and the whole issue -- if the electricity is coming from a coal fired pound power plant or something it it's even. Is the environmental payoff even there it comes. Lately depends on the situation I have a very different prospective pay for one thing I live -- where I live in Berkeley explicitly that it and and I have a hybrid car. We've discussed in my family buying electric car and because we like the idea and mean I. We live in a place -- in the morning we -- -- this monsters filling up. Database and in the Bay Area and it's nice to think about not contributing to that I don't think you Berkeley San Francisco smile capture -- -- think -- -- a we generate a total pollution and all blows over the baby yeah it's true there's -- -- -- academies being a terrible asthma but I digress. That happen. We discussed. Getting on the West Coast we don't have. Coal powered electricity so. There's a little it's the discussion is slightly different the problem and when we decided that if we were everything -- electric car we were gonna get it because we were gonna get solar panels. And so that it would be really. A kind of a closed ecosystem manor house and in the solar panels would speed the car secrets -- it would be great history and fortunately for lot of boring and technical reasons. We can't it has to do with and the permitting process and there we go that illustrates why exactly at that point we're just not an area like I would have to work really hard. And dealer lots of permits and changing out our entire electrical system. To make that happen and and I would have range anxiety so we're not -- we -- electric cars that. -- -- That I'm gonna we gonna talk more about that at some point future it's a really interesting project -- -- -- -- lets you want to a couple of other things here. Designed winners there's a couple of -- this is the category of beautiful products we've got the that'd -- -- zeppelin speaker which now does airplay streaming have to dock the phone in which a Smart sonus has a product in here baht. And Eichmann nest is in there again the iPhone -- -- again. Newton of the Jawbone era I have one of those -- and the Samsung. Space alien HD which is that the TV with a little spider legs. And then that lack of a Basil it's gorgeous raised it is sleek all screen yet really cool that -- -- -- do that I don't know it's amazing so of these products what you think is the most beautiful and the most influential in terms of design language either because it. I -- from a TV perspective. Again from the TV design perspective I thought that Samsung was phenomenal it it the promise there word trade offs in terms of quality because I believe that uses edge lit LED that's how they that's how they can make it so in and then. That was additionally -- because they did make the vessels that have been which is. Had been unusual to that point but that to me that's. That's what. Which -- ironic that that is like the TV disappears and you're just seeing the screen to -- the contents basically cool idea. I did -- nobody can argue the influential nature of iPhone designed I think that's a boring thing to talk about and we've already been talking about -- I -- talk a little bit about that -- thermostat again I think that we don't it's a different it's. You know we have never seen now home automation device that is just a screen. That doesn't really exist usually anything you have to program -- -- just over your refrigerator and heat -- -- has a lot of buttons. -- doesn't I think that's really unique -- -- could mean big change because a lot of the other products on this list. Our beautiful that may not change the future of design and I -- -- We should point out in this designer was that Tony Fidel I believe the -- view -- analyze influence in designing the original. IPod right -- and it's a very similar. Dial. And screen. Design well from your lips to designers ears I mean that's that's a nice to -- which I hope we see more stuff like that. But we have a great this is my favorite category the whole story is -- sleepers or -- -- hidden jams and -- These are all products that if you don't know about you should I mean we've got. Well Samsung Focus that's that's and -- in part that's a window seven phone -- -- -- it's actually. I agree with people it's really great product idol it's not great enough for -- -- dump my iPhone it's a great product. And then there's a speaker system in here which from model priced John tells about this -- and I look -- is like. Wow holy crap that looks like a great product and what price -- go on about -- So. Mono price is this great online retailer which we always we keep. Turning -- and people's heads don't pay a lot for HDMI cables and and other cables in your home theatre your your PC systems. And -- price is kind of the flag carrier there where they have if you I cables for. You know two dollars and 47 cents or just insanely low prices like that and if you buy in bulk the prices go down it's incredible. -- I we sold this year that -- are doing. -- their own branded electronics and we know it's a sound bar and in this case a full five point one speaker package. That with the great name of moderate price 8247 yet they make me it really easy for us until final of this thing don't -- -- -- about yes that it. This is a so -- speaker system -- there are no it itself it's a it's a home theater speaker system the speakers are small. You know -- With which it in your hand a little larger that. And we've we've bought it and test it out and its and -- pretty good -- and when you factor in -- you're paying 85 dollars for it it. It you know it's so surpassed our expectations at that price that -- we really analyst at. -- what's funny -- previously our best bargain five point one system which is still an awesome speaker system. Is the energy take by the energy take classic I believe five point one system. We thought that was amazing at 399. This one is 85 dollars and I'm guessing it's as good but it's just amazing that they were able to make it. Good at all at that price. Speaking of poorly named but great sleeper electric audio electronic products we've got the flu wants. His Dick. -- -- -- 500. Who names these things -- -- any. Sleepers he wanna recommend here. I write you know what I want to put a good word and four and now and -- getting -- -- now and is. Well we have on this list the Samsung Focus and -- it -- -- which is a Windows Phone 7 phone. I know a lot of people who have been forced for their jobs to try out the distance and because nobody in the real world would be key -- with it. And love it and now we have a lot of people at CNET -- Who really were so pleasantly surprised -- Windows Phone 7 and have a soft spot for and her hope that. Whatever we see in spring for Microsoft. Is going to be. It's gonna finally breakthrough you know consumer -- and it's a very very interest in product and it kind of it -- -- sticks -- a stick in the side of Google it's like. The Google Android is in the it's the power hitter right now because -- on every it's it's you can get Android phones for cheap in the operating systems getting better. But Microsoft with this product I think is really shown. That you don't have to be a slavish follower of Apple's language of the -- -- and the apps and all that thing that. Windows Phone 7 is is really very hectic I personally don't think that it has a chance compare to the power of Google and it -- it -- the marketing prowess of Apple but man is it -- Yeah I mean I I think you're actually right that the focus that's was near basically as a flag carrier four. Windows Phone 7 and it -- accurately. You try them out check in on the store and it would I think -- what we're hearing is that. Exactly once people do you. Get them they are that the actual satisfaction on when this phone products is. Is -- -- it's like the Xbox phones you know Microsoft could do something that. -- -- -- -- -- they had to you yet. And the Vietnamese and -- a lot of things and -- and planted it did this and it's great. Like they said when when it came out -- decided to design a phone not put. The desktop windows on your hand -- which is what they've done that. Let's see. You guys really have to check out this whole feature Messina at 100 took too close I don't -- -- is there a favorite of all the products here all the stories and we've got things in there you know the top ten things that scare us the most of the security section we've got. Forgettable products and fortunately some money Maria the thinkpad X one is -- address retention payment at. -- a nice product that and who cares. Celebrity -- -- I got that the director men in black. To tell us what his favorite product technical product technology product is you'll never -- Well you'd you to I don't edited so I'll -- -- -- -- and seriously like it should be an Internet mean it just the picture. Of of of Sonnenfeld was yes we don't as yet got to -- -- go see it it's -- -- -- it's often ugly anyway great feature its size cnet.com slash Sina 100. But favorite product of the year and what you hope to be your -- product. Of next year. Let's -- for. All go. So. I'll start I think that I don't own this product -- IE I think I personally -- in this might be a little bit -- and I think the MacBook Air. I think it's gonna it's changing the way that laptops are built. And it's changing people's approach to hard drives. And it's not the first product to ever do that but I think we'll have the longest term effects on storage on laptops and I think it's -- I think it's -- reinvigorating the keyboard. I mean. If it had a touch screen I actually think it's the blood an iPad out of the water. Interesting and for next year review what -- you in four Q. -- much more from Andrea and I hope that we see. At some really good Android tablets that take tablets and flow. Because we've seen with the iPad can do the iPad -- continue to do it the next version -- -- probably gonna be amazing. So let's see some real competition because it's boring there's no real competition no no kidding and -- -- of. This is gonna crazy I'm gonna pick a laptop to on the cutting -- -- direction the HP pavilion DM one Z. On does not have as good a name as MacBook Air obviously -- but what was cool about this product was. Which first came out in the spring I believe and they just refreshed in the fall. But these are kind of before ultra books they had this emerging class of ultra portable laptops so -- point six inch screens. -- like the small MacBook Air but. This a pavilion DM one you can get. I believe the press start at 399 -- get a really good one for like 500 -- or 550. Com. It's it's kind of the netbook every always wanted so it's like just -- -- -- as a full size keyboard. It has that they did AMD processor it's a really good meat and potatoes laptop and the battery life he goes on forever and and to me. This is yet this is kind of like. Where the PCI should be competing with the iPad it's like a fully functional laptop. That you can use to do real work on and policies at home and it's a great aunt -- laptop it's small it's for it's portable -- the trials everywhere and it -- give it a fancy name like ultra book but it was one of I think the top three. I traffic most popular laptops on our side here and what -- looking for it for next year. I think Kennedy go back that to the TV thing I would just love. Some kind of clarity or progress on the online video. Infrastructure if you will and if it's somebody could mean. Actually Microsoft has made -- -- strides here the new Xbox dashboard. It it doesn't quite again work the way you want it to yet but it. Every -- -- -- powered Apple TV. This new version Xbox is is really heading in that direction where you can do searches and like I -- you know buying parts -- recreate. Recreation or something it and it it it finds what service it's on for you it doesn't make you do that that I thought heavy lifting. It's Stephen. Even sitting back there are watching NASA -- -- the full year what do you what do you think and what -- you go and I'm I'm I'm. It was released presence here by how much there was a big focus on sound this year -- all these headphones came out it beats headphones ludicrous ludicrous. Release headphones that we're talking about this routes -- so I thought it was really cool there's a big focus on sound -- sound person itself come in for next year. I was not. Impressed by the iPhone four S this year and I I did not wanna get them -- 3GS user and our next -- am looking forward to iPhone 5 and we -- amount I had a three yes it is contained in any night I can't take it either I'm really sick of my 3GS looks old to me now certainly looks small and -- So yeah I'm just gonna wait until iPhone 5 comes out or if there's another Android from the comes out it's really cool I might go for that you -- him. -- an Apple. The one -- stinking world. The one but a really is thinking about app. Apple products is the resale values on the phones are so high -- that was what do -- thing is you could actually possibly get the four S now. Even if in five order -- they call it comes out in June instead of October. You could probably sell it for more than enough to cover the -- termination -- if its 350 -- Yeah I sold my if my iPhone one for the same precedent on it forces those -- message -- an -- like the Honda of our. A technology aren't I would go with Lindsay here on the product that I love the most from this year it would have to be in my MacBook Air my precious Michael sitting right here next to me and I've never loved the laptop or computer that I don't want -- including was that I built myself this is just. -- -- I don't wanna be -- fan -- but Apple keeps dragging me -- it is is a great product. You know I saw -- now -- Tarek and for next here I'm I'm after placed oil to TVs on looking to getting an -- HD. And I really do want to dump my ridiculously expensive I think I'm paying 150 bucks a month for Comcast. Exclusive of the Internet with which they're great at. It but that's a lot of money for a lot of content I don't watch I'd rather go ala carte or get it over the net I really wanna cut that cable experience. I don't think you'll be able to -- it and no -- but may be if I give up 15% of what I get from cable. That 85% we'll save me a hundred dollars a month lot of money. It's a lot of money what you gonna sacrifice is timeliness. Is just not gonna be able to get says when they first and I'm gonna have to you know. What do they call -- time shift. But instead of by a couple hours a couple of days my whole season yet you didn't like and I hear about mad men until next year items are watching -- walking into this here anyway so they -- Anyway I glad I just went -- there in real that's. I think. Next year's MacBook Air at the eleven inch size. I'm assuming that the 999 price point will probably go from 64 gigs to 128 on the storage. And I -- that'll really help that -- I mean take heed it started phenomenally successful but. But that's one thing that held me back was -- 64 and only like forty -- -- is usable it's just a little -- -- -- 99 you -- also it will say here. And then we really got to wrap up your way over time. Mobile apps is -- it's one -- -- covering now anyway my real job. They are so many cool things coming out there the design of apps on -- specially iPhone apps to be clear is getting really creative and beautiful mean things like. As goofy as it is and things like path. Or these yesterday and it looks really cool as it is really beautiful although I have to admit I only -- path as it is that really complicated but -- filter. Yet -- activities if it does look at it constantly. It -- is flexible to the united creepy stuff like that for some mobile app to getting -- thing trick it if you're going on out I let try it flying you know it just everything you need is right here. These products are. Becoming so indispensable to the modern like the once you start loading up with apps. That whatever you do whether its sales are you travel lottery need to keep track -- kids -- you wanna watch -- tapping house on some. Webcam on these things. Their change in the world and that's not slowing down this is this is the platform to be. It's that I I find -- X exhilarating. And a little bit terrifying because when idle is my iPhone but I'm -- I Hannah I feel like. Physically panicked and -- -- that is a product some kind of biological. Not so you can't. All right I thought. I think you're the starting -- about somebody who had an artificial arm and he actually did. Build a dock into his forearm. -- For -- but I think you you did just encapsulate what the brutally. Overall trend is gonna be at 2012 CES and in a few weeks is going to be apps apps apps apps every. We love apps are right speaking of apps read -- radar to -- to be that -- -- -- radar dot com which is on CNET if you wanna find out all the new apps that I'm covering other people are talking about. That's it for this year in reporters' roundtable. A Lindsay -- on the editor in chief of CNET reviews thank you so much for joining a -- and check -- the Sina 100 Sina dot com slash Sina 100. John Falcone from New York thank you for joining us as well. His that is also on CNET reviews Steve Beecham. Thanks again for -- another great year this is episode 104. I think some will be doing -- about two years now. Four thanks everyone for watching reporters' roundtable we will see you. Next year the sixth the Friday January -- is our next show and after that will be live the week after that at CES will be there all week. Have a great safe wonderful and eked out holiday everyone thanks again by. And I managed code and don't know.