CNET Tech Review
iPad 2 magnets: How do they work?This week on the CNET Tech Review: Steve Jobs comes out of hiding to debut the iPad 2, highlights from the 2011 Geneva auto show, a subpar subwoofer from Onkyo, and behind the scenes of Johnny Depp's 'Rango.'
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, hop inside an electric Rolls-Royce at the Geneva Auto Show; lovable lizards get animated in ILM's new Rango; two sets of speakers that you're better off without-- Oh, and some stuff about a new iPad or something like that. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech, plus offer some unique wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's get started with the good. This week in San Francisco, Steve Jobs-- Oh, who am I kidding? You're just here to see the iPad 2. Here's Donald Bell's first look. -Hey, I'm Donald Bell for cnet.com here at Apple's iPad 2 launch event and I'm holding the iPad 2. In fact, I'm holding the white version of the iPad 2. There's now 2 colors; a white version and a black version. All the same places, all the same capacities as last years, but you're not getting much thinner design, a lighter design, and also getting a faster processor as it-- There's a dual-core A5 processor in here. It's promising 9 times graphic performance of the original iPad. You're also getting a few new features. You're getting a FaceTime feature for video calling; you get HD cameras on the back; and a VGA camera on the front. Apple is also announcing 2 new applications for the iPad; they're own applications. One is iMovie for the iPad, which is available before on the iPhone and the iPod touch. It's now coming to the iPad and it's the most sophisticated version, well, at least the most sophisticated mobile version of iMovie we've seen yet. The other application that Apple announced today for the iPad is GarageBand. This is gonna be a pretty cool application out there for you musical types. It does multitrack recording, virtual instruments, a lot of fun. We're gonna see this thing on March 11th. So, having played around with the iPad 2, the little bit that I've had it here; I have to say, the thing I like about it the most is how thin and light Apple's has been able to get the design. Having seen a lot of their competitors this past year, I haven't seen anything that's gotten this small, and I think being able to preserve that 10-hour battery life is a big deal. It's gonna be hard to be able to keep up with that. So, for cnet.com, I'm Donald Bell showing off the Apple iPad 2. -I think everyone was a bit surprised to see Steve Jobs takes the stage for the iPad 2 announcements, but he did turn the spotlight over to some other members of the Apple team to demo some of the tablets key apps. Take a look at FaceTime, iMovie, and GarageBand all optimized for iPad 2. -FaceTime is the best and easiest way to video conference. We supported on the iPhone and we supported on the iPod touch, and now we're bringing it to the iPad. You can FaceTime between two iPads, between and iPad and an iPhone, or an iPod touch, and between an iPad and the Mac. Let me go ahead and just give you a demo. So, it's calling him. In a second, he'll answer. How you doing? -Doing great, Scott, how is it going? -Ah, it's going great. I was just giving everyone here a demo of FaceTime. You can see already that the size of the iPad is just ideal for videoconferencing, and the person's face is a great size. You can see all their expressions. It feels very personal. You can also use both the front camera and the rear camera. So, Michael, why don't you flip to the rear camera and show us what you're looking at? -Sure thing, Scott. -Okay, Michael has been locked in a-- -It's [unk] over here. -in a very sad cafe. -You can also move the pep around to get it out of the way, so it's sort of pong. You can move wherever you want. But FaceTime on this really is a great experience, and we can't wait people to get their hands on it, and of course from day 1, you can FaceTime from your iPad 2 with all the iPhone 4 customers out there. Thanks a lot, Michael. -So, there's two apps we're introducing today and the first one is iMovie for iPad, and we have a long history of video editing. We are the largest supplier of video-editing software in the world, we think, and iMovie for iPad is in that tradition. It's got a precision editor on it, multitrack audio recording. This is not a toy. You can really edit movies on this thing. It's got new themes. You can airplay your video right to Apple TV from the application. You can share your videos in HD with some really popular sites, and it's a universal app, so will also running the iPhone. -When we start at the app, you can see a really nice new homescreen with the all-time theater, really gorgeous display here. You can see each of your projects has its won little poster. There's a thumbnail of the movie, and the poster is based on the theme that's in the project and you can just scroll back and forth between these. Works great in portrait. It also works really nice in landscape, and this looks really great on the retina display of the iPhone 4 and the iPod touch as well. Let's go ahead and do a little bit of editing. So, I'm gonna scroll down here. Now, I can actually use-- there's a camera button on the right that I can use--- use the camera of the iPad 2 to record directly in the timeline, or I can go from my video bin. I can just press and hold on a clip and I can skim back and forth to take a look at the video before it's been placed in the timeline, or I can just tap on a clip, and then I get two handles. So, I can actually choose the segment of the video that I wanna put in. Then, we have two different clips here. I'll put it in the piece of that one, select the second clip. Another shot of that girl going in the water. So, we'll pick kind of corresponding position there, tap that, drops into the timeline and we gotta cross this all between. If we wanna do a more precise edit, for the iPad 2, we have a precision editor, so I can do a reverse pinch apart, bring up the precision editor, and now I can see all the content of the clip on the left before and after the edit, and all the content for the clip on the right. I also have full control over the transition. I can double tap, and we can set that to none so that'll make a cut. I can press and hold on the top dot and that allows me to choose the point within that video where we wanna end. So, we'll pick a spot kinda where she goes out over the water, then I can press and hold on the lower dot and do the same thing. So, we can make this kinda look like just a cut in the same shot. I can press and hold on the center dot as well, and I can roll the edit. I can add into track frame from both sides simultaneously. When I wanna take a look, we just back up a little bit and hit "play." Really easy them to keep going and adjust your edit to get things just the way that you want, and with the pinch we close it up. -GarageBand for iPad is remarkable. It's got touch instruments. You can plug in a guitar and play real instruments if you want, but it's got touch instruments that, I think, are gonna be a huge hit with our users. Guitar amps and effects, 8-track recording and mixing, over 250 loops you can add to your songs. You can e-mail files around of your song to anybody and it's compatible with the Mac version. So, if you wanna start something on your iPad and finishes it on the Mac, no problem. -A launch GarageBand and the first thing you see is an instrument browser. So these are all the touch instruments Steve just mentioned and you can just swipe to tap through them and it's incredible. They turned the iPad itself into a musical instrument that you can play wherever you go. Now, I'll go ahead and bring up a keyboard to start showing this off. And you can see there is beautiful grand piano comes up and it fills the display, and the keyboard is not just a grand piano. I can tap on that icon right in the middle there, and you can see all the sounds that are built in. There are organs, electric piano, clavinet. Look at this, whole bunch of great synthesizers that are really, really fun to play. Well, iPad has an accelerometer built in and we use that to measure the measure that my finger strikes the display. So, GarageBand knows if I tap something really soft or really hard, and we used that throughout the app and that lets us create these instruments that are incredibly expressive and fun to play. One of these smart instruments has this auto play dial and I can just go ahead and dial up a pattern. The strings face away now with these big bars, so the only decision I make is which chord do I want to play, and look what happens with one touch of the finger when I tap in one of these chords. Just choose any chord. Ain't that cool? So, that's just a quick look at GarageBand for iPad. It turns your iPad into a complete recording studio and a collection of these incredible touch instruments, and we just can't wait to hear all the creative things that people are gonna do once they get this in their hands. Thank you. -GarageBand for iPad, $4.99. It'll be on the app store on March 11th. -Editing videos and composing music on the iPad, pretty cool. Well, I guess, I can't help thinking it would be a little easier if the screen was bigger, although be sure to come back next week when the iPad 2 goes on sale and Donald will have an in-depth review. Meanwhile over in Switzerland, the 2011 Geneva Auto Show Open this week, and Brian Cooley was on hand to freeze the new production models and concept cars. There were plenty of plug-ins and hybrids on the show floor, but not necessarily where you'd expect to find them. Check out these highlights! -Yeah, It's far from the biggest Audi, but it's got a lot of good stuff in it. This is the new Audi A3 concept being rolled out just now here at Geneva, not that far out there. So I get excited about concepts like this because they might actually make it into showrooms more or less intact. So let's see what's going on. I'm not gonna you bore you with all that damn design speak about harmonious fluid lines and fenders that hit at the power that lies between them, which sounds kinda obscene anyway. But there is a 2-1/2 liter turbo charge, gas direct injection engine, 408 horsepower, 368 foot pounds of torque gets you up to 60 in about 4 seconds in a tiny fraction while doing 28 miles per galloon, so all of that is kind of great. But what's inside the cabin is a whole lot more interesting. Inside, there is a revised version of Audi's MMI. It includes the touch pad that is currently only found on the A8. There is an 8-inch LCD that pops up, ultra thin, out of the middle of the dash, built-in wireless broadband is envisioned to bring Google services into the car on screen or screens as well as creating a Wi-Fi hotspot for the passengers, iPad holders in the rear of the front headrests and check out these speakers on the rear deck. These things pop up a few millimeters when you power on system just to say I'm cool. -This is the FF, the Ferrari FF. It stands for "Four passenger, four-wheel drive," and don't even have a letter for what's about to approach you right there on the rear end. That, my friend, is a hatchback. This is what they call a shooting break, a station wagon in Euro terms. Now, this vehicle is gonna slot it to replace the 612 Scaglietti, which is their current high-end 2+2. Biggest Ferrari engine everyone a production car, 6.3 liter V12, 651 horsepower, 504-foot pounds of torque, typically drives the rear wheels primarily. That's what we have this enormous transaxle back here. At times, when it once to apply power to the front for better performance that are handling, you've got this sort of two-speed Haldex gearbox underneath the front of the dry sump on this guy. That allows this car to a torque vectoring method. When it detect swift, this stuff kicks in and applies to the front. If it doesn't, it remains a rear wheel drive car in a sporting tradition. This is, by the way, a nice place to do business wouldn't you say? We've got an actual mechanical or analog tech. Notice on the right side I've got a split screen of 2 cameras. Here is our Ferrari head unit. This can be a 1200-watt system with gabs of surround sound speakers. I don't need to convince you that it sounds good. Oh, do you see in the back? Fitted luggage is available as well including 2 full sets of golf club and some nice-looking valises. Now pricing and availabilities are not yet set on the FF, although I see some potential customers milling around. That looks like Nick Mason of Pink Floyd over there. So, they'll get the regulars in first. This may not be in ready supply for quite a while. Well, you know, when you see the spirit of ecstasy illuminated in electric blue, something's happening at Rolls-Royce. The something is the electrification of the Phantom. This is an experimental Phantom. The 102 EX and experimental platform to make one these guys all battery-powered. The engine came out that was the 6.7-liter V12 and in goes 96 batteries from a very sort of complex chemistry, nickel, cobalt, manganese. I've not actually heart of that before. That gives you 270 kilowatts of power. It's about 360 horsepower, but 590 potential foot pounds of torque. Zero to 60 could happen about 8 seconds. That slower by over 2 seconds than a gas-engine Phantom, but still not a slouch. The power goes out down to the back where the electric motors live, and they split it up to the rear wheels only via differential, almost quite a traditional setup. Range on this guy about a 120 miles, they say, they hope, they will figure out, because this is a testbed for use throughout the year ahead. By the way, charging time on this despite the massive number of batteries in here, they say would be industry standard, about 8 hours for a full charge on the 223-phase circuit, wow! Now, inside, I had a bourbon. I get my meal forwarded here. Where was I? Oh, yeah! Inside, we've got some more indication. This is a very different vehicle. Here, is a charge state indicator echoing the lights sort of over there at the charging port. Oh, by the way, if this little smugglers bin of keyed little tech switches is not enough for you, you'll love this one. There is the traditional analog clock. There is the very non-traditional, the LCD display and that is, by the way, specific to the electric version of this car. Torquey, emissions-free, avant-garde technology, all of that's great, but what really intrigues me is that these cars are already as quiet as the day after you died and that's where the V12 barn burner up in front. Imagine what it would be like with the virtually silent electric powertrain. Yeah, I just curl up and take a nap. These are not for sale. Like I mentioned, this is one off, the electric prototype, but they're gonna be testing it and testing it hard through 2011. Who knows there maybe a real one one day soon. Look, if you didn't have one of these yourself, you know somebody who did. The VW Rabbit/Golf Cabriolet. This thing sort of like mad from 79 to 2002, then it got bumped off the stage by its two drop-top siblings, the new Beetle Convertible and the Eos drop-top. But now it's back, although not yet for the U.S. This guy is gonna offer a choice of 6 power plants in Europe and one of them is a 1.6-liter turbo diesel that delivers 53 miles per gallon and no hybridicity involved. The top is interesting. It's a rag top in the true sense, not a retractable. That keeps the price down. But as you can see when it's down, it almost violates the definition of a Cabriolet, which normally in first a convertible that leaves its top apparatus kinda untidily piled back here, but this is almost flushed with the belt line. Another big question, when this is down, what happens to the trunk? We've seen some cars lately at CNET Car Tech that are a joke when the top is down. Let's find out. Tilt up the logo handle. Not bad. Look at that! It's almost like magic, I mean, yes there is a lowered ceiling on the trunk all the time. That makes room for the top to go down and not change your volume back here, which is kinda good. I'd rather have a little less room all the time than nasty surprises when the top's down some of the time. Now, again, this car is not slotted for U.S. distribution just yet. I'm not gonna quote prices in Europe 'cause it doesn't equate that way on a simple currency conversion. We will see if they can bring this to the U.S. and maybe some of the Eos package. -Well, if the Golf does make it to the U.S., a whole new generation of high school girls can look forward to some sweet gift for their 16th birthdays. All right, the time has come for us to take a break, but we will be right back with more tech review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the good, it's time to go to the movies or more accurately, it's time to go behind the scenes of the movies. Daniel Terdiman got a chance to talk to some of the folks behind ILM's new animated feature, Rango, starring Johnny Depp-- or starring his voice, anyway. -You ain't from around here, are you? -I'm still working on it. So, what's your name? -Beans. -That's funny kinda name. -Hi, I'm Daniel Terdiman from CNET news and this Rango from director Gore Verbinski. It's also the first animated feature of that Industrial Light & Magic has worked on after more than 30 years of live action movies. Last week, we got a chance to visit ILM and talked to a visual effect supervisor and one of the lead animators on the movie about what it's like to treat an animated feature like a live action movie. -Well, early on we realized that we didn't know how to make an animated feature, so we actually reached out to the community and had people come in and talked to us, entails about how to make an animated feature and really early on, I realized that we were actually breaking a lot of the rules of how animated features are being made and that we weren't actually making standard animated feature. So, in the end, it actually really came to the-- that we were kinda make a live action movie. So, a lot of what our backgrounds were coming from a live action background really helped out and really actually became a benefit and a strength for us rather than being maybe a detriment that some people thought it might be. So, we have really great artwork, 2-dimensional artwork from Crash, he's the production designer, for each character, but the problem with that is that you don't know what the character looks like from all angles. So, we would make in the computer what we call a maquette, which allows us to actually look at the character from all different angles so that we could check the proportions and check to see, you know, how they're gonna look from the back or from the side. So, our modelers would spend about 3 days making this maquette, and this was kind of new process for us at ILM. We haven't really done this before, but we found out that it actually really-- actually made the process is faster for us, because we can get a buy up on the proportions of what the characters gonna look like before we did all that really hard work of adding hair and dirt and grime and things like that. -We wanted this film to be greedy and dirty and sweaty. Everyone should be able to smell the breath of the characters. -So, we looked at life as we always do in ILM and for some clues. This has gave us some interesting textures and markings and, you know, it seems like that is Rango's eye, I mean, eyes wild, you know, these flick in different directors and they can even cave in, which we can go nearly that crazy rhythm. -On the animated feature versus a live action film, we were way more of a hunk. It was really, really rewarding and artistic process. It was great. -Help! Help, open the door! -It was like a little feeder troop full of talented actors running around acting like cartoons and it was definitely a joy to watch and extremely informative for animation. -As long as it sounds a sheriff, you can believe that there's law and order in this town. -They shot the movie like they were making a movie. No different except less vocations and the props weren't quite expensive. -Neighbor turns on neighbor; pretty soon, we're eating our children, dogs and cats are getting together to create all sorts of unnatural mute and apparition. -I am totally going to see that movie and I might even take my kid. All right, enough frivolity. It's time to get serious and check out the bad. Whether it's playing games on your laptop or watching movies on your big screen, having to settle for crummy audio can really put a damper on your experience. All the more reason to stare clear of these two speaker options. -Hey, I'm Justin Yu, associate editor at CNET with a review of the Razor Ferox gaming speakers. For $60, these USB-rechargeable speakers are marketed as gaming-specific, but there's really nothing about them that specifically benefits gaming audio. That said, their audio quality is more on par with USB speakers and you can get much more features and better amplification out of the Creative D100 Bluetooth boombox. That one's reviewed on CNET as well. It's $20 more but you'll be more satisfied with the sound quality. Now, the hardware consists of these 2 satellite speakers joined by a nylon cable that features a USB charging plug on one side and a 3.5-mm audio jack on the other. If you push the top of each dome, the speakers expand to reveal a mesh chamber where the sound comes out. So, you can use the jack to play music out of any device with a standard headphone port like an iPhone or iPad. But the D100 by Creative has more elegant wireless Bluetooth solution, so you don't have to carry around this clumsy cord with you. And Razor makes the claim that their chambers actually strengthen the bass and resonance of your music, but we tested the volume levels and are disappointed with the audio fidelity. We played several songs across a variety of genres through the Ferox speakers and we noticed lots of bass and treble distortions even at low volumes. Like we said before, your dollar will go much further with a slightly more expensive audio solution like the Creative Bluetooth D100 speakers, so you should definitely check those out if you're in the market. You can read all the details in our full review on CNET, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu. These are the Razor Ferox mobile gaming speakers and that sounds good me. Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET.com and we're gonna take a look at the Onkyo HTX-22HDX. This is a 2.1 home theater system and it's currently selling online for about $250. Now, Onkyo is known for having big boxy speakers, but this is really more of a lifestyle system. There are just 2 small speakers and the subwoofer, which also has an AV receiver built in. The subwoofer has a glossy front panel with an LCD display and there are also a few controls on the top such as volume control and input selection for when the remote goes missing. Now, around back, you'll see all the inputs. The most important are the 3 HDMI inputs, which will cover most of your home theater gadgets and there are also 3 digital audio inputs and 2 analog inputs for all your extra AV devices. You'll also notice that there are extra speaker jacks on the back and you can buy an additional speaker package from Onkyo to upgrade the system to a full 5.1 home theater system. Now, the big missing feature for us is an easy way to connect an iPod. We would have liked either a front panel mini jack input or, even better, a built-in iPod dock which we've seen on a lot of other systems. Now, for a home theater system, sound quality is the most important feature and here the Onkyo was a little disappointing. When we listened to say action scenes in movies, the Onkyo just didn't sound powerful enough to fill up our medium-sized testing room. Music didn't fair much better either and we could really hear the limitations of the smaller speakers included with the system. So, in all, the Onkyo HTX-22HDX is a nice looking system and has a strong feature set for the price, but its sound quality really didn't impress us and it's much better suited to smaller rooms. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Onkyo HTX-22HDX. -Tough weeks for the audio guys in New York, I guess. Hopefully, something better. We'll come across their desks soon. All right, let's go ahead and check out this week's bottom line. So, back to the iPad 2, yes, it's faster, it's more powerful, it comes and black and white and so on and so on, but the real question on everyone's mind was, "What about that mind-blowing case?" Seriously, missed it the first time, here you go. It's one of my favorite little videos. It actually kind of reminds me of picks or shorter something like that, but as you see, we actually build magnets right into the iPad itself and then there's magnets in the hinge for the smart cover and it not only holds the cover on, but it auto aligns it. It's really cool, and of course, what would these cases be if they didn't come in colors? So, we've got 5 polyurethane colors and 5 colors of leather and they are really, really beautiful. It looks great with the black unit. They look great with the white unit. The polyurethane cases are $39. The leather cases are $69. And we think this is gonna be-- we think people are gonna love these cases. -The bottom line this week, doesn't anyone at Apple have kids? The smart cover is pretty slick, but how is this supposed to help if your 4-year-old drops your new iPad 2 while he's watching the car's movie for 353 times hypothetically? Also, I can't wait until we start hearing reports bus passes and credit cards getting all messed up because of the magnets. My suggestion, keep it out of your purse. All right, that's our show for this time everyone, but we'll be back next week with a brand new CNET Tech Review and until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at cnet.tv.com. I'll see you next time and thank you for watching.