CNET Tech Review
iPads and carsIntroducing the CNET Tech Review, the tech videos you can't afford to miss this week! In this episode: iPad fever, circling the wagons, and are Netbooks officially dead?
>> Coming up this week on the CNET Tech Review iPad fever, circling the wagon, and are netbooks officially dead? Here are the CNET videos you can't afford to miss this week. ^M00:00:11 [ Music ] ^M00:00:19 >> Hello, everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review, a new show here at CNET where we round up the hot new videos of the week from big product first looks to prizefights to how-to videos. Every week I'll bring you the good, the bad, and the bottom line and what's happening in the tech world. In fact, if you were a fan of the show we used to do on TiVo, you'll feel right at home. Let's begin with the good. The iPad officially went on sale over the weekend -- maybe you heard. And I'm not saying the product itself is all good but it certainly made for some good hype and a good new friend for Brian Tong. >> Brain Tong here in front of the Armani Exchange store, one of the hottest fashion lines in the world. We're here -- what are you guys waiting for? >> The iPad. The Apple store. >> The iPad. >> Oh, iPad. Yeah, I knew that. Cool. ^M00:01:07 [ Music ] ^M00:01:14 >> What's up guys? Brian Tong here with the Applebyte at cnet.com at the iPad launch. I am ready to get my iPad. We're going to start right here. What? ^M00:01:22 [ Music ] ^M00:01:27 >> You have a laptop. Where's this iPad gonna fit in your life? >> I hope it will allow me to do some of the offline work I do more easily, be even more mobile, and actually have much less weight to carry around. >> If you had to choose between her or an iPad, what would you do? Ray? >> All right. Because they're both multi-touch and they are multi-touch. It's amazing CNET you do that. I'd go with the iPad because I could just have a photo of her and put it on the iPad and lay it next to me. It will keep me warm. >> Wow. >> But does it do what I do? >> It can. >> What would that be? >> There's an app for that. >> Where are you guys from? >> Netherlands. >> Holland. >> You flew all the way from Holland? >> Yes. >> To get the iPad? >> Yes. >> That is amazing. She doesn't know what it is, but she just wants it. >> And you're willing to pay for it to keep this relationship in tact, right? >> I have to pay for it. >> Obviously. >> I have no choice. ^M00:02:30 [ Music ] ^M00:02:33 >> The crowd here -- the line is still going on behind me. It's massive. And, you know, they talk about that whole reality distortion field. I got to admit I kind of got caught up in it. ^M00:02:42 [ Background Noise ] ^M00:02:56 >> Once the doors opened and they let people in, I was calm, cool, and collected. ^M00:03:01 [ Background Noise ] ^M00:03:07 [ Music ] ^M00:03:18 >> Was it worth the wait in line for you? >> Absolutely. I mean, this is just -- I waited for the iPhone, but I think this one ups the iPhone. >> The first thing you're going to do when you get home with it, what do you think? >> I think I'm going to cuddle it. >> You're kind of giddy right now. I can tell you're shaky baby. >> I'm [inaudible]. ^M00:03:32 [ Background Noise ] ^M00:03:36 >> I got it. >> What time did you get here in line? >> I got here at 4:45. He slept in. >> He got to come in the line later. Did he bring you any food or like -- >> No, no, he didn't. >> So what excites you about the iPad the most? >> Just the gadgety goodness. I just -- I don't know -- it just looks neat. >> What do you say to people that are like: Oh, it's just a big iPod Touch? >> Cool. It's a big iPod Touch. >> So everyone here, you know, they left home happy. They all got their iPads. I got my iPad too. And, you know, I just feel like I really left here with a new best friend. ^M00:04:13 [ Music ] ^M00:04:21 >> Ahh, so cute. Now, in case you're the last person on earth who doesn't feel like you've gotten to know the iPad this week, check out Donald Bell's very comprehensive first look. ^M00:04:32 [ Music ] ^M00:04:35 >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell for cnet.com and today I'm giving you a first look at the Apple iPad. You know doubt heard a lot of hype about Apple's new tablet computer; measures a little under eight by ten and about a half an inch thick giving it a natural magazine like feel; weighs 1.5 pounds which is light by laptop standards but a little hefty compared to something like the Amazon Kindle. There are two main models. One that connects to the web over Wi-Fi and one that uses a combo of Wi-Fi and 3G wireless from AT&T. The Wi-Fi models come in three capacities starting at $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 32 GB, and $699 for 64 gigs. The 3G equipped models come in the same three capacities and sell for $130 more on top of the pay-as-you-go data plan you need from AT&T to get the 3G working. For most people, the Wi-Fi model is gonna be the one to go with, both because it's cheaper and because this is really a device that seems to be geared for the living room. The whole thing is based around the iPhone OS which is scaled much bigger to fill the 9.7-inch screen. There's a lot of familiar features here such as email, web, photos, maps, music, videos, and YouTube, along with the links to integrated iTunes store and Apps store. When you watch any of these apps, however, the user interface is slightly different than what we've seen from the iPhone mostly because there's more room to play with. The email app shows off your inbox alongside emails while in the landscape view, and the photo's app behaves much more like Apple's own iPhoto software with these stacks of photos grouped by events. An app such as Maps and the Safari web browser get much closer to a laptop experience on this larger screen. Apple beefs up the processor too using their own 1 GHz A4 chip which makes the whole thing very responsive which is something you notice in particular on apps that don't depend on the web like photos. There's also an optional download from Apple called iBooks that gives the iPad a drool-worthy e-book reader. Thankfully the faster processer doesn't come at the expense of battery life. Apple promises ten hours of active use including web and video and up to a month of standby time. When you need to charge it, you can connect it to your computer or use the included USB wall charger. Apple also sells this basic $30 dock which has the advantage of transforming the iPad into a pretty cool little photo frame while it charges. Speaking of docks, Apple has another one for $70 with a keyboard attached which can really help with hard-core emailing or entering text into Apple's optional spreadsheet, documents, and presentation apps which sell for $9.99 each. They're useful but like the iPhone the real draw of the iPad in the long run will be apps made by third parties. You've got all sorts of games with stunning graphics, video-streaming apps like Netflix, a comic book app from Marvel, and tons of exciting apps that are trickling out day-by-day. All of that really gets down to the main appeal of the device. There's no single thing that it does that can't be done with a $1,000 laptop and in some ways done better, but given its size and its price and its design like most Apple products puts even the most expensive competitors to shame. So there you go. That's my take on the Apple iPad. You can find more of our continuing iPad coverage at cnet.com. >> And now I am officially taking an iPad break to go read a book on my iPad or something. But when we come back, we're talking cars. >> Hey folks, I'm Brian Cooley from cnet.com. Now, when we check the performance of a piece of tech, we check the performance of a piece of tech. If you love videos of cars and all their high-tech and high-performance glories check out the CNET car tech video podcast, cnet.com/cartechtv. >> Okay. Welcome back. On to some other good news this week in car tech -- the wagons are back. Hurray. Brian Cooley just returned from the New York Auto Show where wagons are making a comeback. And this is great news for wagon nerds like me. Acura is bringing the wonderful but so far Europe-only Honda Accord wagon to the U.S. Oh, boy. >> Now, I swear a year or two ago I talked to Acura about this, and they were not going to bring this car to the U.S. Well, a lot has changed. Now it's 2010 here at the New York Auto Show and people are in love with wagons again. Here is the Acura TSX Sport Wagon known as the Honda Accord Tourer in Europe where it's quite successful. Didn't know it was gonna come here. Now it will. Now, the name sport wagon goes just so far. This vehicle will not be available with the sportier V6 at least not at launch and any foreseeable future. 2.4-liter inline 4 but that's part of the efficiency message here also. 30 miles per gallon highway which ties into hitting a low $30,000 price point, still TBD which ties into the whole wagon thing entirely which a lot of the car companies think is: People want to have a hauler but not one as big and bulky, fuel piggy, and just kind of ostentatious as a crossover or an SUV. Now, Acura and I think all the car guys that are making wagons again think the logic goes like this: Consumers are getting a little more lean, a little less ostentatious and piggy in their automotive spending, so they want something that will haul stuff but do it in a leaner more efficient way -- wagon versus crossover or SUV. As a result the cargo space cannot be skimpy or an afterthought. This is pretty spacious back here -- low flat-load floors you can imagine. This is interesting here; they have removable side panels that allow you to put longer cargo like a big set of golf clubs in here. But why would you not want more cargo space? I'd leave this in the garage. The cabin tech's familiar. That's a good thing because it's gonna have Acura Honda's newer head unit with, finally, the revised on-screen interface -- more like HD than their old SD look and the usual array of surround audio, iPod connections, USB, all of the things that they've had for a while. Pricing as I said needs to come in around the low 30s and that's what they're saying but it doesn't arrive until fall of 2010 as part of the new wagon [inaudible]. ^M00:10:37 [ Music ] ^M00:10:41 >> Well, fall of 2010 is kind of a bummer. And that's not all. Here's the bad news about wagon world. Cadillac's doing one too. ^M00:10:48 [ Music ] ^M00:10:53 >> One of the subthemes going on here at the New York Auto Show in 2010 is that wagons are back -- Acura, Mercedes, and these guys too. This wagon will come back faster than the others. Why? Because it is faster than the others, Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. You know the motor, 6.2-liter supercharged, 556 horsepower, 551 foot-pounds of torque, and a cargo area. Carries twice as much stuff as the sedan, for example. Now getting all that power and performance to the ground requires more than standard station wagon gear. That's why we've got Brembo brakes, big old boots, those are Michelin Pilot S2s, I believe. Of course, we've got all manner of magnetic ride control on this vehicle which is GM's very aggressive adaptive suspension, but again, coupled with that all kinds of wagon stuff like an integrated roof rail load management system and similar stuff in the cargo bay as well. Six speed manual -- love that with that kind of power or six speed automatic, of course, this is America after all. It's not like they made just a sports car out of it, it's a real wagon with the utility but with the kind of performance you never had in that old country squire. Inside a pretty typical load of high-end GM cabin tech. We've seen it before on these CTS-Vs. So you've got 40 Gig hard drive there, USB, Bluetooth. I believe these guys will continue on with that ability to pause radio. The kind of radio TiVo technology that I think only GM still does, but that's not where this car breaks new ground. We've seen that before. This is where it does: That kind of cargo box in the back with that kind of power in the front. Pricing is still to be determined. Figure it's about the same as the other CTS-V products. And this will be coming out Q4 so figure a fall to late fall release. ^M00:12:43 [ Music ] ^M00:12:46 >> Oh, wow, is that thing silly. And finally, let's go back to iPad for a moment so we can wrap this show up with the bottom line. ^M00:12:54 [ Music ] ^M00:12:57 >> Dan Ackerman asks the question: Is the iPad a netbook killer? Let's find out. ^M00:13:02 [ Music ] ^M00:13:05 >> I'm Dan Ackerman and we are taking a look at some of the features of Apple's iPad. This time we're going to answer the very important question: Is the iPad a netbook killer? Now, of course, they were virtually unheard of just a couple years ago. Low cost, low power netbooks are among the most popular PCs out there. After all, you know, they kind of proximate the experience of a larger more expensive laptop at a fraction of the size and the price. But just as we started to see netbooks on pretty much every coffee shop table or airplane seat back tray, well, Apple's iPad comes along and it looks very much like a netbook screen just unhinged from the rest of the body. So the question is naturally raised: Is the iPad a netbook killer? Now, to pull the question back a little bit when the iPad was first announced one of the things we really wrestled with was, you know, whether or not it should be considered a computer at all. By some standards, the iPad is just a keyboardless laptop but by others it's more like a portable media player like the iPod Touch. So in the end we tilted more in the direction of not a computer and the factor that tipped the scale was Apple's use of that walled garden iPhone operating system. The lack of, you know, freedom to install basic apps and plug-ins like Firefox or Flash just makes it to limited to be considered, you know, a full-fledged computer. So that said, when we're going to press events or trade expeditions, sometimes we leave the laptop at home because if we're only going to need email, maybe do some light Web surfing maybe Twitter or Facebook, we can use our iPhone or our Palm Pre or other smartphone to get through the day because it can handle most of those chores. So it's a bigger screen, more productivity apps like the iWork suite and even an optional wireless keyboard can we finally ditch our laptops and netbooks for good and just get an iPad? Well, the short answer is probably not. Based on a feature comparison of the $499 iPad and, you know, your typical $299 to $499 netbook, there are a lot of ways in which the iPad, you know, just is not an adequate substitute. So the 10- and 11-inch screens on most netbooks are even bigger than the iPad screen and, of course, most netbooks have a minimum of 2 or 3 USB ports, a VGA output, an SG card slot, an Ethernet jack and, of course, a webcam, now you may not need all these features every time you use your netbook but chances are you need at least one of them. On the other hand, the collection of apps and tools are specifically built for the iPad's architecture, so this thing feels a lot faster and more powerful than a netbook under a lot of the circumstances because netbooks they've got that single-core Atom processor. They've got one gig of ram. They've got Windows 7 starter, and they end up spending a lot of the time just chugging even when you're just opening browser windows. So if I'm going to the coffee shop to read the New York Times online or I'm watching a movie in the backseat of the car, well, you know, the iPad may be a better choice. But if I'm writing an article, if I'm playing Farmville on Facebook or I'm talking to somebody over Skype, well, then I'll be keeping my netbook handy for a while. I'm Dan Ackerman answering the all important question: Is the iPad a netbook killer? >> And there you have it the bottom line, iPad plus smartphone plus netbook equals one really heavy man purse. And that's the tech review for this week everyone. See you next time and thank you for watching. ^M00:15:53 [ Music ] ^M00:15:58