CNET Tech Review
Who's Xooming who?This week on the CNET Tech Review: take a look back at the week that was CES 2011, and old iPhones come to a new carrier.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, CES 2011 has come and gone and we've got the highlights, including our pick for Best of Show, plus the iPhone comes to Verizon, finally. 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 tech wisdom in the form of the Bottom Line. Let's get started with The Good. We're all still recovering from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year but I have to say the Super Bowl of tech was back and bigger than ever, and we did it upright. Here's Brian Tong with the behind-the-scenes look at our CES home away from home, the CNET stage. -Hey, guys. Brian Tong here with CNET.com. We are here in Las Vegas at CES 2011. As you can see behind me, this is our booth. It's coming together but what we wanna do is give you a sneak peek behind-the-scenes exclusive pass to how we make the show, make the sausage, and everything that's happening behind us so why don't you guys come over here and first up, you can see, you know, we got a lot of boxes. Everybody's moving things. If we come down through this little fish bowl, this is our editing bay. Now, over here, these are all of our editors and our producers. They're gonna be working hard on content. All the videos that you see throughout the week, they're gonna be working on. Everybody say hi. See? -Hi. -They don't even expect it. They're so busy, alright. So now we're gonna come down here. A lot of the stuff that we're gonna do here also is live content coming to you and one of the cool little toys that we have here is these are our live streaming backpacks. This is like a satellite truck on your back, of course, that we'll be taking behind the scenes on the floor. When you see cables in the screen like that, that means it's important, but what we have is I'll be on the floor and we'll be throwing to me anywhere that you guys wanna see as we're covering some of the biggest booths, some of the sweetest products. If you guys have something that you want me to go to, I'm kind of at your control. You can tweet me, @brian_tong, and we'll show you what is happening on the CES floor to really give you a real feel, live, unedited, of what's happening out there so this is gonna be a big key part of what we do at CES 2011. Now we're gonna keep on walking this way through the edit bay. I'm gonna take you kind of to the lounge/hangout area so let's just go over here. And when we walk through here, this is where, you don't see it all the time but there will be people sprawled out on these couches. This is early-- everyone-- this is where you rest your feet, kick your feet up, and here is the good stuff. You know, we all need food during CES 2011. We have our granola bars. This is one of my favorite little sweet and spicy mix, and also Orbitz gum. This is important because you talk to a lot of people and those PR reps, they get in your face, you might need to give them one of these just to help you out. Alright, also, check it out over here, our little fridge with all of the beverages you can dream of. We have Gatorade. We've got the water, we've got the Diet Coke. Everything to keep you dehydr-- okay, hydrated. Alright, alright. There's my producer, Sara. She's gonna keep me moving, here we go. Over here now, we're gonna head into our control room. This is where all the magic happens, all of our video content is pumped through here. Here's our directors board. Up and down. See? Now even I can be a director and then also this is the power of the megaphone. Hey, can we get a little tighter on camera 1? Thank you. This is power right here. Now, all of our live content will be pumped through this studio here. We're talking about Buzz Out Loud, our daily podcast with myself and Molly Wood, the 404 boys will be doing their thing, Natali Morris will also be bringing you Loaded with all the news, recapped from the day before as well as some of the newest things in the morning, and also all of our First Looks. We're talking about all the gadgets and gizmos that you came to CNET to see us cover. And we also have some other big events that we're doing. One of them is called The Next Big Thing. This is a panel where you have a lot of luminaries in the tech world talking about what is the next emerging trend of 2011. This year, it's beyond the computer because internet services are everywhere. Where is that technology taking us moving forward in 2011 and beyond? And finally, what everyone comes here for, is the CES 2011 Best of CES winners. Now, the nominees and candidates will be announced on Friday then we're gonna take it up all the way to this big stage on Saturday with Brian Cooley. He'll be hosting the Best of CES Award winners. That's what everyone is here for but, overall, we're doing great things, bigger, brighter things with our huge LED screens and all of our content here at CNET. Now you can check out all of our live content at CNET.com/live. We'll be pumping through that 24/7. You can even take a look at our little spy cam. Yeah, late at night, if you wanna see what we're doing and what creepy things are happening in Las Vegas at the CNET stage, yeah, you'll see them all there. So, thanks for hanging with us. This is our backstage pass of everything that CNET's doing at CES 2011 and we'll see you here. -I cannot confirm or deny whether any creepy things happened at the CNET stage late at night, only that a lot of quality programming did occur. And the rest stays in Vegas. Moving on, as Brian mentioned, CNET gives out the official Best of CES Awards every year at the show in a whole slew of categories. Now here are the winners in Design, Smartphones, and Gaming. -Hey, I'm Josh Goldman, senior editor with CNET and I'm here at CES 2011 taking a look at the Casio Tryx. Now, redesigning a camera body is a little tough. You know, it's been a box design since day 1 pretty much but Casio seems to have done that with the Tryx. The display flips out and rotates a full 360 degrees and rotates this way and that 270 degrees. That rotation allows you to shoot left handed or right handed, thanks to an orientation sensor built into the camera. Now to get this really slim, cool, ultra compact form factor, they had to ditch the optical zoom on this so it's just digital but you do get a 21-mm ultra, ultra wide angle lens. It also shoots in full HD video and you'll notice there's pretty much a complete lack of physical controls on this camera. That's because it's using a 3-inch high-res touchscreen display and because of that swiveled display, you're able to position it in different ways so you can hang it from things to shoot, stick it on a tabletop to shoot, so, again, while it is pretty tough to break away from the traditional camera design, it seems like Casio's done that with the Tryx. I'm Josh Goldman, CES 2011, and this is the Casio Tryx. -Hi, I'm Kent German, senior editor at CNET.com. I'm here at CES 2011 in Las Vegas and I wanna show you a couple new products from Motorola. First is the Motorola ATRIX 4G. Now, this is one of AT&T's first 4G phones. It runs on HSPA+ so that is a 4G but AT&T will be coming out with its LTE network later in the year but, for all intents and purposes, it is 4G right now. We weren't expecting AT&T to announce 4G devices so they took us a little bit by surprise but really glad to see it. Now, this is a dual-core phone so that does mean that it does have two 1 GHz processors. Now, it's interesting because this is the Motorola first and it's definitely a first for a US carrier. I'm a little concerned about how this dual core processors might affect battery life but we'll have to see. Otherwise, it features what you'd expect for an Android phone. There's 5-megapixel camera, plenty of multimedia, office productivity apps, personal organizer, all those Google applications, assisted GPS so pretty basic. One thing that's really interesting is it comes-- you can get a Motorola laptop dock. Now this is a brand new dock. It was just announced today. we actually had no idea about it. Now you might-- it looks like a laptop and that's exactly the point but it doesn't do anything unless you actually take the phone and you plug it into these ports here in the back so, I'll go ahead and do that and it'll take just a second, but what this is is it basically brings your phone and brings it into a larger screen so everything you do on the phone, from watching videos to browsing the web to using your e-mail, to sending messages. It's just inputted on this larger screen so you can play games and you can do really whatever you want. I know a lot-- probably you'll ask, well, what's really the point? It's just the point is is everything you can do on your phone, makes it a little bit more comfortable, you have a nice large screen, there's not that eye strain in looking at a small phone, especially if you're watching movies and videos over a long period. It does-- it is supposed to have an 8-hour battery life, the Motorola laptop dock, so that means you could use them on a pretty long plane ride, load a bunch of movies in the phone and you're good to go. Full keyboard, pretty basic instruction. No parts or anything to talk about. It's really just about plugging that phone in. You can also get an HDMI dock and why that is you can put the phone in, run it through an HDMI cable, it goes directly to your TV and you can watch any videos you want on your TV or any kind of other monitor so there's really some interesting products that Motorola has done with this. Again, it's a dual-core phone, runs on AT&T's new HSPA+ network. That is a growing network so we don't know much about it yet but will be out in 2011, probably mid-2011, but this is a pretty interesting phone and I love these accessories. I'm Kent German here at CES 2011 with the Motorola ATRIX 4G and the Motorola laptop dock. -Hey, what's going on, everyone? I'm Jeff Bakalar from CNET.com. We're here live at CES 2011. I'm here with the Nintendo 3DS. This is our first look at the device. It comes out in March. We don't have a price yet but it is the successor to the Nintendo DSi and the Nintendo DS slate. It does 3D gaming. If you notice, the top screen here displays a 3D image without the need for 3D glasses. Pretty incredible. Below is a standard touchscreen. On the back, two camera lenses allow you to take 3D photographs which is really cool. Talking more about the 3D screen, it has a 3D slide adjuster so you can customize the 3D effect. You can make it more intense or even eliminate it altogether. It's backwards compatible with Nintendo DS games which is really cool so you can play those old games and it's gonna be using-- doing something called Street Pass which allows this to communicate with other 3DSs that you pass by on the street or in your home. We don't know all the details about that yet but we hope to find out more in mid-January. In terms of size, the 3DS is similar to what you see on the DS Lite and it has a very nice weight to it as well. Up front is a headphone port. Up front also is an analog stick and then a D-pad below that and then the conventional 4 buttons that we're all used to on Nintendo portables. That's gonna do it for the 3DS here at CES 2011. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. Thanks for watching. -Now Nintendo was not the only one showing off glasses-free 3D displays at CES this year. It's definitely a big trend and we saw glasses-free 3D TVs from LG, Sony, and Toshiba. Good news for those of us who like to watch TV without accessories. We also let you, the people, vote in our little award show and the People's Voice Award is always a cool look at the thing that grabbed your attention. This year, your attention was rightly grabbed by what could be the smallest, coolest gaming PC ever. -This is one of the most wild looking laptops here. It's so tiny. It is the Razer Switchblade. I'm gonna turn around here so you can see it. This is also a concept piece. It is a tiny Intel Atom-powered laptop from Razer designed for playing PC games so you can plug a mouse into it. It has a keyboard and I'm gonna tilt it up a little bit so you can see the keyboard. Each keyboard key is actually a little tiny display. There's actually a display under here that gives you a custom keyboard based on what you're doing. Now, I'm going to attempt to very quickly launch a game right here and this is a-- it's a concept piece. It's not gonna hit the stores any time soon. Who knows how much it'll cost, who knows what the components will be, but showing that you can actually get a kind of gaming PC into a little clamshell design and add cool stuff to it that actually makes it usable like customizable keyboards, I think that's worth looking at and everyone has been very excited to check this out in person. -It's a remarkable idea. It's also unusual because usually you think of a gaming laptop as being a 17-pound Alienware or Dell XPS. This, I mean-- -Or people just playing very casual games on their simple PCs-- -Exactly, or having portable gaming-- -Now I got the Warcraft-style keys on here. If you look at the keyboard, it's actually changed to Warcraft-style font on the key-- -Nice. -So there we go, that's the Razer Switchblade and I think it's a super cool concept. Who knows if we'll actually ever see it but I think it-- -This is a Best of CES finalist, yeah. -It comes off looking really nice. I believe it is. -Yep. -Not bad for an ultra-mobile PC/portable gaming device/thingy. We'll see if that ever comes to the real world. One thing that is coming to the real world with a bang is our CES Best of Show winner. This is the gadget that wowed our CNET editors the most, although it won by the slimmest margin ever. It's the...well, check it out. -Hey, everybody, I'm Molly Wood from CNET.com here at CES 2011 with a very special first look. This is our CES 2011 Best of Show winner, the Motorola Xoom tablet so I thought I would give it the full Best of CES first-look treatment. Now, there were a lot of tablets. By some reports, as many as 50 tablets announced here at CES and from some big names, LG, Toshiba, and of course, Motorola so what makes this one so special? Well, first off, I have to say it's partly the design. This is absolutely beautiful. It's sexy. It's lighter than the iPad but it has a slightly bigger display, a 10.1-inch display running at 1280 X 800 resolution so really nice, high-res, glossy, bright screen. Now, one of the things that makes this tablet so appealing is that it's running Google's Honeycomb operating system. That's the version of Android that is specifically optimized for tablets and I have to say, we found it very user-friendly, very tablet-friendly, really a good touchscreen interface that made this, frankly, just a joy to use. It's also running a Tegra 2 dual core processor with 1 gig of RAM so it's got some pretty serious horsepower under the hood here, plus there's plenty of onboard storage. It has 32 gigs of onboard storage with an SD card slot that's expandable to 32 gigs more so you can get potentially 64 gigs of storage on here, pretty much all the movies and music that you're ever going to want. Speaking of photos, this has another iPad killer feature, dual cameras. There's a 2-megapixel camera in the front, a 5-megapixel camera on the back, that's another thing that the iPad lacks, as you know, and, of course, there is support for Flash 10.1. All in all, a very powerful, very attractive, comfortable little tablet. We are expecting to see this guy in the first quarter of 2011. There's no pricing information yet but they're saying it will be competitive so we're thinking that's code for $500 to $700? We'll see when it finally comes out, and there you have it. I'm Molly Wood from CNET.com with a first look at our Best of CES show winner, the Motorola Xoom tablet. -Congratulations to Motorola on the Xoom and congrats to all of our Best of CES award recipients. You can find that complete list of winners, all the finalists, and everything else CES-related over at CNET.com. And right now we're gonna take a quick break but we will be right back with more Tech Review in just a minute. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly digest of all things Good and Bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the Good. Before we even had a chance to catch our breath from CES, it was time to turn our attention to more Verizon iPhone rumors, except this time, the rumors are true. -Well, here it is, your Verizon iPhone, the ever elusive iPhone running on Verizon's CDMA network. It was announced today in New York. Well, it's exactly what we thought which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's been a lot of pent up demand for an iPhone on Verizon and that's exactly what we got today but there are a few little disappointments. There's no GSM chip in it so that means it's not a world phone and it's not LTE so it's not on the super fast network, but that might mean that the battery life is pretty good, or at least the same as what you can get on the iPhone 4 on AT&T's network. A couple of details about it. It's gonna cost $199 for the 16-gig model, $299 for the 32-gig model. It will launch on February 10th for everyone. If you're an existing Verizon customer, however, it will launch on February 3rd for preorder so you'll get yours before everyone else does. One of the cool things about the Verizon version of the iPhone is that it allows for tethering of up to 5 devices. That means you can use the iPhone to send data to your tablet or your laptop or any other device you wanna get on the internet. So if you go to the Settings menu, you see that one of the first setting options is Personal Hotspot so you click this, you turn it on, and you can connect to another device using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB. One possible drawback of this phone is that the CDMA network doesn't allow for voice calls at the same time as you're using the data which could be a limitation. The hardware of this phone is very similar to the AT&T version, although there is this one seam along the top which could be an antenna seam which could prevent the problems that the iPhone 4 had with dropped calls because the antenna was along the bottom. One other hardware difference is there's no SIM card slot. One thing we don't know is pricing plan so that hotspot tethering that we're so excited about could cost more. We don't know and they won't say just yet. Otherwise, it looks just like an iPhone 4. It's just a new name and a new network. iPhone 4 on Verizon at long last. For CNET News, I'm Natali Morris. -What a relief, although we do need a new iPhone rumor now. While you're working on thinking of one, let's check out the Bad. It's bad news for AT&T all the way around. Not only did they lose the exclusive on the iPhone, they're in for at least a year of journalists and consumers gloating about their better Verizon network. Witness the first of many fairly unscientific speed tests. -Hey, everyone, Bonnie Cha from CNET.com here at the Verizon iPhone launch event and I'm sure one of the big questions on your mind is which network is actually faster, AT&T and Verizon. Turns out we've got both phones here so we're gonna do a little speed test and let's see who comes out on top. So we are gonna pull up the full New York Times page and see which ones comes out faster. Ready? Set, go. Looks like Verizon's winning so far. Here we go. New York Times is up on the Verizon network. AT&T just pulled in there. That was actually a significant difference between the two web pages. Verizon, it's almost instantaneous whereas AT&T just finished loading the page. So that was our speed test on the iPhone for AT&T and Verizon. Obviously, that's just one test. We'll do more extensive testing once we get the phone in for review and you'll be able to check out the full review at CNET.com. -Now, yes, we know it was a Verizon event and there aren't any iPhones on that network yet and there were probably Verizon Femtocells stashed under every desk, but still, that's gotta hurt AT&T just a little. Maybe there are some good news waiting for us in the Bottom Line? Turning our attention back to CES, the show made a huge comeback this year. It was bigger and badder than ever, and I have to say, even the announcements and the tech delivered, especially after some seriously slow years, so let's wrap up our Best of CES Awards as sort of a taste of what's to come in 2011. -Brian Tong here with CNET.com at CES 2011 and we are here right before the Best of CES 2011 Award Show. Right behind me. This is what they look like. We have our editors scouring the floor to find out what are the best products. We have 13 different award categories, the People's Choice winner, and the Best of Show. This is what it looks like and this is what they're all here for. -And the winner of the Best of CES Award in the Design category is...the Casio Tryx. -This is a great, great, great pleasure, for Casio because this is a new year and this is a great gift and, of course, thank you very much, thank you. -The winner in that Digital Imaging category is...the Sony Handicam HDR-PJ series. -It's so exciting. It's kinda solving the problem of, you know, you never have the cable with you or the TV doesn't have the right inputs. You show it on the side of your wall or your T-shirt or the side of your tent. It's a perfect application for sharing everything with everyone anywhere. -We're so excited. We're just fortunate to be here for another year and we're-- I just can't express how excited we are, thank you. -The winner in the Home Theater category is...the ultra compact Samsung BD-D7000. -Our Blu-ray player, it's beyond just playing discs but, you know, Samsung Apps, getting, you know, access to networking your player to other devices and, you know, we're trying to do more and offer more to the consumer. -Now, let's be honest, the way that extracts the disc is kinda slick. -Oh, yeah, yeah. Our design team really worked on making it very compact, putting only the essentials in there and providing you a cool way to put your disc in. -Thank you, thank you. -Alright, the winner in the Software, Services, and Apps category is...RealNetworks Unify. -How does it feel to be a Best of CES winner? -It is fabulous. We worked so hard and we've identified a problem that everybody has. A lot of apps, a lot of devices, a lot of stuff scattered all over the place and we found a way to literally unify it so we're thrilled with the award. It's a validation of all of our work. Thank you. -The winner in the Storage and Networking category is...that ioSafe Rugged portable drive. You want to protect your media? Yeah. This one is just about bulletproof and our editors know because they watched it get shot, with a shotgun. -This is pretty much indestructible. -Not indestructible but it's a pretty tough drive. We put it through the paces during the demo. Don came out and we dunked it, we crushed it, we tried to shoot it with a shotgun and it just kept on going so thanks for having this award and we really appreciate CNET and everything you guys do to help us and technology in general. -So, the winner in the 2011 Best of CES People's Voice Award winner this year is...give it to the Razer. -Switchblade. -This is the People's Choice Award, this is what everyone watching CES outside of here feels. How does it feel to take this award home? -I'm gonna cry. You know, we've been trying to do this for 5 years. We were nominated, we didn't win, we didn't win, we didn't win, it's a long walk up and down. It's just-- Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Amazing. Just amazing. -The winner of the 2011 Best of CES Best of Show Award is...the Motorola Xoom. -It's been amazing. I mean, we took big risks and, you know, it paid off. It paid off. We didn't know if people would get it but obviously they got it. -So, for this, for the whole Motorola and for the project team so the people, the Motorola people who've been working so hard on this show and all of those that have been staying in the back, actually continuing to work to bring the next level of experiences and bring these ones to market. It's just an immense recognition. I am very thankful to the whole team here. It's very encouraging for us. It means we are doing the right things. -So there you have it, all our winners of the Best of CES Award Show here at CES 2011. Motorola coming out strong, not only taking the Smartphone category, the Tablet category, and, obviously, the Best of CES in Show. So there you have it. All the winners. We'll see you guys next year at CES. The Bottom Line this week, tech is back, baby. Judging from CES, the Verizon iPhone, and all the other product-related announcements that are coming out in the next couple of weeks, it's gonna be a fun year in consumer electronics, and we will be along for the ride right there with you, but that's it for this time, folks. Come back next week for a brand new CNET Tech Review including highlights from the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at CNETtv.com. I'll see you next time and thank you for watching.