The Latest laptops Video
The Latest laptops Video Transcript
[ Music ] ^M00:00:06
>> Dan Ackerman: It's Editors' Office Hours NYC Edition. I'm Dan Ackerman and we're going to do something a little unusual today. We're going to turn the tables a little bit. We were originally going to have my buddy Justin Ju [assumed spelling] in here to answer your questions about printers and stuff because I think a lot of people have printer questions. "Do you buy cheapy? Do you get the fancy paper? How come none of these things work with Vista?" But unfortunately Justin must have been feeling a little bit nervous about coming in here live because he called in sick today so we had to scramble to find a replacement and I volunteered to have the tables turn on me and instead take audience questions about laptops: my favorite subject. So joining us today is Mark who's going to help out by doing the asking and as a switch I'm going to be doing the answering. So we've got some questions here to start out with Mark and...
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: ...and very briefly we'll just explain to people how they can ask their own questions. If you're watching this live, there's a big white box that's right over here at this side of the screen. Just type in your question. We're going to get it. We're going to answer it. There's also a chat box right down here if you're one of those guys...
>> Mark Licea: Yes.
>> Dan Ackerman: ...who's into like you know web chatting and stuff. So we will kick it all off right now with a first batch of questions. Keep those laptop questions coming. We've got 30 minutes.
>> Mark Licea: Alright, 30 minutes, here goes. Kick it off. First question, what was up with that 300 dollar laptop Wal-Mart had last week?
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay, I remember that. This was actually a big story. You know for Black Friday they always have like door-buster specials at the different stores and stuff so a couple of stores are starting early having kind of pre-Black Friday sales. So Wal-Mart had one I think last week for Saturday for 1 day. And they had some special deals. And one of them was a 298 dollar laptop which you know seems like a pretty good deal. So I wrote a little story about it a day before it went on sale that said what the laptop was and why you maybe should or shouldn't be interested in it because if you're getting a laptop, 300 dollar laptop might be a little -- might be a little suspect especially a Compaq branded one which is the brand HP uses on its consumer side at least to kind of indicate the lower end of the scale. So I just said this is going to be on sale tomorrow. If you're interested check it out. You might want to be a little wary of it. It may not be the perfect computer for everybody. I've never generated more comments from a story before than this story except for maybe "Why do people hate MacBooks?" That one got a lot of comments too but that was kind of comment day right there.
>> Mark Licea: Yeah, 300 dollar laptop is...
>> Dan Ackerman: 300 dollar laptop...
>> Mark Licea: ...kind of cheap.
>>Dan Ackerman: It is kind of cheap.
>> Mark Licea: Just a little bit.
>> Dan Ackerman: So we got a ton of comments on it and I found them hilarious. Some people were defending my position that perhaps you should you know think twice about even dropping 300 bucks on one of these because it just may not be powerful enough to make you happy and do what you want to do. So I actually printed out a few of the comments. Some of them were -- were well thought out. "I wouldn't buy a 300 Compaq," said one commenter "not because of the name but because of their terrible customer service." Okay, but the -- a lot of the comments were resoundingly negative. I'm going to share them with you because I find this [inaudible] great.
>> Mark Licea: Are there people that have actually used the laptop yet or...?
>> Dan Ackerman: Almost everyone who commented claimed they had one and I don't think Wal-Mart even had that many in the stores for all the commenters who have -- to have run down there Saturday morning and got one. So "CNET is losing points daily with me when they show their bias for are against certain manufacturers. My laptop is a Compaq. My desktop is a Compaq. Both run like champs." So a happy Compaq customer there. Next guy says "I have owned 13 Compaqs and recently bought a laptop from them and it was awesome." But if you're going through 13 computers perhaps you want to work on the longevity a little bit there.
>> Mark Licea: Yeah.
>> Dan Ackerman: "Love my new Compaq laptop from Wal-Mart. As a matter of fact, I wish I could have purchased more for friends and family considering they had 100 in stock."
>> Mark Licea: Wow.
>> Dan Ackerman: So a lot of people seem to feel this was the right deal for them. My favorite comment? "Wow Dan Ackerman, you certainly are a horrible person. I can't believe CNET lets a snob like you write for them." So that was the story of the 300 dollar...
>> Mark Licea: Wow.
>> Dan Ackerman: ...Wal-Mart laptop. It was a basic 15 inch Compaq with a Celeron processor. It was definitely 150 to 200 dollars cheaper than you would normally be able to get it. And if you needed a second laptop or a kind of a burner laptop if you will, it was certainly worth a shot if you went down there and you were able to pick it up. I'm sure Wal-Mart and other stores will have similar deals for Black Friday to kind of get you in the store there.
>> Mark Licea: Yeah. [Inaudible] there's not -- there's somewhat of a market for that I guess if you can't afford a laptop from the beginning, then maybe that's kind of a good option? It's better than nothing?
>> Dan Ackerman: You know it's good for surfing the web, checking your email, maybe working on documents...
>> Mark Licea: Normal stuff.
>> Dan Ackerman: ...a little music playback. That's probably about it. Even the Celerons don't do that great with like streaming HD video online so it's a -- that wouldn't be that great. But you know, a lot of people need a secondary laptop or one for the kids or one to leave at you know the country house or something [inaudible].
>> Mark Licea: Maybe it will be this one.
>> Dan Ackerman: And we'll look forward to checking out more of these cheap deals. But I thought that was a great bit of audience interaction there.
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: Alright.
>> Mark Licea: Moving on.
>> Dan Ackerman: What else have we got?
>> Mark Licea: Hi Dan, Mark. I'm Luke. Hello Luke.
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay.
>> Mark Licea: How's it going? Canadian living in the Netherlands. Europe is prohibitively expensive: Apple products no exception. Could you recommend a cheaper laptop that could replace MacBook?
>> Dan Ackerman: A cheaper laptop that could replace the MacBook. Well that's -- you know MacBooks are definitely premium priced items here in the U.S. They start at 1299 and then there's a 1599 13-inch version that's actually the budget 999 version that's kind of the white plastic one that they've had for years. And that's a great low cost option. Also, we recently looked at a 13-inch laptop that was less expensive than the basic MacBooks and pretty darn good, and that was the HP Pavillion DV-3510NR. I got that all out in one breath there. And our buddy Mac Elliot [assumed spelling] reviewed that and the thought it was a great 13-inch MacBook alternative. Thirteen inch laptops are kind of weird because you know they're not as small as ultra portables, they're not as big as 15-inch you know standard mainstream laptops. They're almost that perfect mix of size. To put it another way, I don't think I'd carry around a laptop that was any bigger than 13 inches on a regular basis, nor would I use anything smaller than 13 for like regular everyday computing because it would just be too hard to like use the keyboard and the screen. So it's sort of the size that really hits that sweet spot if you want something you can carry around a lot and also use all day long a lot. So I'm surprised more people don't make 13-inch laptops, but you know MacBooks are [inaudible] number 1 choice. And...
>> Mark Licea: But you're a big fan of this HP DV35...
>> Dan Ackerman: Yeah, the DV3510NR is definitely a good option. Dell also makes the XPS M1330.
>> Mark Licea: This wasn't the editor's choice was it?
>> Dan Ackerman: Did this win an editor's choice? Yes it did.
>> Mark Licea: Yes it did.
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay, so that's something worth checking out and the Dell XPS M1330. I also like that a lot. I think that starts around 999, but you'd probably want to add some options that will make it just as expensive as the MacBook in the long run.
>> Mark Licea: Exciting.
>> Dan Ackerman: Then more people should make 13 inch laptops.
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: It's a [inaudible] good size.
>> Mark Licea: Good size, moving on from an unregistered. Question, "I'm looking for a mini-laptop for personal use mainly. I need it to be able to email work from a PC and do corrections on MS Word and Microsoft Excel sheets, then mail them back without any fuss."
>> Dan Ackerman: So then what he's basically looking for: a mini-laptop which we call a net-book and they want to be able to use you know Microsoft Office and email. And a lot of people ask me actually "What net-book should I get?" The big secret is pretty much all the net-books have exactly the same parts inside. They've all had that Intel atom chip. Almost all of them have 1 gig of RAM. They all have either like a 16 gig solid state hard drive or like a 30 or 60 gig regular platter hard drive. And they've all got the same 9 or 10 inch screens with the same screen resolution. You're basically going to be buying based on price and based on you know any extra features that you want because each net-book out there, they all have like 1 really good feature and they all kind of have one like Achilles' heal feature. For instance, I dragged one in with me here today. This is the Lenovo net-book. And you know, it's the same as all the others. It's got the small keyboard. It's got the 9 inch screen. I like this a lot because it has a mini-express card slot so you can add stuff like a mobile broadband modem and none of the other net-books have that. I also like HP's Mini 1000 that just came out because it has a really big -- they somehow managed to squeeze almost a full size keyboard into it. It's got some other knocks like it only has one audio jack, not a headphone and mic jack, it's got a proprietary little slot in it for some HP memory sticks that they make and that seems kind of pointless. But that big keyboard really sells it. Meanwhile Dell's Mini 9, that's the most configurable because with Dell you just go online and you pick the parts that you want so you know most configurable, the big keyboard, do you want the express card slot? And that's how you kind of decide which net-book you're going to get. But they're all about the same price. And they all have kind of the same components inside. And that seems like a good opportunity to take a quick break and roll our first video for today. And that is a review of the HP Mini 1000, probably currently my favorite net-book right now.
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: So let's take a look. ^M00:08:44 [ Music ] ^M00:08:48
>> Dan Ackerman: I'm Dan Ackerman, Senior Editor at Cnet.com and we are here taking a look at HP's new Mini 1000. Now if you're thinking that HP is getting into the net-book game a little late, they've actually had from their commercial business division a model called the Mini-Note 2133 that kind of looks a lot like this. This new version keeps what we like most about that 2133 namely the kind of wide screen display and this big, gigantic keyboard and this cool kind of elongated touchpad and updates it to an atom processor. Now of course it's made out of plastic so it's easier and that also brings the price down a little bit. So the display -- it's a 10-inch screen. It's got that 16 by 9 aspect ratio so it's nice and wide. It's got that edge to edge glass, kind of like on the new MacBooks. It's a little glary but it's still kind of a nice, sophisticated look for a net-book. The keyboard is the real star here. This thing is just gigantic. It's almost as big as a regular full-size keyboard. They managed to squeeze that in because the system is a little bit wider than most other net-books. Definitely the easiest to use, best net-book keyboard we've seen by far. They've kind of taken the touch pad and done the same thing, stretched it out a little bit, put the mouse buttons on the left and right rather than above it to save a little bit of space. It works fairly well. You might want to turn up the sensitivity a little bit because you don't have a lot of top to bottom space on the touch pad. Not a lot of connections on the Mini 1000. You've got 1, 2 USB ports. You actually have an SATA port which is nice but instead of the separate headphone and mic jacks, you only get 1 jack that you have to set for either headphone or mic use. Unlike a lot of other net-books that have small, solid state hard drives, this guy you can get your choice of a couple different sizes of regular platter driven hard drives. It gives you more space but we prefer the solid state for the heat, for the weight, for the reliability. So that's probably the one thing we're not crazy about. Overall though with the gigantic keyboard and widescreen, it's definitely one of our favorite net-books. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the HP Mini-1000. ^M00:10:42 [ Music ] ^M00:10:45
>> Dan Ackerman: And we are back on Editors' Office Hours. I'm Dan Ackerman. Mark Licea is joining us today to take over my role and ask me the questions. I'm going to answer them. We're kind of flipping the -- we're flipping everything around today. It's crazy. So we've got a lot of question actually. Mark?
>> Mark Licea: Yes we do.
>> Dan Ackerman: Hit me with the next one.
>> Mark Licea: Let's start with a gaming question.
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay.
>> Mark Licea: What is a decent sub 1500 dollar laptop for gaming?
>> Dan Ackerman: Now that's a good question because you know, for gaming on a laptop you used to have to spend a lot of money, get like an Alienware or something fancy like that. And those can go from like 2 thousand dollars to like -- I recently had 6 thousand dollar Alienware system in here. And those are great because they've got SLI, you know twin video cards and you know big hi-resolution screens and everything. However, there are a handful of gaming laptops that are actually pretty inexpensive that they're not going to be super, super top of the line but they're actually really good. Gateway makes a line of laptops now. They started back in March. The latest one is called P7811FX. And they've all had similar you know names to that. You can get them at Best Buy: get them at a few other places. Now this one I think they start at either 1299 or 1350. And this latest version, they've put a G-force 7900 card in there. You know, it's got a fairly decent CPU: not super top of the line but close enough. And they've got you know a 17-inch screen with a full 19 by 12 super hi-end resolution and that can pretty much handle - at least if you keep your expectations modest - any new game out there: you know, Crisis, Far Cry 2. You may not be able to play it at the super highest resolutions, but you're going to do pretty well and they're so cheap -- I said when this came out, I said "I don't understand how Gateway makes money selling these things because they're like 1299." And you know, Best Buy even has them on sale occasionally for less than that. Like back in the spring, they had one of the earlier versions that had the G-Force 7800 card on sale for like 1150 for like a weekend or 2. And I was just like "That's a great deal." So if you need a big desktop replacement that plays games, you don't want to spend a lot of money, Gateway P7811FX is the current version of that line. You really don't need to know anything else.
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: Alright, what else have we got?
>> Mark Licea: [Inaudible] a wealth of knowledge. Here we go. Next question, let's see. "Why are they making 18-inch laptops now?"
>> Dan Ackerman: That's the new size. That's what we're seeing a lot of. You used to have 15-inch and 17-inch. Now we've got a couple of 16-inches and a whole bunch of 18-inches. In fact, we just did a round up of 4 18-inch laptops that's I think on the front page of Cnet.com today. You can also find it on the Laptop Store on CNET. And the reason they're moving to 18-inch laptop is not because they want you to have a bigger, more cinematic experience although that's certainly you know part of it. The guys who make the glass for the laptop screens are the same guys who make the glass for like plasma TV screens. All those HD TV -- you know, LCD and plasma screens, they're 16 by 9. That's the aspect ratio. Laptop screens have always been or you know since we've moved into the widescreen era, they've been 16 by 10, which is a little taller and not quite as wide. So now the guys who made the glass said "Hey listen laptop guys, if you move to 16 by 9 also we can get like an extra panel out of every big sheet of glass that we cut these out of. We'll save money. You'll save money. Everyone's going to be happy." So all the laptop makers - yeah - are getting on board...
>> Mark Licea: Yeah.
>> Dan Ackerman: ...and switching over to 16 by 9 to make the guys who cut the glass happier and squeeze more panels out of a big sheet of glass. The upside is however it works fairly well for us because they 18-inch laptops with the 16 by 9 screens, that matches up perfectly resolution wise and size wise with HD TVs. So if you put a Blu-ray drive in one of these laptops, you'll get a screen that perfectly matched to that Blu-ray drive or if you're watching HD content that you download online. Now the catch is obviously these are even bigger than desktop replacement 17-inch laptops. They're positively huge. I brought one in here for you just so you can see. Here you go Mark. There you go.
>> Mark Licea: That's pretty...
>> Dan Ackerman: That's a pretty big laptop isn't it?
>> Mark Licea: What is your personal preference on this? Do you think it's a little too big or...?
>> Dan Ackerman: I like them because I've got a big desk and I can just sit one on there. This is an 18-inch laptop right here.
>> Mark Licea: That's a whole lot of [inaudible].
>> Dan Ackerman: This one actually doesn't have a Blu-ray drive. This is a Cosmeo but it's the only one we've seen that doesn't. HP has one called the HZX18. Sony's got the AW Series. And Acer actually has a couple of these. And I think they're a lot of fun. If you want like a home theater kind of experience but slightly mobile, an 18-inch laptop with a Blu-ray drive you definitely can't go wrong with that. And they all have HD [inaudible] outputs for you know sending the signal to your big TV if you just want to use the Blu-ray drive.
>> Mark Licea: Maybe a little too big for the plane though?
>> Dan Ackerman: It might be a little too big for coach: first class, no problem. Coach you might have a -- and the battery life is probably like a you know 50 minutes or something.
>> Mark Licea: I guess if you're rocking one of those you probably would be in first class anyway, so...
>> Dan Ackerman: You probably would be in first class. I'd like to think so.
>> Mark Licea: Yeah.
>> Dan Ackerman: But expect to see more and more of these 18-inch laptops and even 16-inch laptops with the 16 by 9 aspect ratio next year. Pretty much everyone's going to start moving in that direction.
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: Let's get another question.
>> Mark Licea: Moving on. Next question. "What are the Blue Label laptops that they have at Best Buy?"
>> Dan Ackerman: That's a new program that Best Buy's actually started to get their own versions of laptops from the big manufacturers and sell them in their store exclusively. Basically, what a big chain like Best Buy does in this case is they talk to their customers and they say "Hey, what kind of laptops would you buy from us if we had them in the store? What features do you want?" And then they take that feedback, they go to you know HP and Toshiba and those guys and they say "Listen, this is what our customers want. You make us a laptop that has this stuff and we'll stock it and sell it and it will be exclusive just for us." And the call this program the Blue Label Program. And there's a Toshiba model that came out like that and an HP model and they're actually pretty good. And it's an interesting way for a retail brick and mortar store to get something different than you can just get online directly from the manufacturer. And you know, if you keep your customer feedback, go into the stores, tell them what you want, they go to the manufacturers and get them to include the parts you want like back-lit keyboards for instance or better battery life, I think everybody wins. And the Blue Label ones in particular are from Best Buy. I think that's the only place you can find those.
>> Mark Licea: Do you think that's sort of like the lowest common knockdown [inaudible] of features that people want?
>> Dan Ackerman: I thought so at first but people really ask for some interesting high end stuff like back-lit keyboards which is something that I find incredibly useful and I'm surprised that more laptops don't have. I think it's a good way for sort of the silent majority to get what they want in laptops because Toshiba might not have known that that was a big priority for people unless a big consumer retail outlet like Best Buy went out and solicited that information and took it to them.
>> Mark Licea: Alright. Moving on, let's see. Next question.
>> Dan Ackerman: Scroll around, see what else we've got.
>> Mark Licea: Let's see what else is going on here in the -- wow, there's a lot of questions.
>> Dan Ackerman: There you go, how about that one?
>> Mark Licea: Alright, here we go. From Pacgamer [assumed spelling].
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay.
>> Mark Licea: "Sorry if this was already covered. Do you truly believe that Windows 7 will be able to run perfectly on a net-book?"
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay, so people have been talking about Windows 7: the next version of Windows that hopefully we'll see before too long. When you buy a net-book now, most of the time they come loaded with Windows XP because people think that Vista is too intense of an operating system: too resource heavy to run on the atom processor and usually small hard drives, small amount of RAM in these systems. People are hopeful that net-books would be able to run Windows 7. Nothing I've seen so far indicates that that's the case. It seems Windows 7 is very Vista like. There is one net-book - a quasi net-book - out right now that runs Vista Basic. And that is Dell's new 12-inch net-book which is technically too big to be a net-book but what they did was they took the basic components from net-book and just shoved it in a slightly bigger 12-inch body instead of a 9 or 10-inch body. But people are saying that the Vista doesn't really run that great and they're waiting for Dell to add XP to that 12-inch net-book which they're apparently going to do very soon. So I would not hold out any great hope for Windows 7 to run great on net-books. I think we'll be using XP on those for a long time to come. And Microsoft keeps extending the life of XP specifically for these net-books.
>> Mark Licea: Yeah, my desktop at home runs Vista.
>> Dan Ackerman: You'd rather go back to XP?
>> Mark Licea: I just can't imagine it running too well on a net-book let alone Windows 7 which you said is very Vista-like.
>> Dan Ackerman: Well these -- I mean we joke around about them but they're actually incredibly popular. They're selling a ton of these now. I looked on Amazon a couple weeks ago which is just a good place to look up sales -- you know, like what's selling better than everybody else because they have nice charts there. If you looked under laptops, like the top 20 best selling laptops - and you know, again Amazon is not representative of the entire industry but for them - with 18 out of the top 20 were net-books of one form or another.
>> Mark Licea: That's crazy. People like their net-books.
>> Dan Ackerman: That's true, that's true. You know what? Let's take a fast break and check out one more video while we're waiting for more questions to come in. And we went with a net-book the first time. This is going to be a large 18-inch laptop: the ones we were just talking about. This is one of my favorites, the Sony 18-inch which is the cheapest 18-inch Blu-ray laptop that we've looked at. Let's check it out. ^M00:19:42 [ Music ] ^M00:19:45
>> Dan Ackerman: I'm Dan Ackerman here with Sony's Vaio AW125. Now this system is part of a trend that we're liking a lot and seeing a lot of this year and that is the 18-inch laptop. Now how is an 18-inch laptop really different than a 17-inch laptop? Well the screens which are 18 inches diagonally are a little bit wider but also a little bit shorter than your average 17-inch desktop replacement screen. And that's because these screens have a 16 by 9 aspect ratio instead of 16 by 10 which is what we usually see on traditional laptop screens. Sixteen by 9 is very important because that is the same aspect ratio as HD TV and of course formats like Blu-ray. Now the AW125 has a lot of the design hallmarks we've come to associate with Sony's Vaio line. It's got kind of the minimalist understated design usually in kind of a darker color. It's got the flat, widely spaced keys that are kind of like the ones on a MacBook. And it's got the big rounded hinge. It's got the AC adapter connection on one side and the actual power button on the other side. So this model includes a Blu-ray drive which is a good thing because it's got a 1920 by 1080 screen resolution which is exactly the same as the resolution on your 1080P HD TV. And we were pleased to find that out of the Blu-ray equipped 18-inch laptops we've looked at so far, the Sony was surprisingly the cheapest by a couple hundred bucks. And that's pretty surprising when you think of Vaio as more of a high end brand. But of course it wouldn't be a Sony without some of that proprietary Sony stuff the company is so well known for. Besides and SD card slot and a compact flash card slot which is kind of cool, it's also got a memory stick slot. And of course it comes preloaded with tons of Sony's proprietary media software. They tend to try to kind of recreate every software package out there as their own Sony branded version. So if you're looking for a Blu-ray equipped portable home theater in that new and exciting 18-inch size, we were kind of pleasantly surprised by this model's just a little bit cheaper than the competition's price tag. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the Sony Vaio AW125. ^M00:21:43 [ Music ] ^M00:21:45
>> Dan Ackerman: And we are back again with Editors' Office Hours. Dan Ackerman, Mark Licea here asking the questions. I'm answering them: kind of a switch up from how we usually do things. Keep your laptop questions coming in. We've got about 5 minutes left to answer a few of them. Let's jump right in and go for the lightening round.
>> Mark Licea: Let's jump right in. Here we go. "Is Apple thinking of making a more affordable laptop?"
>> Dan Ackerman: That is always the question. We definitely get that question very often, especially when Apple's going to have one of their big you know pressy [assumed spelling] show-off events where Steve Jobs comes out and he presents all the you know new stuff to people. For the last round, everyone thought that because of the recession and stuff and the holiday season coming up, they were going to have some sort of budget MacBook style laptop or maybe an Apple net-book. Obviously that's not what happened. And it makes sense too because you know we're all thinking about cheaper products right now, but when you make a new laptop you've got to start the process you know like 2 years before and plan out what your -- you know what you want to have. So a year and a half, 2 years ago they didn't realize we were all going to be you know bargain hunting this season because of economic problems. They did however say "Oh, we'll take the older version. We'll keep it on the market at 999" which is still not you know a budget machine but under a thousand dollars for a MacBook: that's still not bad. I don't see Apple moving into the kind of low end net-book market anytime soon. They tend to like to pick a handful of price points and stick with them. But what they usually do is instead of lowering the prices on their older products, they kind of keep the prices the same but keep upgrading the components and stuff to keep the prices steady.
>> Mark Licea: Alright. So next question.
>> Dan Ackerman: Next question.
>> Mark Licea: "Is the MacBook Touch" -- oh scrolling is going on without me -- here we go. "Is the MacBook Touch Pad going to be an issue?"
>> Dan Ackerman: People have been...
>> Mark Licea: A lot of people have been asking this question, yes.
>> Dan Ackerman: People have been asking about that. The new MacBook and the new MacBook Pro both have a really big touch pad on them. They've gotten rid of that one single kind of button bar.
>> Mark Licea: And you've played around with it.
>> Dan Ackerman: I have been extensively.
>> Mark Licea: What is your opinion of the TouchPad?
>> Dan Ackerman: There's parts of it I like: parts that I'm not crazy about. What they did was they built like a really big touchpad in there, took off that little button there so the whole TouchPad is a button. You just go click, click like that.
>> Mark Licea: Just one big button.
>> Dan Ackerman: And click down on the entire thing. You can also do more of those gestures, you know like you the 2 fingers for scrolling, the 3 fingers for back and forth, and 4 fingers for clearing off the desktop and you know hiding all your applications. I find that pretty useful. I always go in when I use a Mac and turn on the tapping which is turned off by default and probably really shouldn't be. That's one kind of misstep that Apple makes there because you have to go into the preferences and turn on tapping so you can just tap on the touchpad like you would on a touchpad on a PC laptop instead of clicking down on it. So I use the new MacBook all the time but I never click on the button. I just one tap or a left click 2 taps you know, 2 fingers for a right click that's works fine for me. Some people are complaining that one, it's not responsive enough when they click down on the entire button or two, they click down on it and the clicking is really loud. They find it distracting. So I can definitely see those problems. I avoid that by not clicking at all. I would have preferred that Apple make the entire touchpad just one flat pad that doesn't click at all. I think it's a little bit awkward. I think in their next revision they'll probably either bring back the button or some sort or just go for an all you know flat touchpad, no clicking thing, and just turn on the tapping and get everyone used to you know the actual finger tapping, which is what most of do with laptops anyway. I don't know anybody who just sits there and clicks on the tiny buttons on a laptop.
>> Mark Licea: Yeah. Do you think that setting in the preferences for the new MacBooks is something that like people have overlooked?
>> Dan Ackerman: People generally know it's there. It they're moving over from the PC side where they're used to that being turned on by default...
>> Mark Licea: Yeah.
>> Dan Ackerman: ...a lot of native Mac users I know -- I just see them always click it on either the button or clicking on the thing on the new MacBooks and I find that a little surprising actually. It takes me awhile to get used to it. Or when I use somebody else's MacBook. This just happened, I was over at somebody's house and I was using her MacBook for a second and I was like "I can't tap on it. What's going on? Oh wait a minute, I've got to click on the button."
>> Mark Licea: Yeah.
>> Dan Ackerman: Because I didn't have tapping turned on. I personally would turn it on but I'm not Steve Jobs.
>> Mark Licea: Alright.
>> Dan Ackerman: I think we've got time for 1 more question because it's 2:59 and I saw one right here that you're not going to ask. I'm going to ask it for you. And it said something to the effect of "How did your MTI nickname come about?"
>> Mark Licea: Yes.
>> Dan Ackerman: Mark you used to be known as MTI...
>> Mark Licea: MTI.
>> Dan Ackerman: And I'm here to reveal that that stood for "Mark the Intern" because you started off here as an intern.
>> Mark Licea: I started off as an intern. I actually still go by MTI when I'm on The 404.
>> Dan Ackerman: Okay, okay.
>> Mark Licea: I try to remember my roots.
>> Dan Ackerman: However, now we refer to you as "Mark the full time employee."
>> Mark Licea: Yes.
>> Dan Ackerman: But that would be kind of a longer, a little awkward...
>> Mark Licea: But the acronym's -- it's a little long yeah. So we just stick with MTI because it's plain and simple.
>> Dan Ackerman: I think that's a good way to close out our laptop discussion for today.
>> Mark Licea: It's a great way, yes.
>> Dan Ackerman: I think we answered a lot of questions. So hopefully it's very helpful to people. Check back with Editors' Office Hours everyday: that's Cnet.com/eoh. I'm not sure who's coming up tomorrow but I believe Thursday our buddy Josh Goldman is going to be here in New York talking about computer -- no talking about stocking stuffers for photographers. So cool little things you can get for the digital photographer on your list. You can of course catch Office Hours everyday. You can catch periodically. [Inaudible] is going to be tomorrow in San Francisco with our buddy Brian Tong. Thank you Rich. You can catch Mark periodically on The 404.
>> Mark Licea: Occasionally on The 404.
>> Dan Ackerman: Occasionally.
>> Mark Licea: Occasionally Unloaded.
>> Dan Ackerman: [Inaudible] video stuff and of course Digital City: our weekly podcast about urban technology stuff; that's digitialcity.cnet.com. New episode every Monday.
>> Mark Licea: It's a good podcast.
>> Dan Ackerman: Thank you, thank you. For Mark Licea, I'm Dan Ackerman, we will see you next time. ^M00:27:17 [ Music ]
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