CNET Gotham may be over, but we've got some of the best laptops and tech toys from the week-long event right here. Also, a quick hands-on with the new Kindle Fire tablet, and we run the new PS3-branded 24-inch 3DTV from Sony through some tests.
In the CNET Labscast this week, Scott reports back from the Nook Tablet launch event; we check out Samsung's new Series 7 laptops and slates; and the great debate on video game subtitles gets a little heated.
Note that CNET Gotham, our NYC-based pop-up store, opens this week, and you can catch all of us there at various times. Check gotham.cnet.com for a schedule of events.
It's the last thing you'd think gamers would nearly come to blows about, but a recent debate in the CNET Labs over video game subtitles became surprisingly heated. We've boiled down the basics of the two competing views, and decided to put it up for an unofficial vote.
Joseph: I personally like to leave subtitles on. Here's why:Force of habit. Voice acting may suck and you'd rather read than listen. Comprehension of the story is easier for some if they are able to read it. Sometimes the music and sound effects get really loud and overpower what might be some pivotal dialogue. Those rare occasions when a game will glitch and not play the character dialogue. Accents can be hard to understand. It's easier for the hearing-impaired, or if you need to keep the volume low.
I've been a big fan of Samsung's laptop designs, going back to the QX401 last year. While I had spent extensive time with the sleek Series 9 and diminutive Series 3, I was away on vacation when the Series 7 was first introduced. Now that one has arrived at CNET's offices, it seemed like a good time to do a quick first take, based on my first few minutes with the laptop.
Sleek metal: clean cut, brushed lines, very solid. The Series 7 is more impressive than I expected, more along the lines of an Apple MacBook Pro, and the way the HP Envy looked to our eyes for the first time. It's also a wide laptop, but that keyboard goes edge to edge. … Read more
Android fans, assemble! Crave UK has gone hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, so hit play on the video above to check out the very first phone to run Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google's Android operating system.
Siri has been the subject of Apple's ad campaigns for the iPhone 4S. It's been discussed in terms of its one-liners and its Easter eggs, its cloud-based accomplishments and its similarity to services Android already offers.
That's all fine, but it's ignoring the obvious question: what are you really, truly going to use Siri for?
My iPhone 4S arrived on October 14, 10 days ago. I upgraded from my iPhone 4 mainly because my wife's iPhone introduced itself to an open toilet, and I passed my iPhone on to her. After a few days of use, I could see why Siri was being so heralded; honestly, it's hard to observe improvements on the iPhone 4S versus the 4 otherwise, unless you're using the camera.
After a good week or so, this is what's impressed me the most:… Read more
See what's happening in the CNET Labs this week, as we test Microsoft's Wireless Racing Wheel for Xbox and the iPad's new split keyboard, and take a look at the latest superslim ultrabook laptops.
The Razr is back, and it's better than ever. Motorola has done the smartest thing it's done in years with the Droid Razr, which combines sheer Droid brawn with the legacy of Razr design.
We had the opportunity to get hands-on with the phone, and we can't deny that the Droid Razr's ultralight design has an immediate wow factor. We picked it up and were stunned at how skinny it was--it's 7.1mm (0.28 inch) thin, to be exact, which makes it the thinnest smartphone so far, according to Motorola. It's also correspondingly lightweight, at only 127 grams (4.5 ounces).
But that doesn't mean the phone is a fragile thing to be coddled. The Droid Razr feels surprisingly solid, and Motorola says that's because of the sculpted glass, the Kevlar backing, and the stainless steel chassis that holds it all together. There's even a nanotechnology coating that makes the phone splash-resistant. It stops short of being waterproof, though, so we wouldn't go swimming with it. The Kevlar backing is soft to the touch, which is a departure from the usual rough texture associated with Kevlar. The thin display is made out of sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass, which is claimed to be scratch-resistant as well.
And what a display it is. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display is really gorgeous in person. With its qHD resolution, images and graphics are both colorful and crisp. Motorola says the Droid Razr is the first smartphone to be able to stream HD content from Netflix. … Read more
I'm a huge fan of cars and a huge fan of video games. So it should go without saying that I spend a lot of time playing racing games. I was a bit late to the Forza Motorsport party, having spent a number of years as a faithful fan of the Gran Turismo franchise. However, last year I got hooked on Forza Motorsport 3 for the Xbox 360. Recently, I was slipped an early copy of Forza Motorsport 4, the next iteration of Turn 10's racing series promising more cars, more tracks, higher levels of realism, and, hopefully, … Read more