Somehow it didn't make most best commercial lists of Super Bowl 2013, but Amy Poehler's Best Buy ad, in which she walks through the store with a salesman asking hilarious questions, topped our list. Poehler pokes fun at a lot of the gadgets she sees in the aisles and asks the employee lots of hilarious questions. But while she was, as always, very, very funny, she does highlight some questions that many people have about today's technology.
So, Amy, we thank you for making us laugh with some answers to your hard-hitting tech questions.
"What's the heck difference between all those phones?" That's a very good question, Amy, and we'd need hours to explain to you the small differences between all the Android phones out there. The main difference is that they are made by different companies and have slightly different software adjustments. For instance, the one on the left is made by HTC and the one on the right is made by Samsung. To most users, the differences between those phones won't be very significant - the software looks a little different but they do a lot of the same things. Most of the phones that start at $199 on contract have big HD screens, LTE, fast dual- or quad-core processor and the latest version of Android 4.2, Jelly Bean. (Yeah, Google names its Android versions after desserts.)
You also ask in the extended version: Windows or Android? Another good question. Windows Phone is great, especially if you are a Windows user. It's also a really well-designed operating system, with bright tiles and some neat features like Kid's Corner. However, Android is more popular and the biggest competitor to the iPhone because of its integration with Google and its large selection of apps.
"Which one fits my face?" The HTC One X has a 4.7-inch screen and the Samsung Galaxy S 3 has a 4.8-inch screen. Both fit your face beautifully, but they are big. The iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen, so it fits in a pocket or bag more easily, but the larger screens are really nice for seeing more content on the screen. The Samsung Galaxy Note has an even bigger 5.5-inch screen. It absolutely doesn't fit your face, though no phone could detract from your beauty.
"What's LTE?" LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution , but you don't need to remember that. You need to know that LTE, sometimes referred to as 4G, is a fast Internet connection provided through Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. It makes surfing the Web, downloading apps, watching a YouTube video or uploading photos from your phone or tablet really fast.
And last time we checked it wasn't contagious.
"Can I use a dongle with this?" It does make us uncomfortable when you say dongle. We assume you are equating the word dongle with a USB drive or a small USB receiver. In the past, dongle referred to a small device that plugged into a computer to provide software protection or extra functions. Either way, dongles, or things you can stick into the USB port, will work with that Windows 8 computer.
"What is the Cloud?" We are so happy you asked, Amy. We have a whole article explaining what the Cloud is right here. Really basic: the Cloud is like a hard drive in the sky. It's really the Internet. When someone says, "I stored it in the Cloud," they mean they stored it on an Internet service.
"Am I in the Cloud right now?" Only you really know that for sure.
"What makes a Smart TV so smart?" We'll be honest, Smart TVs aren't really that smart - at least not all of them. They have Internet connectivity and can run Internet-connected services right on the big screen. That means you can stream the latest episodes of "Parks and Recreation" via Hulu Plus on the TV or watch "Mean Girls" on Netflix. You can also listen to music via Pandora or other services. Samsung's latest have some other smart features, like voice recognition and support gestures.
"Will it read 50 Shades of Grey to me in in a sexy voice?" Unless you think a female, computerized voice is sexy. But yes, the Kindle Fire can read out loud to you. You should read our review.
"What's the difference between an e-reader and tablet? And a tablet and this thing (Microsoft Surface)?" Another great question. We talked about this a bit in our gadget guide. Why would you get an e-reader if you can get a 7-inch tablet that's great for reading books and magazines? Two reasons: you want a device on which you can read in bright sunlight, and you want a dedicated reading device. E-readers have EInk screens that are easier on the eyes in direct sunlight. They don't have all the apps and bells and whistles of a tablet.
As for the difference between a tablet and the Surface, the Surface is a tablet with an attachable keyboard. The tablet is Microsoft's answer to the iPad - it has a 10.6-inch screen and runs Windows RT, a version of Windows 8, and runs Microsoft Office. (Yeah, Microsoft decided to make it even more confusing and add another question to your list!) Anyway, it's a tablet with a keyboard.
"Why am I so awesome?" Not even the smartest technology entrepreneurs, CEOs or engineers could answer this question.
A full minute of Amy in Best Buy. Here's the extended version of the ad: