hardware

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1075

This week's gadget is the Galaxy Gear Fit, a new fitness band that you can wear and get fitness information based on your heart rate, pedometer steps, and more. It has a curved Super AMOLED screen that's bright enough to read outdoors, and you can pair it with your Samsung Galaxy phone via Bluetooth. It'll even tell you when you get an email or text message. It'll tell you someone is calling when you're paired to the phone.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1073

This week's gadgets come from Satechi and include the Smart Monitor Stand F1 with four USB 2.0 Ports and Headphone/Microphone Ports in the front, making it easy to plug in when you need to, rather than reach behind your computer. It's aluminum alloy legs can support devices up to 22 lbs according to Satechi. Also included in the box are 2 audio cables - 1 for microphone, 1 for headphones, and a USB cable, provided to connect your computer to the F1 Stand. It costs $39.99.

Why does my laptop get such poor battery life?

Dell XPS laptop

Episode 1068

Jeff from Redondo Beach, CA

Jeff is having trouble with his Dell XPS laptop because he can only get an hour and a half of battery life. Leo says that the XPS is considered a "desktop replacement," and an hour and a half really isn't that unusual. It's likely that if he looks for the "fudge words" in the ad, he'll see that his mileage may vary. That's why Leo advises never to buy a new piece of hardware without reading legitimate reviews. An ad is always going to stetch the details.

What's a good computer for writing a memoir?

Samsung Chromebook

Episode 1065

JR from Detroit, MI

JR's mom wants a laptop to write her memoirs, but she's not very computer savvy. Leo says that at 76, a laptop may be more problematic because of the small screen. A large desktop screen could be more beneficial. She also wants to dictate, but Leo says that Voice dictation is only about 90% accurate and that means she'll still have to go through and fix it all. Leo says that recording it and then having it transcribed is a better option, especially for someone who has trouble typing. She also wants a printer.

What computer should I get to replace my old Windows XP machine?

Acer Chromebook

Episode 1065

Maria from Los Angeles, CA

Maria wants to get a Mac because of its security benefits, but she needs to use Microsoft Office. Leo says that Mac supports Office, and although it's more expensive, a quality PC will cost about the same anyway. Another idea is the Google Chromebook, with costs ranging from about $200 to $500. She can then use Google Docs which is just as good as Microsoft Office and she wouldn't have to buy it. A great choice, but it's a very simple computer.

How can I build a budget Linux computer?

Episode 1054

JR from Detroit, MI

JR has been a Linux guy for about 20 years exclusively. He's building a new computer with a fixed budget. Leo recommends going to PC Perspective's website and on the menu bar they have the HWLeaderboard. The Hardware Leaderboard lays out price ranges for building your own PC and what components you should get.

If he sticks with Linux, the issue will be drivers. The good news is that Steam is using Linux for their Steam Machines and as such, Linux support is growing.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

The Power Pot

Episode 1051

The Giz Wiz is back and this week he brings along the PowerPot, a camping stove pot that you boil water in and will charge your smart phone at the same time! It contains a lightweight thermoelectric generator that converts heat into DC electrical power. The company says their 5 volt PowerPot will charge cell phones, GPS units, iPods, and lithium ion batteries, or will run speakers, lights, fans, and other low-power USB appliances. It comes with 3 feet of heat resistant cable. $149.00

http://www.thepowerpot.com/