Recommendations

Should I use an LCD TV as a computer monitor?

Gene from California

Episode 1303

Gene wants to know if it's a good idea to use an LCD TV as a monitor. Leo says no. The reason is that computer monitors are much higher resolution than TVs, and as such, he'll really see the pixels when sitting up close to it. If he's using a 4K monitor, he can abate that a bit. A better choice would be to just get a larger monitor. He can get them pretty big these days. Scott Wilkinson says that 4K would be a better choice because he would need super clean text to make it easier to read.

What computer should I get for video editing and 3D rendering?

Doug from Sacramento, CA

Episode 1299

Doug has been taking a lot video classes with Adobe Premiere and After Effects, but his HP computer performance isn't all that great. Leo says that when you buy a computer at Costco you're not going to get a pro-grade device. If Doug is being slowed down by rendering, he'll not only want a lot of RAM, but he should also put in an SSD. A good NVidia or ATI Radeon video card will give him a fast GPU to handle the rendering instead of his PC's processor. That's what Premiere relies on -- the GPU.

What should I get for my first smartphone?

Episode 1299

Terri from Los Angeles, CA
Apple iPhone 6s

Terri has an old Razor flip phone and it's about to be disabled by AT&T. Leo says that if AT&T is doing that for network reasons, then they should give her a free phone to replace it. She should be able to get another flip phone if she wants. If Terri wants a smart phone, then she'll have to remember it will cost a lot more with the data plan. If she's ready for that, she'll be able to do a lot more with it. Leo recommends having her son take her to the AT&T store and see what the options are. She could go pay as she goes, or get a 2 year data plan.

How can I connect my cell phone to a cordless base station?

Episode 1297

Keetahn from Walnut, CA
Vtech DS6522-4 4 Handset Connect to Cell Answering System

Keetahn wants to know if he can hardwire a speaker to his cell phone that will let people hear the phone ringing in another room. Leo says that a Bluetooth speaker would be ideal, but the problem is that it can lose connectivity and would need re-pairing. Leo says the best is a base station corded phone that he can pair with his cell phone service.

Should I buy a laptop with an i7 processor?

Dave from Whichita Falls, TX

Episode 1297

Dave wants to buy a new Dell XPS laptop with an i7 processor. Leo says that he won't really need an i7 processor unless he's doing something graphically intense, like video editing. It would be better to get an i5 and then add an SSD. That will increase the speed of his computer's performance because the hard drive is solid state. He can then get a spinning drive for his data and still come out spending less.

Meanwhile, on another computer, he needs to activate Windows 10 but it hasn't yet. Leo thinks it's because it has an unauthorized copy of Windows 7 on it.

What virtual reality system should I buy?

Russ from Benton Harbor, MI

Episode 1296

Russ wants to know what VR system should he buy. Leo has both the RIFT and the VIBE, but he's also played with the Sony Playstation VR and he thinks that may be the winner. But it won't be out until this fall. Right now, though, Leo says that the HTC Vive has the edge because it has handheld controllers along with it. The Rift requires the XBox controller at the moment. Another advantage the Vive has is that it has two cameras that you can put in each corner with a 10 foot radius and move around. The Rift is more limited in movement.

What home automation system should I invest in?

Chris from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1296

Chris is building a house and wants to get into home automation. Should he go with something wired or wireless, and what about the security of it? Leo says that we are still at the very beginning of home automation. There are a lot of systems and no standard has really been established. Most modern home automation systems are wireless, now. Everyone uses their home Wi-Fi networks to operate them. To future proof it, Leo would advise putting conduit into the walls as a kind of tunnel so he can put in fiber or some other wires should he decide to.

Should I get DSL or cable internet?

Art from Woodland Hills, CA

Episode 1292

Art wants to know if he should bundle with AT&T UVerse or go with Time Warner's bundle. Leo says that generally it's better to go with cable because it's faster overall. It really comes down to how good it is in your neighborhood. Art should ask around and see what his neighbors use and like. Also, Time Warner has been sold to Charter, so it may change. If Time Warner is putting in fiber, that's even better. Another thing to consider is whether or not he'll money on the bundle.