Recommendations

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.

What's a good camcorder for video podcasting?

Episode 1288

Isaiah from San Bernadino, CA
Canon Vixia HF

Isaiah has a video podcast and he's looking for a better camera with which to shoot not only in his studio, but also on location. Leo says that camcorders are on their way out, but they're still around. He'll want one that has live video out (via HDMI is best) that he can then connect to his PC (the HDMI port has to be on his PC as well). It really comes down to how much he'll want to spend, and if he already has a still camera, then chances are he already has a camera to do the job.

Is a Chromebook a good computer for general use?

Episode 1284

Tim from San Diego, CA
Acer Chromebook

Tim wants to know if a Chromebook is a good option for general purpose computing. Leo says absolutely. The Chromebook is great because it runs on a simple browser without any other operating system or application required. With Google's services like Google Drive, Mail, Contacts, Photos, etc, he can do just about anything. They're very secure and reliable as well.