Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Should I cut the cord?

Paul from California

Episode 1399

Paul wants to cut the cable and he wants to know if SlingTV plus an antenna for local channels is a good way to go? Leo says yes. But you may not need the antenna as Sling offers local channels as well. What about a DVR? Three makers offer over the air DVR service. TIVO. ChannelMaster, and the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun. But Leo's worried about the TIVO since it was sold recently. You can also grow your own TVR with Plex and an old PC. But ChannelMaster is very popular.

What computer should I buy my daughter for School?

Wendy from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1399

Wendy's daughter is going to college and she wants to get her a MacBook for school. She went to the Apple Store and they're trying to convince her to buy an iPad instead. Leo says that's Apple's new marketing strategy because they want to stop making computers in favor or mobile devices. But the fact is, we're not where they say we are, especially for college. Get her a MacBook. It's the thinnest and lightest that they've ever made and they're great for college. If you have to buy a Windows Laptop, get a Dell XPS with touch screen and at least 8GB of RAM.

Wha is a good dash cam to buy?

Stacey from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1399

Stacey would like to get a dash cam for her car after a recent accident. Her brother is also an Uber driver. Are there dash cams that record both forward and rear? Leo says yes. It's a huge category and there are plenty to choose from. Leo has been told that Garmin's dash cams are top notch. but they are only forward facing. That chatroom recommends BlackVue. It also records to your mobile device.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

James from San Francisco, CA

Episode 1399

James is looking to get a Chromebook, but he's thinking that as a musician, he may need a Windows machine. But are there online ways around it? Leo says that there are online resources to record audio. Leo says that Chromebooks are great for most people, but it may not be for everything you do. Leo says that before you buy, try using nothing but the Chrome Browser exclusively for a few days and see if there's extensions that can do what you want. Leo's guessing that for recording music, the Chromebook may be lacking and you would need a full OS like Windows.

The Giz Wiz .. in 3D

Episode 1398

The folks at Monoprice say that too often, getting a low-cost 3D printer can mean getting a box of ill-fitted parts with poorly written and incomplete documentation. You end up spending hours on the internet, searching forums and asking for help to get the printer assembled and operating properly. Monoprice operates differently and their MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is a perfect example! This 2nd generation model printer not only comes fully assembled, it has already been calibrated at the factory.

Google Home or Amazon Echo?

Sara from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1398

Should Sara get the Google Home or keep her Amazon Echo? Leo says that while Google Assistant works great and that makes Home an advantage, the Amazon Echo has a very mature ecosystem with thousands of "skills" that enable it to do a ton of stuff. But Google Home will give you free phone calling anywhere in the US soon, and that could make it an even better option if you want a home phone. Leo has both. They're very similar and do similar things. The Google Home is a tad smarter, but the Echo is better at home automation. So it really comes down to what you want to do with it.

What is the best way to set up my new computer?

Erick from California

Episode 1398

Erick is having issues with his Dell laptop batteries swelling and causing a bulge in his laptop. So Dell replaced not only the battery, but the entire laptop. Could it happen again? Leo says that all manufacturers have had issues with swelling batteries, but it's unlikely that it will happen again. But if it does, it's in their interest to replace it because after swelling of a battery comes catching fire and explosions. Ask Samsung about that.

How can I clone my old hard drive?

Bill from Winnetka, CA

Episode 1398

Bill's company has a third party server running Windows 8 Pro and SQL server. He wants to update the hard drive to an SSD but there's latency issues. Suggestions? Leo says that since he's running proprietary point of sale software, the logjam could be there since they are concerned with piracy. It may mean that you can't just clone the drive and then restore it to the new one without having to reinstall that POS software. But ideally, each drive will come with a drive cloning utility that will make a direct copy that you can run. Once you do, then you can swap them out.

How can I stream music to my old stereo?

Lynn from Torrance, CA

Episode 1398

Lynn wants to get a new laptop to use for streaming music to her home stereo. What's the best setup for her, intel or AMD? Leo says either will do. The real issue is that since Lynn is going to be converting analog to digital, she needs a good DAC conversion. But Leo says that's not the best option. You want something that's all digital, so avoid connecting through your headphone jack. Bluetooth is sold option. Google has Chromecast Audio. That's a good idea. It's supported by Spotify and Pandora too.

How can I sync my Windows Calendar with my iPad?

Art from Yucca Valley, CA

Episode 1398

Art can't get his Google calendar and contacts to sync from his Windows 7 machine to his iPad. Leo says that Microsoft wants you to use your Microsoft account and link it to all your other accounts. But it's not automatic, and so you have to manually do it. Leo says that the easiest way is to sync your address and calendar with Google, and then add the account into your iPad afterwards. That way it's all synced in the cloud and you can access it anywhere.