Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's hot in consumer electronics right now?

Episode 1516

Josh from Redding, CA
man holding smartphone and typing on laptop

Josh would like to educate himself on consumer electronics and technology. Leo says that tablets and mobile have really moved into the game, even in the corporate arena, where Bring Your Own Devices is a thing now. Voice technologies like the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant are really hitting the mainstream, and with that, so is home automation. Drones are also big. And looking over the horizon, AI is going to be big.

Why doesn't my printer read my new ink cartridges?

Diane from Banning, CA

Episode 1516

Diane's printer ran out of black ink, and she bought a new cartridge, but the printer doesn't recognize it. She's tried three times. No joy. Leo says that it sounds like a printer issue. You want to be sure you hear the "click" when you put the cartridge in. Perhaps bringing the printer into the store and have a technician take look, perhaps clean it out.

What laptop should I get for college?

Episode 1516

Tina from Manitowoc, WI
Lenovo ThinkPad

Tina is going back to school and needs to get a Windows based computer for class. Leo says that Windows 10 is a lot better than Tina's last Windows 95 computer. Recommendations include Dell, Hewlett Packard, and the Lenovo ThinkPad (Leo's favorite). The ThinkPad would be Leo's first choice because they are built to last and the keyboards are very durable. She should get 16gb RAM.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1515

Dick DeBartolo

Dick's gadget this week is the Arctic Air, which cools, purifies, and humidifies the air around you. Fill it up with water and just plug this into any wall outlet or USB port and enjoy cool and clean air for 8 hours. The 'secret' is "Evaporative Air-Cooling Technology!" (And that's why they also say: 'works best in dry areas'.) To use it, you fill the non-removable tank with water. Power is USB either via an A/C plug adapter or USB port. And yes, if the room is dry and you're sitting directly in front of it, it will feel cool.

Why doesn't my Bluetooth headset work?

Episode 1515

Diane from Chicago, IL
Panasonic KX-TCA430

Diane needs a cordless phone headset that will give her a hands free experience with her Ooma VOIP phone number. She bought one, but the caller can't hear her. What are her alternatives? Headsets can easily break. So before she spends money on a brand new phone, she should just try to replace the headset. Leo recommends the Panasonic KX-TCA430 for $17. There's a good chance it's a standard headset.

How can I find safe USB-C cables?

Episode 1515

Johnny from Atlanta, GA
Microsoft Surface Go

Johnny picked up a Windows Surface Go tablet, which Leo calls the cutest computer ever. It's 9.7" with Keyboard and Pen, and USB charging. But Johnny got a charging adapter for it that bricked the computer. Leo says to never buy a third party charger unless he's sure it's a legitimate product. Amazon doesn't police their third party sellers very well, and a lot of them are either counterfeit or very cheaply made.

Intel Hits Wall in Making Processors Smaller

Episode 1515

Processor

Intel has run up against a wall in Moore's Law that said that the number of transistors in a processor would double every 18 months. In the last few years, Intel has been up against a wall, not being able to double the speed. But a recent breakthrough has created a transistor using a single atom! That will enable processors to become faster and smaller, using very little energy.