Hardware

Why are the AirPods so hard to get?

Episode 1349

Carlton from Hendersonville, NC
Apple AirPods

Why did Apple delay the Airpods? Leo said that there's a limited supply to go out before Christmas and the rest will get their's next month. The main issue is that manufacturing them at scale has proven to be more of a challenge. They are technically complex. The same happened to the Apple Pencil -- they sold out quickly and people had to wait because supplies were limited. With any luck, Apple could send them sooner, rather than later.

What's a good computer for my retired dad?

Episode 1349

Lynn from Yorba Linda, CA
Asus Chromebox

Lynn gave an iPhone 6 Plus to her dad and he loves it. Now she wants to get him a computer for Christmas and he wants a desktop. Leo says at her father's age, he really doesn't need a Windows or Mac desktop. Leo recommends the Chromebox. It's a desktop version of the Chromebook. It'll be far easier for him. With new versions able to support Android apps, it's a great bargain.

Should I buy a pre 5K iMac?

Episode 1349

Randy from San Juan Capistrano, CA
Apple iMac

Randy wants to buy a new, pre-5K 27" iMac for $1,000. Good deal? Leo says if it's a pre 5K it should have a pretty hefty discount, and Leo says that is a pretty good deal. So Leo recommends buying it. The processors aren't really that much better with the modern versions. The resolution on the screen is the major difference. He can save a lot of money going with the pre 5K model.

What headphones are good for kids?

Episode 1349

Jay from Chicago, IL
Ety Kids

Jay has an old pair of Bose headphones and they make his ears really hot. How can he avoid that? Leo says that in-ear monitors are better because they do the right kind of isolation without that overheating. They can also impact the hearing of a young person, though, so he would advise not using them very often. The best are Etymotics. They are flanged, so they go deep in your ears.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1348

This week's gadgets are games. Christmas is a fun time to play board games and this one is called SPEAK OUT by Hasbro. What's odd about it is that you have to put this plastic device in your mouth and then try and speak words for people to guess. Here's how it's played. Players are divided into two teams and the first person up must put a mouthpiece in, draw a card and try to speak the phrase without getting completely tongue-tied. Once the team guesses the phrase correctly, draw another card and keep going until the timer runs out to earn as many cards as possible.

Why is my computer louder?

David from Venice Beach, CA

Episode 1348

David's PC is starting to make loud fan noises. He cleaned out the fans with a vaccum cleaner, but that didn't help. What can he do? Leo says it could be that an update is starting to make the fans run harder. It's not uncommon for an update to make fans louder. It may also be that his fans are starting to wear out and it could be time to replace them. The good news is that they are easy to replace. David can do it himself.

How is the Amazon Tap?

Episode 1348

Curtis from Michigan
Amazon Tap

Curtis is a podcaster and uses a Heil PR40 for his microphone. Leo says that podcasting is fun when you're not trying to make a living at it. It's work if he wants to make it into a job, and a tough one at that.

What about the Amazon Tap? Leo says that the only difference between the Dot and the Tap is the battery. The Tap is portable, but it doesn't listen all the time. It only responds when you press a button. How should he set up the Echo? Leo says to just call it Echo, but he'll have to avoid using that word while podcasting.

What's a good fitness watch?

Episode 1348

Ann from Los Angeles, CA
Polar M400

Ann is looking at fitness watches, and she wants it to sync with Runkeeper. Leo says that every one will, and some do better than others. She's looking at the Polar M400 right now.

Leo says the challenge may be GPS, because most tie to the phone and let the phone handle the GPS. Leo says that Polar makes a great fitness band, and it doesn't require the phone for GPS. So she'll be good there. Another option is Garmin.

Can I play movies from an SD card on my Blu-ray player?

Episode 1347

Jim from Maryland
SanDisk Connect 64GB Wireless Media Drive

Jim has all his movies backed up on his network. He'd like to use an SD card to plug in and watch that way. Leo says he can, but he'll have to be sure it's in a specific format by the Blu-ray player, so check he should check his manual. If he's wanting it for travel, he should check out the SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. Its designed to connect to a smartphone and then he can stream to the TV via DNLA. It has a 10 hour battery life too, which is great for a road trip.