Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz, Tickling the Ivories

Episode 1368

Freshly back from the NY Toy Fair, Dickey D saw the new Schoenhut toy pianos. Digital that look like spinets, uprights, mini-baby grand, and even a twin butterfly piano that looks like a baby grand. The new line is being branded as New Tech Learning. If the name is familiar, Schoenhut has been producing toy pianos since 1872. The new line includes 25, 30, 37 and even a 61-key digital model. They range in price from about $100 to $500 or so. Every piano has a place to hold a smart phone or digital tablet to make it easy for the child to follow along as they learn.

How's the Nintendo Switch?

Max from

Episode 1368

Max is a kid gamer who's saving up for his next game console. He wants to know about the Nintendo Switch. Leo says it's getting a lot of buzz, but there aren't a lot of games for it yet. Zelda being the main one. And it's a bit pricey. Leo does expect games to be ported over from the Wii sooner or later. But the real question is, will it be another Wii U, which was a flop. In the end, it comes down to the games. If it has games you want to play and it works well, then it's a good buy.

When should I replace my hard drive?

Dave from Merced, CA

Episode 1368

Dave has a laptop with two hard drives with various ages. When is it a good time to replace the old drive? Leo says that hard drives fail over time. Google says that they will fail a lot at first, and then then to zero the first few years, and then about 8% a year after that. So if you're drive has been running that long, it may be one of the well put together ones. Hard drives are cheap so just keep your data backed up. Use it until it fails and when it does, your data's already backed up and ready for the new hard drive. Spinning drives also tend to fail gradually.

Is there a GPS watch that can be locked onto the wrist?

Tom from Colorado Springs, CO

Episode 1368

Tom is looking for a GPS watch that has cellular service, which can be worn by a sleep walking child. They need to have a lockable wrist band so he can't take it off. Leo suggests several GPS watches out there, but none with a lockable watch band. Leo recently got the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. It has all the features Tom is looking for, as well as a 22mm removable band that can be replaced. You can also make calls to and from it. The battery life is on long side for a smart watch.. MSRP for $350. It is compatible with Android or iOS.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Episode 1367

Lee from Maplewood, MN
Asus Flip

Lee wants to know if Acer's Chromebook is a good buy and if he should get one. Leo says that Chromebooks are great. Of course, the more he spends, the faster it'll be. He can get them from just about any company now including Dell, Samsung, Acer, and HP. The top of the line Asus Flip is considered one of the best out there and it supports the Google Play store for running Android apps, making Chromebooks even more usable.

Why does it take so long to boot up my computer?

Episode 1367

Tom from Valdosta, GA
Hard drive

Tom says it takes over a day for his computer to boot up. Leo says it sounds like the startup process in the hard drive is damaged. If he can take the hard drive out and put it into a new computer, like Tom did, then perhaps it's a cable or power supply issue. Tom should try booting from the USB key and see if it takes the same amount of time. If that works, then clearly there's a driver or software issue causing it to boot up slowly.

Why does my TV restart?

Episode 1366

Bill from Fullerton, CA
Sony XBR55X850D 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Bill has a Sony Smart TV, and it has to be rebooted pretty often due to the computer crashing. Leo says this is why the industry doesn't need a computer inside of everything. A TV shouldn't need to be rebooted, so that points to something being wrong with the TV. Sony may have a reboot procedure that can wipe it and reinstall the OS. Since it runs Android TV, there should be a way to do it, but the question is how. Only Sony can tell him that.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1366

Dick DeBartolo

You probably know about go-karts, but have you heard about Smart-Karts? Actev Motors has come up with the Arrow Smart-Kart: a fun go-kart (with many safety features) aimed at five to nine-year-old kids. Kids will not only love driving the Arrow, but they can also personalize their driving experience by downloading synthesized engine sounds. The single bucket seats boasts twin built-in speakers. The Actev App also lets kids monitor stats such as total driving time, total distance, and maximum speed. But wait, there's more!