Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is buying a laptop from eBay safe?

Episode 1377

George from Maine
Laptop

George bought a laptop from someone online and there's a problem with it, and he can't set it up. He bought it on eBay. Leo says it's likely that George doesn't have much recourse here. He simply can't trust that the laptop is safe.

Leo recommends immediately wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. He can't even trust the recovery partition, either. Chances are, reinstalling from the recovery partition will be fine, but he'll never really know for sure. He should completely wipe the drive. eBay should protect him though, and Leo would advise returning it.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1376

Dick DeBartolo

Think vinyl is dead? Then you haven't heard of DigiVina! This company has a record making machine that can turn any or all of your digital music into vinyl records! And you make them out of old plastic bottles! (A special blackening agent makes them look just like an old vinyl record!) Yes, instead of ending up in a landfill, the empty bottles from your dining table end up on your turntable! The Digital to Vinyl Recorder does have some downsides: The cost is $499. But an interesting idea. Pity it's an April Fool's joke!

What laptop should I buy?

Episode 1376

Kathy from Laguna Nigel, CA
Laptop

Kathy is looking for a new laptop. Her Lenovo IdeaPad is starting to get a bit finicky. Leo says that the life of a laptop isn't really all that great, especially with the lower priced models. At this stage, she should make sure she has it all backed up. What is her main priority? Performance? Portability? Battery life? Price? Memory? Answering all these questions will help her hone in on what make and model she'll need. Leo recommends getting an SSD in it, and avoid the hybrid drives. They really don't do a good job at either.

Why can't I use my Bluetooth headset with my game console?

Bob from San Antonio, TX

Episode 1375

Bob is trying to pair a bluetooth headset with his tablet, gaming console, and Apple TV. It isn't pairing correctly with his gaming device, though. Leo says he should see if the operating system is playing the sound properly. Games also sometimes have their own audio settings, so he may have to pair it through the game as well. If it works in the computer, but not in the game, then he'll know it's the game itself.