Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Should I get an iPad to replace my laptop?

Episode 1566

Glenda from Costa Mesa, CA

Glenda has an Asus Gaming computer and it constantly slows down, and is too heavy. So she wants something lighter, like a Mac Air or iPad Air size, that she can use Microsoft Office with. Leo says that there are versions of Office for the iPad, so going with an iPad Pro could be a good option. You can get them with a keypad and it's just like a laptop (costs the same as a laptop, too). Microsoft's Surface tablets are also a good option if you still need to use Windows. But if you don't, then the iPad Pro is worth looking at.

Why is data being corrupted on my NAS?

Episode 1566

Steve from St. Louis, MO

Steve is a professional photographer and he stores his raw images on a NAS (network attached storage) with Mac File sharing. But he's finding that about 10% of his images are corrupted. Leo says that there's two ways this can happen. 1) the data is corrupted on the disk. Is the file corruption happening locally? Or on the network. It helps to test if it happens the same every time. That means the data is getting corrupted on the NAS itself. If it was a network corruption, it would happen intermittently and randomly.

Can I use Echo to turn on my lights?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1565

Henry from Prescott Valley, AZ

Henry has a few Amazon Echos and wants to know if he can turn his lights on/off with them. Leo says absolutely, but he'll need smart home lights that support the Echo. Philips Hue is one brand. But there are plenty of others out there. He can also get smart switches that enable him to turn things off with his voice. He should search Amazon for "works with Alexa" devices.

What camera should I get for video?

Episode 1565

Vidak from Sacramento, CA

Vidak wants to get back into video and is thinking of doing it with a smartphone. Leo says that a smartphone video has gotten really good, but there's still some shortcomings. If you want to be ultra portable, Leo recommends the new DJI Pocket OSMO. It can do 4K video and literally fits in your pocket. But if you want to do stills as well, then still camera shoots excellent video.

Can I change my car phone system to Android Auto?

Car interior

Episode 1565

Joe from Looking Glass, OR

Joe's HTC smartphone finally died, and he's looking to upgrade the phone in his car to an Android system. Can he do that? Leo says that he probably can, as the screen mirrors the phone through the head unit. But there are a lot of limitations. Leo says that he'll need an Android Auto head end and he'll have to connect to it via USB, and it won't charge his phone either.

Why are my hard drives constantly failing?

WD Black 1TB

Episode 1565

John from West Palm Beach, CA

John dual boots with Windows 7 and Windows 10 on separate SSDs. Now the SSDs have died. When he replaced them, his power supply died. Did the hard drives do it? Leo says that the power supply may have contributed to the SSDs dying, but not the other way around. After replacing it, his spinning hard drive has died in less than a year. Leo says that large capacity hard drives can die at any time, and the older they get, the more likely they will. They might not fail, though. But after less than a year, it's odd.

Sam Abuelsamid on Car Tech

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1565

The news lately is that electric vehicles have a hard time in extreme cold weather. Sam says it's because a lot of its power is being used to heat the cabin and that dramatically cuts into your driving range. Sam says the best option is to preheat your car overnight during an overnight charge. That'll cut down on the amount of battery life you lose on a cold day.

Can I upgrade my old computer video card?

GTX 1060

Episode 1565

Jeff from Bakersfield, CA

Jeff has a ten year old Dell XPS computer and it still works great. However, the newer games are only DirectX11 compatible and Dell says he has to get a new computer. Is there a card for him out there? The power cables are 6 slot and the new ones require 8 slot. Leo says he can get an adapter, but that age computer means it will be PCI, whereas the latest video cards are PCIExpress. Modern games use both CPU and GPUs in concert. And Jeff's power supply is probably underpowered.