Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good laptop for college?

Episode 1402

Paul from Los Angeles, CA
Dell XPS 15

Paul is going to college to study mechanical engineering and he needs a good laptop that can handle the work load. Leo says ideally, he'll get more bang for his buck with a PC. He'll also get more choices. Also, it's always best to check with the college or university for what they prefer. They may require more powerful hardware and specific software. He'll also want an SSD because it'll boot up faster.

Can I still get a laptop with a CD drive?

Episode 1402

Kathy from Tustin, CA
Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Kathy wants a new computer with a built-in CD drive. Leo says that they're getting fewer and farther between, and both Microsoft and Apple have stopped making them. Dell's Inspiron has one, and Acer and Asus both have it. Is Costco a good place to buy them? Leo says that the advantage of Costco is both their return policy and their extended warranty. But they may be discontinued models as well. So she'll want to be sure that isn't the case.

Why is my Echo Dot having trouble connecting?

Episode 1402

Keith from Orange County CA
Amazon Echo Dot

Keith isn't thrilled that Amazon has lowered the manufacturer's warranty on the Amazon Echo to 90 days. Leo says it doesn't bother him. He's had several of them and none have failed. But Keith has had two Dots fail so far. He's frustrated because it tends to be very promiscuous in connecting to his wireless speakers, knocking his other devices off. Leo says that's likely more a problem of Bluetooth, and not the Dot itself. He's also having issues with Drop In. Leo says he hasn't heard of any problems with Drop In and it could just be a bad model or software glitch on his Dot.

What computer should I get for editing?

Episode 1401

Doug from Belmont, CA
Asus ZenBook

Doug is starting a video business and he's looking at video editing options. He's thinking about the Asus ZenBook. Leo says that's a nice notebook and he can load it up with RAM. He recommends 8GB minimum, but 16GB is even better. He'll want a solid state hard drive as well. Leo also recommends upgrading to a discrete Nvidia card. It'll have more cache for rendering. A desktop is going to give him more bang for the buck, and they're upgradable.

Can I use a large monitor with my laptop?

Don from Culver City, CA

Episode 1401

Don dropped his laptop and the screen broke. He was thinking about buying a 20" monitor and plugging it in. Leo says he can do that, but he could also look on eBay and see if he can find the same model for cheap and have the screen swapped out. Absent that, turning it into a desktop replacement by plugging in a high resolution monitor is a good option.

Should I buy a Mac for college?

Episode 1401

Thomas from Ohio
Apple MacBook Pro

Thomas is going to college this fall, studying computer science. He wants to get a new laptop to supplement his desktop at school. Should he buy a MacBook Pro? Leo says that he should and the reason is that Macs are built on the Linux kernel, making it ideal for computer programming. Before he buys anything, though, he should call the school and talk to the head of the Computer Science department and ask their recommendations. Worst case scenario, he can buy the Mac and then install Windows or Linux on it. The downside is that they are more expensive.

Why does my computer keep resetting?

Carol from Dana Point, CA

Episode 1401

Carol's computer monitor died, and she bought a new one. Now she has a screen that says "Welcome to your new computer" and her settings have vanished. After running a restore point, she got it back to normal, and the same thing happened the next day. Leo says that the her Windows profile may have gotten corrupted, which can happen. Carol can find instructions on how to fix a corrupted profile at support.microsoft.com. The best way to fix it is to reinstall Windows, though.