Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I modify a Chromebook to use Windows or Linux?

Episode 1364

Joe from San Dimas, CA
Samsung Chromebook Plus

Joe wants to know why he can't modify a Chromebook to download other software to it. Leo says he can modify a Chromebook and put Linux or Windows on it, but he'll lose a ton of security.

Joe will have to disable the Secure Boot feature. Then he can put a Linux shell called Crouton on it. Leo's done it before. He may also have to modify the firmware by putting it in Developer Mode. But he may not be able to boot it up. If that happens, he can always Powerwash it to get back to where he started.

Why are computer monitors more expensive than TVs?

Episode 1364

Matt from Ottawa, CAN
Dell UltraSharp 27"

Matt wants to know why an LCD computer display is so expensive vs. a regular HDTV. Leo says that displays are designed to be on 24/7, they're brighter, and have a broader viewing angle. The quality is likely higher with a higher resolution. They can also have CPUs. There's often a longer warranty on them, and the market supports a higher price for a special use item.

Do I have enough RAM in my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1363

Kurt from Calabasas, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Kurt has a 2013 MacBook Pro. He is worried about how much memory he has, since he only has 8GB. Leo says that macOS has a really good memory manager that can enable it to run with less RAM than other computers. It's really good at releasing RAM when other programs need it. He'll also want to be sure that the extensions in his browser aren't being memory hogs. The best browser on the Mac for memory management is Safari, by far.

Kurt also wants to know if he can upgrade it to macOS Sierra. If Apple recommends it, Leo says he should do it.

What printer should I buy?

Episode 1363

Taj from Oregon
Epson EcoTank

Taj likes the idea of the new Epson EcoTank Printer. Is it worth the money, though? Leo says it absolutely is. It costs more up front, but he'll get 2 years of ink with it.

Do all Epson printers have that feature? Leo says no. Taj will have to look at what features each printer has. Not all are wireless or come with 2 years of ink. The wireless feature is great because he could scan to the cloud. The Epson EcoTank printer, while admittedly an advertiser, has some really great features.

Where can I get a soundbar with an audio jack?

Episode 1362

Lorne from Turlock, CA
Samsung HW-K360 2.1 Channel 130 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar (2016 Model)

Lorne uses headphones with his DirecTV set top box, but when he's streaming Netflix or Amazon content from his TV, he can't hear it through the headphones. Leo says he'll need to use the ARC (audio return channel) to the set top box. There should be a label on one of the TV's ports for that. That will send audio from the TV back into the set top box.