Lou has to buy a new laptop. He's looking at Dell and HP, and he hears that they are second and third best. Leo says that stats can be deceiving. On paper a laptop can look great, but in reality, his experience could be different. Usability is more than specs. He'll have to dig deeper. HP looks great on paper, but some features can be annoying. Another frustration of HP is that they traditionally have been loaded up with trial or bloatware. They've gotten better, but still nowhere near for Leo to recommend. They're also about to spin off the PC division. So its future is uncertain.
Dana is looking at getting the Blackberry Classic smartphone on T-Mobile, and she wants a new laptop with Windows 7. She's looking at an HP with an Intel Core i7. Are those choices good? Leo says those are good, sure. He's not really a huge HP fan, preferring Dell, Asus, and even Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 instead. The Surface has a great screen, but the keyboard isn't all that great. But it is nice that it can convert from a laptop to tablet.
Leo suggests contacting the school for requirements and what they prefer. The college store may have a good student discount, too. Since it's possible to run Windows on a Mac, he can't really go wrong with a Mac. It can run Windows natively from bootup. She could also run it in emulation (virtually), which slows it down a little bit, but not much. If she already has a Mac, she'll be fine. But Leo still recommends contacting the school.
Andrew needs a new laptop for editing video and images, and is wondering if a discrete video card would work better for that. Leo says that discrete video would be more beneficial for gaming, not editing. He'll want an i7 with a large L2 cache. Will a touch screen help? Leo says not with video editing, at least not right now.
Ron's Dell computer is having trouble connecting and he has a hunch the network adapter is dying. He's tried different software, but hasn't been able to get it to work. Leo says that the adapter is soldered to the motherboard and to fix that would require changing the motherboard. But he can buy a USB to Ethernet network connector for $12 from monoprice.com.
Leo says there's not much difference between the two. He uses a Mac Pro at home and likes it, but it's not very upgradeable, and any upgrades he could do would have to be external. On a PC, if he gets a tower case, upgrades are easy. Leo just got all of the video editors at TWiT Dell PCs and they will be moving to Adobe Premiere. The Mac Pro is expensive for what you get, and for pro video editors it's probably not the best solution.
Adam wants to build a PC. Should he get stuff during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Leo says he doesn't recommend building computers anymore because he can get it cheaper from a company like Dell, and he'll get at least some support for it. It's a great project though. But he'll have to be his own support.
Leo recommends calling NewEgg to find out about their price matching policy, so if he buys something now and it's cheaper on Black Friday, he'll get back the difference.
Stanley wants to use a computer to download talk shows and then burn them to archive them. What laptop should he get? Leo advises Dell. He can get an affordable Inspiron laptop for around $500 to 600, but he'll also need to add a CD burner because few laptops come with them now. He might also want to consider getting Dell's basic phone support as well, since that won't come with the computer.
Should he get Windows 8 or Windows 7? Leo says Microsoft doesn't allow Dell or any other manufacturer to offer Windows 7 anymore. So it'll be Windows 8.
Evangelina's son wants a new computer for college. It will be used for studying music and medicine. Leo says that any digital device is fine for listening to music. But for medicine, there may be specific software that he needs which could decide which platform he needs. She should consider who will be giving support for the computer. Whatever the school uses also could point to what platform he should be on.
Rita is a self employed court reporter and she needs some good online tech support for her computer. Leo says that if she has a Dell, Dell's Gold support is as good as it gets. Leo isn't much of a fan of third party support. Rita has an HP computer, though. Leo says that HP likely has paid gold level support and he recommends biting the bullet and paying for it. And since Rita's computer is a few years old, it may be time to upgrade her computer, and then Leo would advise going with a Dell.