Dell

How can I replace the network adapter in my PC?

Episode 1157

Ron from Hollywood, CA

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.

Is there much of a difference between a Dell XPS i7 and a Mac Pro for video editing?

Apple Mac Pro

Episode 1152

Ken from Cape Girardeau, MS

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.

Should I wait until Black Friday to build a PC?

PC tower

Episode 1137

Adam from Pittsburgh, PA

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.

What laptop should I get for listening to audio online?

Dell Inspiron

Episode 1136

Stanley from Los Angeles, CA

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.

What's a good computer for a college student?

Laptop computer

Episode 1126

Evangelina from Los Angeles, CA

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.

What's a good third party support company?

Episode 1124

Rita from Pittsburgh, PA

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.

What computer should I buy for preschool?

Episode 1117

Heather from Denver, CO

Heather's preschool and buy a bulk deal on computers and she wants to know what's best. Leo says that Google's Chromebook may be the best option. All it has is a browser, and you use extensions that are online. But if you have dedicated software, then that's not going to work. What brand computers? HP, Dell or Apple? Leo says that Apple is a better choice because there's no real issue with security and you can actually run Windows on it if you need to. But they're twice as expensive as a garden variety Windows machine. Still, it's a better option.

How can I remotely connect to work while traveling?

Episode 1115

Scott from Boulder, CO

Scott travels a lot and he needs to connect to work a lot. So he's looking for a good laptop that he can remotely connect in. And what should he use to do so? Leo says that services like GoToMyPC and LogMeIn work with https secure logins, and that's a good solution, but they are costly. VPNs work really well because they essentially burrow a hole directly to your network that others can't get into.

Should I get an All-in-One computer?

Episode 1092

Richard from Placentia, CA

Richard is thinking about getting the Dell XPS All-in-One Computer to replace his XP machine. Leo says it's a pretty good machine that's essentially their version of the iMac. Very elegant design, and no wires. The only downside is that if something goes bad, it's all down for the count. He can't swap out a hard drive, for instance. Leo also says that going forward, Windows 8.1 is the way to go and it fixes a lot of things that Windows 7 broke. Security and performance is better. A lot of people aren't a fan of the Metro tiled interface, but it's the future and Richard should go with it.

Why doesn't the trackpoint work on my laptop?

Episode 1080

Heather from Asheville, NC

Heather is a writer and her track pad isn't working on her Lenovo laptop. She upgraded to a new Dell, and issues with it, so she returned it. She's afraid to buy a new computer because she can't find a laptop with a track point that works.

Leo says that looking for reviews of laptops can be an indicator of a problem brewing. Leo says that the best thing users can do when they're having trouble is post their reviews so that others can see the issues. The companies tend to watch them, also. Not many companies make track points on laptops anymore, either.