Dell

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.

Can I buy a laptop without a reflective screen?

Episode 1079

Polly from Connecticut

Polly would like to get a laptop that doesn't have a highly reflective screen. Leo says that touchscreen capability usually requires a shinier surface. The chatroom says that the Dell Latitude has a non-glare surface. She can also use a screen protector like the ones from Tech Armour, but Leo doesn't recommend them. Polly may have to give up touch capability in order to get a non-reflective screen. If she can find a Microsoft store, that would probably give her the best choices.

How can I fix corrupted files in Windows 8?

Episode 1079

Cheryl from Orange County, CA

Cheryl got a new Dell Inspiron computer and upgraded to Windows 8.1. But she's discovered that there's corrupt files. Dell wants to charge her $300 to upgrade her coverage plan even though her warranty is still in force. Leo says since she bought an extended warranty through Office Depot, they should be responsible to fix it, not Dell. Leo says that Cheryl should make her own recovery discs, or she may have a hidden partition with the Windows 8 installer.

Are budget Dell computers a good buy? (Part 1)

Dell Inspiron

Episode 1069

Ron from Los Angeles, CA

Ron is looking to get a Dell computer and he's on a budget. Leo says that Dell makes two levels of computers: consumer grade and professional grade. The pro computers are made with better components, high resolution touch screens, etc. Then there's the lower grade budget line, like the Dell Inspiron series. They start at $500 without a monitor. The i3 is usually included, but for only $50 more, he could bump it up to the i5. Ron will want to get at least 4GB of RAM as well. He should also get the biggest monitor he can afford.

Should I get a Dell or Lenovo PC?

Dell XPS laptop

Episode 1068

Richard from Placentia, CA

Richard is ready to upgrade his Gateway XP desktop to a new computer. Should he buy a Dell or Lenovo? He bought his daughter a Dell Latitude. Leo says that Dell is great, and the Latitude is a great business model PC. In fact, Leo's entire business office uses Dell.

Will he get the same TV directly from Dell than the big box store? Leo says that getting it from Dell.com will be the most recent computer and that's better. The Big Box Stores will have older, year old models.

How can I activate Windows without the activation key?

Episode 1054

Mike from Glendale, CA

Mike bought a Dell Latitude and had to replace the hard drive. Now he doesn't have a serial number to activate it. Leo says that Dell puts a sticker on the bottom of the laptop that has the activation code on it. Mike says it wasn't there. Leo says he should contact Dell and tell them that he can't activate the machine.

The chatroom says that Dell puts the serial number in the BIOS, so that may be a place to look. There are also programs that will provide the key from the installation.

What laptop should I get?

Episode 1049

TJ from California

TJ is looking to buy a new laptop and she wants to know the minimum requirements she should be looking for. Can she update her old Windows ME computer? Leo says that TJ could put Linux on it, but that's about as best as she can get with that. Leo says that for what TJ wants, she could look at the Microsoft Surface 2, which comes with Windows RT and a free Microsoft Office suite. Since it comes with a keyboard, it's a nice hybrid. It's a tad small at 10", but it's a great mobile option. TJ wants a 15" screen, though.

How can I use a tablet as a blind user?

Episode 1047

Steve from Nashville, TN

Steve got the Dell Venue Pro tablet for Christmas and he says it's great and very fast. He's blind and uses JAWS. Leo didn't know you could use JAWS on a tablet! It supports some touch gestures, but not all. Is a tablet better or worse for a blind user? Steve says it's worse. Far more challenging, but for the size and battery life, it's worth the challenge. Does he have to install Security Essentials? Leo says no, Microsoft has included that with Windows 8.1, and it's called "Defender."