Gary saw a laptop from the Home Shopping Network, with a DVD drive. Leo says that the fact that it has a DVD drive proves it's a few years old. Also, Gary says it's an i3 processor, and that's pretty underpowered for most of what you do today. Leo doesn't recommend buying from a home shopping channel. You're not going to get a good deal there. Go to HP.com and look at a comparable device. And get an i5 processor with an SSD drive. At least 16GB of RAM. If you are looking for a deal, look for a refurbished laptop from HP. And the Black Friday prices are quite aggressive.
Tracey's HP Split computer hard drive failed it's "smart check," and then when she turned it back on, it didn't boot up. Leo says that the smart check didn't really give Tracey any time to get her data off because drive manufacturers had dumbed down the SMART check to the point where it's nearly useless. The fact is, drives do fail, about 3% a year. And Tracey's is about six years old, so it was only a matter of time. This is why it's wise to backup your data regularly. Leo recommends iDrive (sponsor).
Laurie just needs a basic laptop for checking email, doing homework, surfing in the cloud. Leo says that if she doesn't need special software, a Chromebook is ideal. They are less expensive and more secure. But if she has to run a specific program, then she needs a Windows Machine for that. Then Leo recommends either the HP, Dell, or Lenovo. All three make solid machines and stand by them. HPs are thin and light with excellent battery life. If tough on the hardware, then the Lenovo Thinkpad is built like a tank. Dell is in the middle.
Elizabeth has an HP OfficeJet Pro 8715 printer. But her menus say 8710 on the screen. Leo says the printer probably uses the same drivers because it's part fo the 8710 line. She is also being told she needs new ink cartridges and she replaced them, but now it won't print anything. Leo says to look in the setup menu to see what the error message is. It may also be security software from a third party or counterfeit cartridges. HP won't allow them. That could be the issue.
She may also need to update the drivers.
Brian picked up a new HP Spectre 4K laptop with 16GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD, and a thunderbolt port. But out of the blue, it won't boot. No power. Just out of warranty. The battery is charged, there's power going to the board, but nothing. He's discovered a known problem with the HP Spectre voltage regulator. A repair place found it in Northridge. And HP won't even take the call without $100 charge because it's out of warranty. Leo says that HP should consider doing an out of warranty fix if they want to keep customers coming back.
Steve's printer is suddenly printing out ads. What the heck? Leo says there's a good chance he got nailed by either a browser hijack, or malware that has replaced his printer driver. He recommends using Malware Bytes, by only get it from the original creator. The chatroom says that there is a printer exploitation tool kit out there on the web. It could be that there's malware in the HP firmware as well.
Charles is getting a new Mac Mini and wants to know what display to get for it. He currently has a 27" iMac. So what's most affordable for the same size? Leo says that Apple is pushing an LG 5K Ultra Fine display, but it's not cheap at $1,000. Prices have tumbled for monitors lately, and as such, there are plenty of options.
Carmine has an HP Spectre laptop, but his USB-C connector won't power the laptop using his OtherWorld Computing adapter. Leo says that he's supposed to be able to with this new model. It's a data port as well as a power port, and so it may be an authorization issue. Leo says that he may want to try the HP power dongle. He'll also want to be sure he's getting enough power through the Type-C connector. There may not be enough through the OWC, and the laptop may think it's just a data connector.
Eric wants to buy a color laser printer and he doesn't really know what model to get. He needs one that has a document feeder and scanner. Rich says that HP makes the WireCutter's favorite color laser printer: The HP Laserjet Pro M254dw Wireless Color Laser Printer.
Tom uses Ubuntu, and lately, he's ran into issues updating his HP computer. Leo says that Linux only works on a computer that has drivers that are written for it. When people update, they may run into issues where their drivers have been "broken." It's often a video driver issue. Starting over and trying again will cause Linux to choose the right driver and continue. But if not, then it's a driver or hardware compatibility issue.