Vince wants to get his daughter a laptop for college. He'd like to keep it under $400. Leo says a lot of it depends on what his daughter is going to study. Leo likes a Macbook Air, but it's between $900-1100. But he can get college pricing. Still, it's a solid student computer. There is a good Chromebook - the Acer Spin. But chances are, she's going to want something more capable. Also, take a look at the windows version ... the Acer Aspire.
George is looking for an affordable replacement for his Android phone. Leo says that he likes the Motorola G9. It's $238 and it has a huge battery. Decent camera. A little more expensive, but with a better camera is the Google Pixel 4a - and the 5a should be out in a few months.
Suzanne is about to retire, and she needs a new computer to replace her school-issued laptop. Leo says there's an infinite number of choices in the Windows PC world, but there are also trade-offs, depending on what you plan on using it for. Suzanne wants a 17" laptop. Leo says if you get a 17" laptop, its battery life will be impacted greatly. Plus, there are fewer 17" models out there. Look at HP, Dell, and Lenovo. Leo says that the Lenovo P17 Mobile Workstation is a good option. And it's on sale. Look for coupon codes too, which can cut the price tag in half.
Victor has a Lenovo ThinkPad E570 laptop that he thought would work for Flight Simulator 2020. But it's just not fast enough, even though it has an NVIDIA video card and a dual-core i7 processor. Leo says that Flight Simulator is notoriously heavy on requirements. The minimum is i5 4460 or a Ryzen 31200. RX 570 GPU. 8GB of RAM and 2GB of VRAM. So it sounds like the laptop could handle it. But it crashes? That may not mean the laptop is too slow. Leo has the same problem with his brand new laptop. It's just very challenging. Is there a workaround? Not really.
Frank wants to get a laptop for his brother, who lives in Ukraine. Leo says that 8GB RAM is the minimum for a Windows 10 PC, but Leo says he should double that. RAM is different from hard drive storage. Get as much as he can afford, but 128GB is the minimum for a hard drive, 256GB is even better.
An SSD is best. Frank has a budget of $300. Leo says that's going to limit Frank's choices, so if he can go higher, the better.
Another option is a Chromebook. Less expensive, so he can get more bang for the buck, and if his brother's work is mostly online, that would be ideal.
If you're going to be multitasking with your laptop or desktop, it is best to boost RAM as high as you can afford. If you can, upgrade the random-access memory on your existing machine or choose the highest sensible option when buying a new computer. With more memory, you can have more tabs open while browsing, you can edit larger files, etc. 4GB is the minimum for Windows 10, but it will probably result in frustration eventually. Linux actually runs better with a small amount of RAM, alternatively. Also, don't forget to replace a spinning drive with an SSD.
Linda is looking to get a Chromebook to replace an old Lenovo laptop. Her budget is around $300. But remember that when you have a budget that low, you tend to sacrifice performance. But if you don't mind that, Leo says that Lenovo has a few models in that range. There's also the Acer Spin, which is a nice one that Leo likes. And can she transfer her data to the new Chromebook? Leo says that Chromebooks store everything in the cloud, so you can easily backup all your data to Google Drive and Google Photos for stills.
John is about to retire to Portugal. What computer should he upgrade to before he leaves? Leo says he may not have to. Try replacing the spinning drive in the current computer with an SSD drive. Leo also says to boost RAM as high as he can afford. Both those moves will greatly increase the performance of his existing computer. These days new processors haven't increased in speed like the old days. The processing power has been largely incremental.
Marlin does reports using his computer with voice dictation. He would like to transition to an iPad, but he hasn't really had success with them. Leo says there are a bunch of note-taking apps that do just as good a job as Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking. Including OtterAI and Notability. There are also online options. So maybe trying a few different apps would yield better results. Marlin needs to update his laptop anyway, so what's his best option? Leo says that the latest HP Elite Folio laptops are designed just for that purpose, with a reversible screen to go into tablet mode.
Jim recently got the OnePlus 9. He likes the camera but misses the Pixel camera. Leo says that there's something in the Pixel camera software that gives it the edge. But watch out for the Google Pixel 6, it's going to be a really great upgrade.