laptops

Leo Tests Repairable Laptop

frame.work/

Episode 1825

Leo picked up a new Windows-based laptop this week that has something very interesting about it. It's repairable and upgradable. It's by Framework.  And Leo says he's a real fan of the approach. Nothing is glued in, and it's still completely solid in its construction. It also came plain with no operating system, so he can choose his own OS. And iFixit gives it a 10 out of 10 for repairability.

Why Are There Streaks on My Laptop Screen?

Dell

Episode 1815

Frank from San Diego, CA

Frank's laptop screen has color streaks that go away over time. Leo says that's likely an indication of a failing ribbon cable. But it may also be a cold solder that has to warm up before there's a solid connection. It's probably on the motherboard, where the video card is. One way to test is to power down, and let it cool down. Then hold down the D key before powering up.  If he can see the streaks again, then it's definitely a hardware issue. Fortunately, if it's the ribbon cable, it's a cheap fix.

What's a Good Laptop, Portable Printer, and Scanner?

Thinkpad X1 Nano

Episode 1813

Larry from Tampa, FL

Larry needs a basic laptop that will work with a portable printer and scanner. Recommendations? Leo would recommend the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Nano. It's a powerful 13" laptop that's very thin, yet robust. But it isn't upgradeable. 16GB of RAM, good battery life. Type-C and Type-A ports. It's a very good machine. As for portable scanners and printers, Leo recommends getting an all-in-one, if you can find one. Don't fall for thermal printers though. Those aren't what you're looking for. The paper isn't the best quality. HP makes a portable Office Jet, and a photo printer called the Tango.

What's a Good Laptop for College?

Macbook

Episode 1806

Vince from Paris, CA

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.

What Laptop Should I Buy After My Retirement?

Lenovo P17 Mobile Workstation

Episode 1799

Suzanne from Anaheim, CA

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. 

What's the Best Gaming Laptop for Flight Simulator 2020?

Flight Simulator 2020.

Episode 1798

Victor from Columbia, SC

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.

What Computer Should I Buy for a Family Member?

Ukraine

Episode 1798

Frank from San Diego, CA

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.