laptops

Should I Get My Son a MacBook Now or Wait for Apple Silicon?

Silicon

Episode 1731

Anthony from Toronto, ONT CAN

Anthony's son is a junior in high school and he wants to get him a MacBook Pro for college. Should he wait until the Apple Silicon models come out? Leo says that Apple is planning a staged rollout and he doesn't think the MacBook Pros will be out until 2021. But an even better choice for a college student is the MacBook Air. Leo says Anthony has plenty of time and it may be worth waiting until next year to get them. But even if he decides to get an Intel-based Mac now, they will still be supported.

Are Amazon Renewed Laptops Good to Buy?

HP Elite.

Episode 1729

Bobby from Lakewood, FL

Bobby needs to replace the hard drive for his HP Elite. But he's considering getting a refurbished replacement instead since it'll cost $160 to replace the drive. Leo says that it largely depends on how the law works for refurbished in Bobby's state. In California, it's illegal to sell an open box return as "new." So they are listed as refurbished, and if bought from an original manufacturer, it'll come with a warranty. So that's a good deal since it'll save a few hundred dollars.

What's a good budget laptop?

HP Stream

Episode 1728

Ross from Long Beach, CA

Ross is ready to upgrade his laptop. Budget about $400. Leo says that if your computer is slowing down, that's a sign that your hard drive is less reliable, not the computer itself. So you may be satisfied with replacing that old spinning drive with an SSD. Then reinstall Windows to clean things up. That will cost you about $100, which could put your computer in a better position to keep working moving forward. This is ideal for those who have a low budget and would have to sacrifice quality for affordability. If money is tight, extending the use of your current laptop is a smart idea.

Which Laptop Should I Buy?

HP

Episode 1727

Laurie from San Clemente, CA

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.

Why is one Dell laptop slower than another?

Smartbyte

Episode 1720

Paul from Santa Ana, CA

Paul has two Dell Laptops, one with an AMD and one with an Intel i5. Both run at the same speed of 2 GHz with 8GB of RAM and running Windows 10. But the download speeds are vastly different. Leo says that different WiFi chipsets could account for a 20% difference, but not the disparity that Paul is seeing. So something is wrong in the networking stack. 

What's a Good Laptop for Photo Editing?

Thinkpad

Episode 1707

Ted from Apple Valley, CA

Ted is a photographer and he's looking for a good laptop to do his photo editing on. He's looking at the Asus Pro Duo, but it's pretty heavy at 5 lbs. Leo says that Asus makes a good laptop, but it may be better to use a better workflow and go with Adobe Creative Cloud and a lighter laptop. But the Asus Pro Duo is a good model. And it's heavier because it has a desktop-class video card. Leo also likes the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, it has a gorgeous OLED screen, which is great for accurate color reproduction. Go for it. Max out the RAM though.

What's a good gaming laptop for under $1200?

Mobius Gaming Laptop - Doghouse Systems

Episode 1694

Erin from Pasadena, CA

Erin's son wants a good gaming computer that he can also use for video editing. He also wants a laptop. His budget is around $1200. Leo says that the good news is that a good gaming computer than do video editing easily and vice versa. Laptop gaming machines, however, are less powerful because of heat issues. They are also difficult to upgrade so that you won't be able to future proof it. That's why a desktop is likely a better option. And you'll get more bang for your buck too.  But if a laptop is a must, Leo recommends starting at Alienware; it's the gaming arm of Dell.

Is a Windows Computer Still Necessary?

Windows laptop

Episode 1689

Sue from OFallon, IL

Sue wants to know what new Windows computer she should buy. Leo says that he's noticed that 99% of what he does right now is through a web browser. So that means a Chromebook is ideal. For most people, Windows is really overkill and requires people to become an expert in the OS, especially in security. But a Chromebook offers much better security for just about everyone and if something goes awry, they can simply "powerwash" it... and they're back up in minutes. So for most people, the default really shouldn't be a Windows PC these days. 

Will Chromebooks continue to be updated?

ASUS Chromebook

Episode 1680

Mike from St. Cloud, MN

Mike wants to get his parents a new Chromebook, but he's concerned that Google won't update them after a few years. Leo says that Google says that they will update them up to five years. But one, Chromebooks are extremely secure by design, so even after its end of life, you still can use it online and two, Chromebooks are cheap to replace. Worst case, you may run into issues visiting some websites. Check out about Chromebook's end of life and Auto Update policy here.