Elliot needs to buy a new computer for watching movies, writing documents and emails, and going online. No gaming. Leo says that opens up to either Windows or Mac, and Windows has been completely bollocked lately due to bad updates. In fact, Microsoft has admitted they no longer really test their updates before putting them out, and Leo says that's inexcusable. But if he needs a Windows laptop, then Leo recommends the Lenovo 2-in-1 laptop. The Lenovo X1 Yoga is also excellent. Great for movie viewing as it can "tent" bend backward to turn into a tablet.
Kurt replaced the hard drive in his Lenovo laptop and now it won't boot up. It stops at the boot screen. 24 hours later, it booted up no problem. What gives? Leo says that's common and usually results in a hiccup in the BIOS or UEFI. Leo suspects that the battery on the motherboard has failed. Also, underneath the splash screen could show if the computer tried to boot into Windows and failed. That could indicate a faulty hard drive. Leo suspects a failing power supply could also be the issue.
Frank is interested in buying a new laptop, but with Linux on it. Is that a good idea? Leo says that System 76 uses Ubuntu, and Dell is going to be putting out a Linux laptop as well. But if you have an old Windows 7 machine, you can update it to Windows 10 for free, but going with Linux isn't a bad idea either.
Cara is a writer and wants to know what's a good backup alternative. Google Docs? Leo says that Google Docs is a good option, but what if her account gets canceled by Google? He recommends planning for the worst and having multiple backups off-site. Also don't' forget that a print out is a form of backup. Cara also wants to know what's a good computer for editing her manuscripts. She needs a fast skimming alternative. Leo says that Cara's current Chromebook is causing the lagging skims. Any modern computer will be fast enough. If it's' on a hard drive, it'll be fast.
Patty is going on a Nile cruise and African photo safari. She wants to upload her photos every night. She doesn't want to bring a laptop. Leo says that Katie can use an iPad with a media dongle to plug in her memory cards. But Panasonic also has an app that she can use to connect to the camera via WiFi and move the photos over wirelessly. But she won't be able to do much photo editing. Leo brings his laptop with Adobe Lightroom on it, and plenty of memory cards. That way she can keep the cards as the originals, and upload for backup. So just swap out the cards every day.
John has an old HP G62 laptop running Linux. He's had to turn it off by unplugging it. A few months ago he started getting a blue screen and now nothing happens. Leo says that a ten-year-old computer is REALLY old. So chances are, the motherboard died. But if it was updating firmware at the time, then chances are the computer has "bricked" and is dead. If you like that laptop, you can get one on eBay for around $20-40. Is the hard drive OK? Leo says probably. You can get an external container to put it in and use it as another drive for another computer.
Jose has a Dell 2 in 1 laptop and the screen goes intermittently black. Leo says that it's a common issue with 2 in 1s because the ribbon cable gets "pinched" as it gets bent back and forth. Eventually, it frays and breaks. The good news is, that it's an easy fix to replace it. Before you do that though, update your video drivers. That could fix it as the drivers can get corrupted. But if the problem persists, it's a hardware issue.
Sundeep is trying to decide whether to get a Chromebook, a laptop, or an iPad for traveling. Leo says that for what Sundeep is needing, the Chromebook is probably out of contention. But the iPad is a great option. Because everyone has a mobile device now, Airlines no longer have entertainment systems onboard, choosing for streaming content via WiFi. You merely download the airline app, and you can watch movies, TVs, etc. That's where the iPad can shine.
David collects old laptops, refreshes them with Q4OS Linux, and donates them to teachers. Leo says that Linux is very robust and secure, and what David is essentially doing is turning those old laptops into Chromebooks, which is something most teachers want because it's all they need. Leo thinks that's awesome and a great way to repurpose computers that are still good, but are just old.
Check out the Laptop Elf Project on Facebook.
Rick's son is about to start school and wants a laptop. He wants a 15" screen, running Windows 10. Leo says that almost all laptops have a touchscreen. But Leo recommends the Lenovo Thinkpad T-series. They have no-touch screen options. He will want a mini 8GB RAM. Another option is the Dell XPS 15. Microsoft's Surface Pro Laptop 3 business model is also good.