laptops

Microsoft Event Showcases Dual Screen Surface Products

Microsoft Event Showcases Dual Screen Surface Products

Episode 1632

At a surprise event, Microsoft announced two new Surface products, one like a digital book, the other a 5.5" dual screen mobile phone. Dubbed the Surface Neo and Surface Duo respectively, both devices will run on Windows 10X, a new mobile version of the OS, and will be available Christmas 2020. Microsoft says it will fold together like a book, or open up to be both screens on either side, or close facing each other. Unlike the overpriced Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Surface duo is hinged, rather than folding the screen.

Is there a self powered laptop cooler?

FEMOR Laptop Cooling Pad

Episode 1631

Nooru from Mission Viejo, California

Nooru has a laptop that is overheating. Will a cooling pad work and is there one that is self-powered? Leo says that most of them are powered by the USB port in your laptop. But will also plug into a USB adapter that plugs into the wall. Everyone who has a mobile phone has a USB adapter AC plug. So all you need is a cable long enough to do it. Another option is to use a portable USB power bank. You can then just attach that to the back of your cooler and it'll run for days. Any particular brand? Leo says no. They're all pretty much made by the same company in China.

Should I Trade in My Old Macbook Pro?

Power Adapter

Episode 1622

Amy from Simi Valley, CA

Amy has a MacBook Pro and she needs a new power cord. She was looking at the Apple website and it's very expensive. And unfortunately, the magnetic safe connector is proprietary, so there's not likely a third party version for cheaper.  So she's thinking of trading in her MacBook for $775 and get a new one or wait and let it just die. Leo says that a lot of Pro users like Leo have kept their 2015 Macbooks because they are the last design with a decent keyboard. But 2015 models are also being recalled for a swelling battery. So Amy may want to check to see if there is a recall.

Is There an External Power Pack for My Surface?

PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 30W Power Delivery Charger

Episode 1620

Jeffrey from Burbank, CA

Jeffrey got a new Microsoft Surface Pro at work. Is there an external power pack he can use with it? Leo says that laptops like a lot of wattage, more than an average power brick can provide. The Surface also has a proprietary charging connector, though it could charge with a Type-C connector as well. He will want a power brick that can provide more power than the surface uses. It also needs to have enough juice to charge the battery in one fell swoop.

Do I have to have a Microsoft Account to Run Windows 10?

Laptop

Episode 1611

Dianne from Chicago

Dianne bought a laptop with an i7 processor. Should she have gotten an i9? Leo says that the i7 is overkill for people who do what Dianne does, which is surf the net, email, etc. So an i9 would be REALLY overkill. For what Dianne does, an i9 wouldn't be of any benefit to her. It's more for video editing, graphic design, heavy computational stuff. 

How Can I Reset My Chromebook?

Chromebook

Episode 1608

Debbie from Mission Viejo, CA

Debbie got a message on her Chromebook that says that Chrome is missing or damaged and she can't log in. Leo says it's easy to fix by using the powerwash utility if she can get to the sign-in screen. However, if she doesn't get to the log in screen, that points to a more serious problem. There's also a keyboard reset - Turn it on and press CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-R. This will open up the powerwash utility and completely reset and reinstall the ChromeOS. If that doesn't work, it's likely a hardware issue. Should she buy a new one? Leo says Chromebooks are still a great solution.

Why is my Chromebook screen flickering?

Chromebook

Episode 1601

Barb from Rancho Mirage, CA

Barb recently bought a Chromebook and wants to know if they have screensavers? Leo says no. Screensavers are an anachronism from the old CRT days when images would burn into the screen. That doesn't happen anymore with LCD screens. The Chromebook just goes into power saving mode and shuts off the screen. That's how it saves the screen. The screen also flickers a little. Leo says that the image may be too bright and that causes it to flicker. That's an easy fix, you just turn down the brightness a bit.

Has my hard drive crashed?

Gateway Laptop

Episode 1599

Greg from Apple Valley, CA

Greg has an old Gateway laptop running Windows 7 where it automatically upgraded to Windows 10. Leo says that's a great thing as Windows 7 will go end of life in January, so you're in good shape. But Greg says his screen went blank and is spinning "diagnosing your PC." Leo says it's clearly crashed. The hard drive probably failed, so the choice is to buy a new computer or spend the money to put in a new hard drive. But that computer is pretty old. A new computer will let you do more than that 10-year-old laptop.