PCs

What computer should I give my grandson?

Piper Computer Kit

Episode 1346

Paul from San Diego, CA

Paul is looking to buy a PC for his grandson who needs it for school and who's into Minecraft. Can a Chromebook work for that? Leo says that a Chromebook is great for students, and he can use many apps online. But since he needs to use specific applications and is into gaming, he'll need a PC. Leo likes Dell and Lenovo. Getting one with a touch screen is a good idea, but that's going to get pricey. Black Friday sales are still going on, though. Acer is a good low cost, high quality laptop. He should Avoid HP.

Hands-on with the Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft Surface Studio

Episode 1345

The Microsoft Surface Studio is, believe it or not, Microsoft's first desktop computer. It's got a high resolution 27" screen and Leo simply can't stop playing with it. It's ideal for artists. It's expensive, though, at $3,000. What's disappointing is that the low end model at that price point only has 8GB of RAM, an i5 processor, and a 5400 rpm spinning hard drive. So Leo thinks it's a bit underpowered. He also says it's a great tool for those in creative endeavors.

Why doesn't my computer work until it's warm?

Episode 1288

Jerry from Alexandria, VA

A friend gave Jerry an old laptop that doesn't work very well until it warms up and he wonders if the power supply may be dead. Leo says it's possible. It's also possible that some of the solders on the motherboard really don't work well until the computer heats up and it seats the solder connections better. That was very common in the early years.

What computer should I buy?

Episode 1285

Russell from Phoenix, AZ

Russell has been "banned" by HP from being able to buy a computer anymore because he complained about a broken computer they had sent him. Leo says that the PCs from HP have improved since 5 years ago. The ban is still in place, though. Leo says he's never heard of that before. It's odd, but he should just take his business elsewhere! Leo says that Dell is very good. The customer service has fallen since prices have dropped, but the computers are still very good. He should want to get a higher end model.

How did PCs get so cheap?

Episode 1247

Mike from Burbank, CA

Mike notices that when a laptop goes on sale, the price drops are really not that significant. Leo says that's because he believes that computers are already at rock bottom prices. Competition has driven the price as low as it can go and margins are razor thin. That's why support is terrible on this hardware. Apple doesn't drop the price because they like their profit margin and they also offer some degree of support. They're also the only ones who make Macs. So they can charge whatever they want.

What computer should I buy?

Apple iPad Air 2

Episode 1243

Dave from California

Dave needs a new computer for Christmas. He's thinking of going with a tablet that will have its own internet access and drop his broadband at home. Leo says that iPads and Chromebooks aren't usually desktop compatible, but he could get them with 4G/LTE internet. But that's really only practical if he'll be moving around a lot.

How can I help older people with their PC problems?

Episode 1176

Sandra from Bedford, IN

Sandra has family that is relying her to be their PC support, but it's hard because she's in another state. Leo says that's the benefit of using remote access. But the danger is, that once they know she can do that, she won't have a moment's peace. Since Sandra's family is older, she could send them to The Elder Geek, where they can learn about computers. There's also How To Geek.

Should I switch from PC to Mac?

MacBook Pro

Episode 1158

Matt from Santa Maria, CA

Matt is a longtime PC user with computers that he needs to do a "tech refresh" with. Would it be better to make the switch to go along with his iPhone and iPad? His wife is reluctant to switch. Leo says there's a great compromise, however -- Windows runs beautifully on a Mac. Matt can run it under Boot Camp, which allows him to choose either at boot up, or he can run it virtually. He could buy a Windows machine, but it won't be able to run OS X. So Matt can tell her that they can have the best of both worlds!