Recommendations

What soundbar should I buy?

Vizio 2.1 Sound Bar SB3821-C6

Episode 1749

Paul from Seaside, CA

Paul recently bought an LG CX 4K TV, and it's incredible. Now he needs a good soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos. He has a high, pitched ceiling. Leo says that Atmos doesn't benefit from a high vaulted ceiling. Especially when tilted. The only way to benefit would be to hang separate speakers closer to the ceiling. A normal 5.1 or 7.1 system would be better for Paul's living room.  And you want to make sure you get a subwoofer. Leo and Scott agree that the Vizio line of soundbars is ideal for the money. Scott recommends the SB3851 or SB4251. Get the M series.

What Monitor Should I Get for a New Mac Mini?

2020 New Mac Mini

Episode 1748

Will from Denver, CO

Will is ready to buy a new Mac Mini with the M1 Apple Silicon processor. He wants to use it for photography. What monitor should he get? Leo says to avoid the Apple XDR display. It's just too damn expensive. The Mac Mini supports Thunderbolt and HDMI, so it can drive many models. Dell makes some really nice monitors for 200-300, but their UltraSharp line would be similar to Will's old iMac. You can get a 27" Dell UltraSharp for $359. 

What is the fastest iPad?

Episode 1747

Chris from Oklahoma

Chris wants the fastest iPad he can get, Is the Pro better? Leo says that the new iPad Air is the fastest out there right now. Faster than the iPad Pro. But the Pro will likely come out with a new model in the Spring. So if you can wait until then, then do. If you can't, then the Air is a good move and the designs are very similar. The pro may be a better screen. But not by much.

What's the best 85" TV?

Episode 1747

Dean from California

Dean is looking for an 85" TV. Scott says that larger TVs are becoming a very common size, but an 85" TV isn't going to be cheap. The Samsung 85 Q80 is $3,000. Dean is confused, because for Black Friday, there are so many models to choose from. What's best? Scott recommends the following models:

Vizio M7 or higher

Samsung Q8 or higher

Sony M700 or higher. The 85" X900 is around $3500. Best Buy and Amazon have it for $2000. A killer deal!

Best review site for TVs is RTings.com. Which one would Scott pick? Scott would go for the Sony X900 or the Samsung Q80.

Is the Dell XPS Special Edition a good laptop for photography?

Dell XPS Special Edition

Episode 1744

Mark from Redondo Beach, CA

Richard is a photographer and is looking at a Dell XPS Special Edition laptop to replace his old machine. He is concerned with heat and throttling since it's an i9 machine. Leo says that many people think multiple core machines like the i9 will be faster. That is often not the case. In fact, multiple cores can slow a machine down if the software isn't designed to use them. But apps like Photoshop are designed to benefit from it. Just get as much RAM as you can afford, especially when using large images. The Dell XPS is a nice laptop though!

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.

Should I Wait to Buy a New MacBook Pro?

16 Inch Macbook Pro

Episode 1710

Ann from Fullerton, California

Ann's Macbook Pro is stuck on OSX Yosemite. Apple says they can't update her to Catalina. Leo says Yosemite isn't all that old. 

So now she wants to get a new Mac. Leo says the longer you can wait, the better. She's worried that if she buys an Intel-based mac now, it'll be worthless tomorrow. Leo says that isn't true. Apple is committed to Intel for the next two years at least, while it develops its new ARM-based Apple Silicon chips. It'll be a steady transition to their own chips. 

What's the best Chromebox for $500?

Acer Chromebook

Episode 1706

John from St. Petersberg, FL

John is working from home and needs to get a  new computer. Would a Chromebox work? He already has a Chromebook, but it's too small for daily use. Leo says that you can get Chromebooks in just about any price and performance level. It just depends on how much John wants to spend and what he needs. John's budget is $500. Leo says that the ASUS Chromebox 3 is a good option starting at $300. It's an i3 processor and 4K graphics. But you can upgrade to an i7. But that's almost $1000. If you want a Chromebox, that's the brand Leo would go with. What about Linux? Can he buy a Linux machine?

What's an Affordable 55" TV?

TCL

Episode 1689

Pete from Clinton Township, Michigan

Pete has a TV that won't turn on with the remote. He has to turn it on manually from behind. So he's looking for a new 55" that won't break the bank. Leo says that TCL and HiSense are very affordable because they are trying to break into the US market. Much like Vizio. TCL also has a Roku built into it, making it very affordable.