John wants to buy an M1 Mac Mini. What monitor should he get with it? Leo says that the M1 Mac Mini is last year's model, and the word is that a pro version will likely be out by next Spring. So if power is what you're looking for, it may be a good idea to wait. But if you can't wait, the latest M1 Mini is a solid machine. Make sure you get the one with 16GB (max memory).
Robert wants to do 3d graphics on a laptop. What laptop should he get? Leo says that he'll need a discreet processor or desktop-grade video card to be able to run it. That generates a lot of heat, and laptops already tend to run hot because of no real fans. He can get a desktop-grade laptop that is designed for gaming. Or, he can look into an M1 Apple laptop. They make the best GPUs for laptops right now and are desktop 3080 grade. Very comparable to desktops. So an M1 Mac is what he'll really want. But he will have to be sure his software can work natively with it.
Al needs a recommendation for a microphone to use in meetings that will pick up all comments. Leo says that you want an omnidirectional microphone. But the problem with that is, it will pick up a lot of noise, including the "sound of the room" or echoes. Leo says a close mic is a better sound. One mic picking up everything and doing it well is a challenge. Leo recommends the Blue YETI. Not too expensive at $100, and it lets you choose different microphone recording patterns, including cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and unidirectional.
Harry wants to get a new monitor that will last a long time but won't cost an arm and a leg. Leo suggests going to Dell. They have a lower-end line of monitors for everyday use that doesn't require super accuracy of colors or resolution. They are still very good and very affordable. But remember that a bigger monitor doesn't make text bigger. It'll actually make them appear smaller. So you'll need to change the resolution in Windows 10 to make the size of the text larger by adjusting the monitor resolution. But that also means reducing the amount of real estate you can see.
Due to the fact that it's just too small to fully recharge the iPhone (only 40%), Leo says that the new Magsafe battery charger isn't really worth buying at $99. Anker has one that's half the price and is a little larger. So save your money.
George is looking for an affordable replacement for his Android phone. Leo says that he likes the Motorola G9. It's $238 and it has a huge battery. Decent camera. A little more expensive, but with a better camera is the Google Pixel 4a - and the 5a should be out in a few months.
Suzanne is about to retire, and she needs a new computer to replace her school-issued laptop. Leo says there's an infinite number of choices in the Windows PC world, but there are also trade-offs, depending on what you plan on using it for. Suzanne wants a 17" laptop. Leo says if you get a 17" laptop, its battery life will be impacted greatly. Plus, there are fewer 17" models out there. Look at HP, Dell, and Lenovo. Leo says that the Lenovo P17 Mobile Workstation is a good option. And it's on sale. Look for coupon codes too, which can cut the price tag in half.
Frank wants to get a laptop for his brother, who lives in Ukraine. Leo says that 8GB RAM is the minimum for a Windows 10 PC, but Leo says he should double that. RAM is different from hard drive storage. Get as much as he can afford, but 128GB is the minimum for a hard drive, 256GB is even better.
An SSD is best. Frank has a budget of $300. Leo says that's going to limit Frank's choices, so if he can go higher, the better.
Another option is a Chromebook. Less expensive, so he can get more bang for the buck, and if his brother's work is mostly online, that would be ideal.
Linda is looking to get a Chromebook to replace an old Lenovo laptop. Her budget is around $300. But remember that when you have a budget that low, you tend to sacrifice performance. But if you don't mind that, Leo says that Lenovo has a few models in that range. There's also the Acer Spin, which is a nice one that Leo likes. And can she transfer her data to the new Chromebook? Leo says that Chromebooks store everything in the cloud, so you can easily backup all your data to Google Drive and Google Photos for stills.
Marlin does reports using his computer with voice dictation. He would like to transition to an iPad, but he hasn't really had success with them. Leo says there are a bunch of note-taking apps that do just as good a job as Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking. Including OtterAI and Notability. There are also online options. So maybe trying a few different apps would yield better results. Marlin needs to update his laptop anyway, so what's his best option? Leo says that the latest HP Elite Folio laptops are designed just for that purpose, with a reversible screen to go into tablet mode.