Richard would a fast laptop to do cad, video editing, etc. Leo says that for super fast cad working, a desktop would probably be a better way to go. Laptops can't run at full speed because they get too hot. But the top of the line fastest laptops are Windows machines, and are more like desktop replacements. And they run hot. Asus Republic of Gaming, and Dell's Alienware brands are designed for that high performance gaming and other applications. But Apple's new M1 designs are making strides to do high performance computing without having to run hotter.
Jim's daughter is going to be studying STEM in college. What laptop should he buy? Leo says that in general, it won't make a difference. But she may want to call the college and talk to the STEM department and ask to see if they are focused on one platform over another. Especially if they are using specific software in class. But generally, it shouldn't matter. A MacBook Air is a good option though. On the Windows side, Leo says that the Lenovo Thinkpad is a great option.
John has decided to forgo a windows laptop in favor of a simple Chromebook. But which one should he get, and how much ram does he need? Leo says an 8GB Ram model is the sweet spot. But why do Chromebooks have scant storage? Leo says that's because of Chromebooks' design being built around storing everything in the cloud. Acer makes Leo's favorite Chromebooks. The Acer SPIN is very nice. HP also makes nice ones, as does Asus. Spending a little more on an aluminum body, touch screen, and better quality trackpad is worth the money in the long run.
Bruce needs to get his daughter a new laptop. Budget $500-600. What's the best option for the money? Leo says that since Bruce's daughter uses HP, why not go with one of the newer models? HP has improved a lot in the last few years. The HP Envy is very affordable. There's also the Pavilion line which is around $500. Get at least 8GB of RAM.
Sue would like a recommendation for a new laptop. She recently bought a 15" Dell XPS and she didn't like it, so she sent it back. She couldn't hear the speakers. Leo says that laptop speakers are notoriously unimpressive. Sue would also like it to have a 17" screen. Leo adds that the HP Envy gets high marks as one of the best laptops for audio enthusiasts. And HP makes a 17" laptop. The 17" HP Envy starts at around $800. Leo usually recommends 16GB of RAM, which is plenty for everyday use. Also, get a 1 TB drive with it; makes it really nice.
Mike is looking for a good, mid-range Chromebook. Leo recommends ACER. He can get a decent Chromebook for around $300-500. Leo's favorite is the Chromebook Spin. $269 on Amazon.
Mike's old Macbook Pro is having wireless mouse issues. It's getting a bit jiggy. Leo says that new batteries in the mouse may help. But the mouse may just be worn out. They do wear with use. Replacing a wired mouse can also eliminate interference as an issue. Leo prefers a wired mouse. If the issue disappears, then he will know.
Greg is looking to get a 65" TV with decent sound. Suggestions? He'll be getting a soundbar later. Scott Wilkinson says that Sony makes the best OLED TVs with decent speakers. The design is actually the screen itself, with drivers behind them. But that's going to cost well over $1500. Better to get a soundbar for $100. That way it doesn't really matter what TV he buys.
Speakers on TVs are really an afterthought these days. The best choice is to pay a little less for the TV and then add the Soundbar now. Scott recommends Vizio or TCL. The TCL M Series is in Greg's price range.
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.
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.
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.