laptops

What laptop should I buy my daughter for college?

Episode 1138

Becky from Mission Viejo, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Becky wants to get her daughter a computer for college and needs some advise. Half the family is on Mac, half are on PCs. She wants a Mac, but Becky wants her to look at PCs. What should she do? Leo says one thing to do is to call the college and ask what their recommendations are, especially with access to printers. Networks, labs, and special software can determine what computing platform is best. If there's a support group for students, then call them.

What laptop should I get for listening to audio online?

Episode 1136

Stanley from Los Angeles, CA
Dell Inspiron

Stanley wants to use a computer to download talk shows and then burn them to archive them. What laptop should he get? Leo advises Dell. He can get an affordable Inspiron laptop for around $500 to 600, but he'll also need to add a CD burner because few laptops come with them now. He might also want to consider getting Dell's basic phone support as well, since that won't come with the computer.

Should he get Windows 8 or Windows 7? Leo says Microsoft doesn't allow Dell or any other manufacturer to offer Windows 7 anymore. So it'll be Windows 8.

What laptop or tablet would allow me to work offline?

Episode 1131

Susie from West Covina, CA
MacBook Air

Susie wants to get a new laptop or tablet, but doesn't always have internet access. Leo says that a Chromebook or an iPad may be a good option. Most cloud solutions will allow her to download files locally to the laptop or tablet so she could work on it without internet access.

If Susie wants a light computer with more storage and a full operating system, she could consider the MacBook Air or Acer Aspire S7 Laptop.

Can I replace my computer with a tablet?

Episode 1125

Tara from Venice, CA
Acer Chromebook

Tara has a lot of computer stuff that she really doesn't need. Can she use an iPad and still do online banking securely? Leo says Tara can, but it's more dependent on the security of the bank than the iPad. If the bank's security is up to date, then absolutely she can do it. Leo also says she can keep her Wi-Fi and use a Wi-Fi enabled Chromebook instead. It's essentially a browser based computer with nothing else. Just about everything she does is online these days, and that makes the Chromebook an excellent and secure alternative.

Should I buy my daughter a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air for college?

Episode 1122

Brian from Los Angeles, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Brian's daughter is going to law school and she has a five year old MacBook. Leo says it's time to upgrade, and the MacBook Air is a great option. Should he get the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? The Air is light and thin, but the Pro has a Retina display and faster processor. The Air has better battery life, though. So it comes down to portability vs. screen quality.

What computer should I buy for preschool?

Heather from Denver, CO

Episode 1117

Heather's preschool and buy a bulk deal on computers and she wants to know what's best. Leo says that Google's Chromebook may be the best option. All it has is a browser, and you use extensions that are online. But if you have dedicated software, then that's not going to work. What brand computers? HP, Dell or Apple? Leo says that Apple is a better choice because there's no real issue with security and you can actually run Windows on it if you need to. But they're twice as expensive as a garden variety Windows machine. Still, it's a better option.

What computer should I buy for my mom?

Wendy from Yorba Linda, CA

Episode 1117

Wendy is considering getting a computer for her Mom. Leo says that computers are too complicated for most people, especially seniors. He recommends an iPad. It's a lot easier, and you can use SIRI to open apps, dictate email, and surf the net. And there's a 12.9" iPad rumored to be coming next month. Leo also says that Wendy will have to get one with LTE and that will be an additional monthly cost.

How can I remotely connect to work while traveling?

Scott from Boulder, CO

Episode 1115

Scott travels a lot and he needs to connect to work a lot. So he's looking for a good laptop that he can remotely connect in. And what should he use to do so? Leo says that services like GoToMyPC and LogMeIn work with https secure logins, and that's a good solution, but they are costly. VPNs work really well because they essentially burrow a hole directly to your network that others can't get into.