Eric is looking to get a Best Buy refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro for $600. Is that a good deal? Leo says he usually recommends getting a refurb model from the manufacturer. He'll get a warranty that way. Best Buy probably wiped the hard drive and checked a few things, but it's not strictly refurbished. 4GB RAM is also a little light, but it will support High Sierra MacOS. Warranty wise, a good refurb should include a 1-year warranty. 3 months won't really help him. Leo would also recommend spending a little more money and getting a 2015 model.
Paul has an IOGear KVM switch to plug in his laptop to connect it to his desktop monitor and keyboard. Leo says he'll want to be sure he uses HDMI for the video connection. But he can certainly use it with his laptop and his desktop at the same time. He'll also need additional cables.
Jason is looking to get a new laptop and he's thinking of getting a Lenovo. Leo says that it'll be tempting to get a consumer grade model, but Leo advises going with the business-grade ThinkPad line. The keyboards are better, and they are more repairable. Dell is another great option. They have a laptop with a bezel-less screen that is gorgeous. But Jason uses the JAWS screenreader because he's visually impaired, so the screen is not all that important.
Randy is looking to get a laptop. Is Cyber Monday a good time to buy? Leo says that there will likely be some great deals. Leo prefers business grade laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad. They're very robust. There are great support plans available too, including a one day turn around fix or replace option. Dell's Precision line is also worth taking a look at.
John has to buy a new laptop since his 11-year-old laptop is stuck on Windows 7. Suggestions? Leo likes Dell. What about the ThinkPad T430 refurbished? Leo says that for $200, it's a pretty good deal. They're pretty rugged. John should check out the ThinkPad subreddit on Reddit. That's a great place to learn how to upgrade an older ThinkPad to keep it up to date. It's really easy to do with that particular model.
Jack is looking to get a new laptop for music recording. Should he buy an i7? Leo says that an i5 is fine, and he should spend the money on a larger SSD and more RAM. 16GB is good. But after that, the performance slows down when using more RAM, and most applications don't even use it. So he should stick with 16GB. He should get a good screen as well.
Aaron has issues with his laptop going to sleep all the time. Leo suggested wiping the drive and starting over because Windows makes decisions about power management during installation and if it gets it wrong, he's stuck. Aaron tried that and now it won't shut down completely. Leo suggests booting into Linux Ubuntu from a USB key to check if the power down happens. He'll need Rufus to do that and make it bootable.
Richard watches the BBC through their iPlayer (and likely through a VPN) and now it suddenly takes forever to load on his laptop. It's OK on his desktop, though. Leo says the BBC has probably locked it down for international users. The BBC gets its money through a TV license fee that viewers pay for. So many people use a VPN to get around that.
Alvis has a MacBook Pro with a Kensington Lock. But on the new MacBook Pro, there's no way to use the lock to keep a new MacBook secure. Rich says that he can stick a third party hoop onto the laptop. There's also a USB lock that could work. But then again, the USB-C port means he can't do that either.
The chatroom suggests MacLocks.com for ways to lock up his system, and most are third party solutions.
Mike wants to get a new laptop for doing presentations. Rich recommends a 2-in-1 laptop that allows him to bend the screen over so it can be used as a tablet. The best of the bunch is the Lenovo Yoga. It's a great business machine.