laptops

How can I get my laptop screen to work?

Episode 1152

Larry from Hisperia, CA
Acer Chromebook

Larry has a 7 year old laptop, and its LCD screen died. Leo says that often with laptops, the backlight goes out. If he uses it outside, he can adjust the angle to see something. If it's all black, then it's likely that the ribbon cable has finally broken from the frequent opening and closing. If he has a monitor with a VGA port and can plug it in, he can still use it as a desktop.

Another problem is the power supply. But after 7 years, they're really not worth repairing, especially since Larry can get a Chromebook for about $200, or maybe even an HP Stream.

What MacBook should I buy for my daughter?

Episode 1142

JoAnne from Warwick, RI
MacBook Air

JoAnne's daughter needs a new Mac computer and she wants to get her one for Christmas. Would the MacBook Air be a good choice? Leo says that will make her daughter very happy. What kind of storage should she get with it? Leo says that the Solid State Drives are super fast, but they aren't cheap. Leo says it really depends on what she uses it for. Leo uses 128GB models because he keeps most of his stuff in the cloud. But for most, 256GB is a good size.

How can I connect my laptop to my wireless network?

Episode 1142

Brandon from Huntington Beach, CA
Wi-Fi router

Brandon is trying to connect an older laptop to Wi-Fi, but it isn't working. Leo says that if other devices can connect, then chances are that the laptop may not support WPA2, which the network runs on. He could try WEP, but it's been cracked, so it's not really all that secure if there's someone with maligned intent. But if it's all he can get, it's better than nothing.

What thinner and lighter laptop should I buy?

Episode 1140

Paul from San Diego, CA
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

Paul needs to replace his big, heavy laptop with something lighter and thinner. Leo suggests the Acer Aspire S7, which is the computer he uses. It's not cheap, at around $1300, but Leo says it'll last longer than cheaper laptops and he'd probably have fewer problems with it.

If he's on a budget, there are some great deals out right now. Paul wanted something touch sensitive, and was looking at the Lenovo Yoga 2. Leo says if he wants touch, that's a great way to go.

Where can I get a laptop that could be used in Chinese?

Episode 1140

Randy from Tustin, CA
Lenovo Yoga HD+

Randy's wife is Chinese and he'd like to get her a laptop that she could use in both Chinese and English. Leo says that he can get a laptop in Chinese over the internet and then switch it to English when she would need to. Or, he can just buy a Chinese USB keyboard. Leo recommends the Lenovo Yoga, which could double as a laptop and a tablet.

Another, more expensive option would be the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It's a tablet that also has keyboards she could snap onto it, and Randy could probably get her both a Chinese and English keyboard to go with it.

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.