laptops

Why can't I charge my HP laptop via USB-C?

HP Spectre

Episode 1539

Carmine from Chicago, IL

Carmine has an HP Spectre laptop, but his USB-C connector won't power the laptop using his OtherWorld Computing adapter. Leo says that he's supposed to be able to with this new model. It's a data port as well as a power port, and so it may be an authorization issue. Leo says that he may want to try the HP power dongle. He'll also want to be sure he's getting enough power through the Type-C connector. There may not be enough through the OWC, and the laptop may think it's just a data connector.

What laptop should I buy?

Episode 1535

Sam from Chatsworth, CA

Sam wants to get a laptop. How are the Lenovo's? Leo says that he doesn't care for the consumer grade line, but the ThinkPad business line is second to none. Dell makes a good laptop in the Inspiron line. 17" is a big large for a laptop, and the battery life will be terrible. I t may be better to get a 13 or 15" and then get a 27" monitor to plug it into when you are your desk. Leo also recommends buying the Gold level support. Costco offers support too that is pretty good.

Should he go Mac instead? Leo says that's a personal decision. But Apple's laptops are top notch.

How can I stop robocalls?

woman on phone

Episode 1531

Jessie from Durango, CO

Jessie keeps getting robocalls and the numbers they get are either disconnected or bogus. Leo says that they are bogus, and according to a recent survey, by 2019, 80% of cell phone calls will be robocalls. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas. They forge the caller ID, and will even do it with the recipient's area code and prefix. The reality is, legitimate companies will not be calling. They'll be using mail. Jessie can log her number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.

Why won't my laptop charge?

Battery

Episode 1531

Karen from California

Karen's laptop has stopped charging. It's 10 years old. Leo says that her laptop has a lithium ion battery and it has probbaly just worn out. They won't take a charge after about 500 recharges, and after 10 years, it's very likely that's what it is. But Windows 10 has a feature in the command line. She can get to it by pressing the Windows key, and then typing CMD and enter. Then she should type "powercfg /batteryreport." This will give her a report on her battery's health. It gets saved to the hard drive and she can open it with her browser.

Why doesn't my laptop charge?

Asus ROG laptop

Episode 1528

Kyle from San Pedro, CA

Kyle's Asus ROG Laptop isn't charging after a recent Windows 1803 update, and there hasn't been a patch for two years. What can he do? If Asus doesn't offer a fix, he should try the Windows 10 battery diagnostic by pressing the Windows key and typing "battery." Microsoft may troubleshoot and download a patch to fix it. If that doesn't do it, then it just may be that his battery is depleted and just won't take a charge. It would have to be replaced.

Is my laptop screen dead?

Laptop

Episode 1524

Daniel from Yucaipa, CA

Daniel turned on his laptop and the screen is dead. Rich says to look at the screen up close and see if he can barely see the image. If he can, then that indicates the backlight is bad. If there's nothing at all, then it could be a bad motherboard. Either way, it's time to get a new laptop, because repairing a laptop usually costs more than it's worth to buy a new one.

One thing he can try is to connect it to an external monitor via HDMI and see if he can see something. If he can, then the computer is OK, but the screen is dead.

How can I save money buying a new MacBook Pro?

Apple MacBook

Episode 1522

Scott from Whitby Island, WA

Scott would like to update his MacBook Pro, but he can't afford a high priced Mac. What are his options to save some money? Leo says that the MacBook Air is the least expensive at $999, but it hasn't been updated in years, and it has the lowest quality screen Apple sells. So Leo would recommend going to the Apple Store and see if he can live with it. His other choice would be the MacBook "escape," a 13" model without the Touch Bar. It wasn't updated from the most recent update, but it's very portable. The new MacBook Pros are only about $500 more than the escape.

What laptop should I buy with a backlit keyboard?

Lenovo ThinkPad

Episode 1521

Steve from Arden, NC

Steve is retired and loves to run Linux and his computers. How can he get a backlit keyboard on his next laptop? Leo recommends a Lenovo ThinkPad. They have backlit keys, they are very robust, easily upgradeable and modifiable, and Linux works great on them out of the box. But if he runs Linux virtually then 16GB for RAM may not be enough. So he should get as much RAM as he can. Processor-wise, AMDs are fine.