laptops

What laptop should I buy?

Episode 1187

Chris from California
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Chris wants to buy a laptop and he needs processor power, but what else should he consider? Leo says that for what Chris wants, he should have an i7 with 16 GB of RAM with a solid state drive. Chris says he can get an i5 with 12GB. Is that good enough? Leo says sure. the i7 has Hyperthreading, which is good for multitasking. For raw speed, however, the i5 works just as well. If he wants a pro machine, it's going to set him back between $1000 and $1500. Chris hates touch screens though. Should he bite the bullet and just get one?

Why does my laptop randomly shut down?

Patrick from Riverside, CA

Episode 1186

Patrick is a DJ and his laptop shuts down randomly. Sometimes when he closes the lid, and sometimes when he plugs in a USB. Leo says that could be an overheating issue, but more likely there's a short somewhere and that's a serious issue. Laptops are difficult to repair, sadly. Either the fan has gone bad, or there's a lot of dust. Even the thermal paste could have dried out.

What laptop should I get?

Episode 1184

Dana from Redondo Beach, CA
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Dana is looking at getting the Blackberry Classic smartphone on T-Mobile, and she wants a new laptop with Windows 7. She's looking at an HP with an Intel Core i7. Are those choices good? Leo says those are good, sure. He's not really a huge HP fan, preferring Dell, Asus, and even Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 instead. The Surface has a great screen, but the keyboard isn't all that great. But it is nice that it can convert from a laptop to tablet.

What laptop should I get my son for college?

Episode 1184

Jerae from Los Angeles, CA
Dell XPS 13

Jerae's son is going away to college and his major is computer science. She wants to get him a computer. But he's on Windows, not Mac. Leo says that in college computer science, most use Macs because the heart of OS X is BSD Unix. So getting a Mac is definitely the way to go for computer science. But there's no reason to not get a Windows machine. Leo likes the new Dell XPS 13. It's thin, light, and has excellent battery life.

What inexpensive computers should I get for my granddaughters in high school?

Episode 1183

Charlotte from San Diego, CA
Samsung Chromebook 2

Charlotte needs to find laptops for each of her twin granddaughters to use in high school. She uses Macs, but they can't afford that. She's doing a ton of research, but she's having trouble figuring out what to do. Leo recommends a Google Chromebook for school work. They're very inexpensive, and they don't get viruses. And if one gets lost or damaged, it won't be the end of the world.

What phone carrier is best in Santa Monica?

Dana from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1184

Dana says that the best carrier in Santa Monica depends on who you're calling and where you're calling from. Different phones work better in different areas because of algorithms. Some carriers are going to be better in certain zones than others. But she says that T-Mobile is the best out there based on her experience as a phone company executive.

Why does my laptop freeze up?

Jane from Redding, PA

Episode 1181

Jane's laptop consistently freezes up when she's doing things. Can that be caused by the battery? Leo says one way to test it is to remove the battery and plug it in to the AC adapter. If that resolves the issue, then it probably is the battery. But the battery is one of those that either works or doesn't work at all. It could be the power supply that is failing.

What do you think of the HP Stream?

Episode 1176

Steve from Nashville, TN
HP Stream

Steve bought an HP Stream laptop for $299. He's blind and says that the accessibility features are fantastic. It's not very powerful, but it works with JAWS and other blind utilities. His only beef is how little room is on it, especially with HP. So he recommends uninstalling all the bloatware that comes with it.

Leo says it's a great choice for a second, mobile computer. Steve says it shouldn't be confused with the HP Stream tablet, which was Windows with Bing, and it was terrible. But the Stream laptop is marvelous.

Apple's New Notebook Has Users Up in Arms

Episode 1171

Apple MacBook

Because of it's new USB-C adapter working as the sole connector for both power and data, Apple fans are upset with the new MacBook. One reason people are upset is that to use anything else, you'd have to pay an additional $79 for a dongle.

Still, it offers a 9 hour battery life, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD drive. But it's $1300, so it's not cheap. It's also lighter than a MacBook Air. Could the Air be not be long for this world? Leo says he likes the USB-C option and offers props to Apple for advancing the technology. But he's keeping his powder dry before he buys it.