laptops

Should I buy a laptop with a touch screen?

Episode 1298

Warren from Los Angeles, CA
Dell XPS 13

Warren is looking to buy the Dell XPS and he wants to know if he needs a touch screen. Leo says that the concept of touch screens mostly started with iPad. People are now used to touching the screen to do things, so Microsoft decided that Windows needed a touch screen option. Windows 8 worked with touch and PCs began to come with it. If Warren likes touching the screen to interact with it, then by all means get one. Windows 10 doesn't require a touch screen and works perfectly well with keyboard and mouse, though.

Should I buy a laptop with an i7 processor?

Dave from Whichita Falls, TX

Episode 1297

Dave wants to buy a new Dell XPS laptop with an i7 processor. Leo says that he won't really need an i7 processor unless he's doing something graphically intense, like video editing. It would be better to get an i5 and then add an SSD. That will increase the speed of his computer's performance because the hard drive is solid state. He can then get a spinning drive for his data and still come out spending less.

Meanwhile, on another computer, he needs to activate Windows 10 but it hasn't yet. Leo thinks it's because it has an unauthorized copy of Windows 7 on it.

Will my laptop battery die out?

Jim from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1296

Jim's Lenovo laptop gets a notification that his lithium ion battery is 70% depleted. Leo says that there's a lot of mythology and garbage about LiOn batteries. But what we do know is that a standard battery has a cycle life of about 500 recharge cycles. They've discovered why and are working on designs to make sure batteries never wear out. But that isn't in the current state of the art. You can do things to make sure you get the most out of your battery by 1) never completely depleting your battery and when you do store them, store them half charged.

How can I make my laptop lighter?

Chad from Cedar Rapids, IA

Episode 1296

Chad has installed Cloud Ready Chrome on his old laptop to create his own Chromebook. Leo says he's tried to install it on a Mac and it hasn't worked. If he can do it on a PC laptop, then it's a great choice. Leo loves the idea, and for a lot of people, it's far better than Windows.

Chad wants to know how he can make his laptop more lightweight. He's already put in an SSD. Leo says that's a huge start, but a great deal of the weight is in the battery. Given the design of the laptop, there's not much he can do about that either.

How can I install multiple copies of GPS software onto laptops?

Larry from Black Forest, CO

Episode 1284

Larry is a firefighter and they use a mobile computer GPS utility running Windows. But there's some Panasonic Toughbook laptops that he can't get to work. Leo says that there's a video on how to install it here (YouTube)

The chatroom suggests cloning the hard drives on the ones that do work and then manually inputting the proper activation code. If it works, then he'll know it's a software issue. If it doesn't, then it's a hardware issue.

Is a Chromebook a good computer for general use?

Episode 1284

Tim from San Diego, CA
Acer Chromebook

Tim wants to know if a Chromebook is a good option for general purpose computing. Leo says absolutely. The Chromebook is great because it runs on a simple browser without any other operating system or application required. With Google's services like Google Drive, Mail, Contacts, Photos, etc, he can do just about anything. They're very secure and reliable as well.