laptops

What's the best monitor for my laptop?

Episode 1412

Cathy from Laguna Nigel, CA
Dell 27" Monitor

Cathy is looking for a monitor that she can use with her laptop when she's at home. Leo says that any modern laptop will have an HDMI port and that will connect to an external monitor. In fact, some can support up to three monitors!

What size should she get? Leo says to go with the Dell 27". It's very affordable and the color quality is really good. ASUS also makes monitors, and they are very wide for gaming. It would be great for what Cathy needs as well.

How can I get Microsoft to replace my laptop?

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Episode 1412

Johnny is a Microsoft developer and he has noticed that his laptop battery has expanded, creating a bulge and warp. So he had to get it repaired. But Microsoft wants $600 to repair it!But there's a silver lining in that Microsoft replaced the laptop for free instead. But it took a few months. Leo says that's irresponsible because a laptop with a bulging battery is basically a bomb waiting to go off. Leo says it's stories like that which led Consumer Reports to ding Microsoft for its terrible long term reliability.

Can I fix my laptop's keyboard?

Episode 1411

Carrie from Hermosa Beach, CA
Laptop Keyboard

Carrie turned on her laptop and a few of her keys don't work anymore, so she can't log in. Leo says that may indicate that her keyboard is dead or that those keys have broken. The good news is that she can plug in a USB keyboard and use it that way. She could also pry up the key caps on her laptop keyboard and see if there's some dirt or lint in them. That can easily cause a lack of connection between the keys above and below. Canned air will get rid of all that.

Why can't I use a third party charger with my HP laptop?

Episode 1409

David from Orange Park, FL
HP Spectre x2

David bought a new HP convertible laptop, and HP has made it so he can't use third party charging systems through the USB C port. Leo says that's anticompetitive, and HP is one of the few companies that does it. It just makes people angry that they are locked into using proprietary accessories with a standard open source port.

Leo suspects that maybe it's just an issue of needing more wattage since he can charge with it while the computer is turned off.

What's a good, repairable laptop?

Episode 1409

Jerry from Hatfield, PA
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

Jerry runs a dart tournament and he runs it on a spreadsheet through his mobile phone. He wants to use a laptop instead to make it easier for him. Which one should he buy, and can he have two internal drives in it? Leo says that can be done and he'll want to use an SSD for his primary drive. They have special software called wear leveling that extends the life of the SSD. They are more reliable than spinning hard drives because there are no moving parts.

Should I replace my hard drive with an SSD?

Episode 1406

Jim from Las Vegas, NV
SSD

Jim has an HP Pavilion laptop and he thinks his hard drive is about to fail. Should he put a solid state drive in it? Leo says that SSDs are much faster than spinning hard drives, and are more reliable. The question is, can the Pavilion support it? Ideally, he'll need a SATA 2 drive. SATA 3 would be even better if it supports it. Then there's the question of whether he can install it himself or would he have to pay for a tech to do so. It'll have to be in ideal shape and size than the existing hard drive. If all that works, then he should absolutely get one.