laptops

Can I use a laptop as a desktop?

Lorna from San Diego, CA

Episode 1325

Lorna wants to know if she can get a new laptop and use it as a desktop. Leo says yes. She can always plug it into a bigger monitor at home. She could also get a dock which will charge it and connect to a monitor and keyboard without having to connect cables. It's a great option. Dell makes a good one. Microsoft has one with the Surface Book laptop, but it's not cheap.

Are there any laptops with removable hard drives?

Mark from Vienna, VA

Episode 1323

Mark says that iTunes' user interface is horrible, and with iTunes 11, he can't get rid of a podcast. When he deletes it, iTunes reloads it! Leo says that other people report that it's deleting their music! So it's very manic. Mark says that iTunes won't load the playlists onto an iPad Nano because it deletes the media in the playlist. Leo says that is a known bug and it baffles Leo as to why Apple hasn't fixed that bug.

Is my laptop powerful enough for Windows 10?

Episode 1319

Sandy from Costa Mesa, CA
Dell XPS 13

Sandy just had Windows 10 installed on her computer automatically and she wonders if it's really powerful enough. It's slow and it crashes a lot. Microsoft says her laptop had old drivers and needed them updated. But after that, it's still having issues. Leo says that the problem is that Windows 10 upgraded on top of Windows. A clean install of Windows 10 might make it better. She should wipe the drive and install Windows fresh. She should first backup her data to an external drive, and Microsoft's backup utility will work for that.

Why doesn't my old laptop connect to the internet?

Sue from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1316

Sue bought a new router/modem and her laptop won't connect wirelessly anymore. She's been told that her network card is bad. Leo recommends taking the laptop to a coffee shop to see if it connects via Wi-Fi. If it does, then it's just a configuration issue. Since the laptop is Windows Vista, she wants to just get a new computer. Leo says that's a much better option since Windows 10 is far better than Vista.

Should I buy a MacBook?

Episode 1310

Ed from Seal Beach, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Ed wants to know if a MacBook is a good laptop just for getting online. Leo says it is, but it's also overkill. We've been conditioned to accept that we need a complicated computer for our general purpose daily computing needs. Leo recommends a Chromebook. They're very secure, and extremely affordable at $200 to $500. For most people's needs, it works just fine.

What is a good laptop to edit video?

Episode 1302

Mark from Tarzana, CA
Dell XPS 15

Now that he's bought a good Canon camera for his son, what is a good laptop to edit video? He's looking at the 15" MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS 15. Leo says both are excellent and it really comes down to what OS he'll want. Leo says that if he's been using OS X, then getting the Mac is the way to go.

Leo also says he can edit video on Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12, which is free. Final Cut Pro is $200, and iMovie is free. Mac vs. PC really makes no difference now, though.

Why does my laptop reboot before loading Windows?

Matthew from Vienna, AUS

Episode 1301

Matthew has to reboot his laptop several times before it finally boots up. Leo says this has been an ongoing problem with PCs for decades and Leo believes it's a hardware issue in the overall PC design. He thinks it's because the laptop is cold and when it boots up, it takes awhile to get the connections warmed up in order to work. Leo says one way to test this is to reboot with a Linux CD and see if it boots up OK. If it does, then it's a Windows software issue, and reinstalling Windows should solve it. If not, it's a hardware issue.