Dave is looking to get the Dell Inspirion 5000 laptop for about $699. Leo says that for basic work, it'll be just fine for Dave's needs. How can he learn to use it? Leo says he could take a class at a local community college, but it's really better to just get it and play with it and learn as he goes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greg's 08 MacBook Pro makes a strange noise. Now it even autotypes all by itself! Leo says it sounds like a stuck key. He should go through all the keys just to see if one of the keys is sticking a bit. It's common as keyboards get dirty.
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.
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.
Chuck's wife has a Windows 10 computer that keeps going into airplane mode. He has to go to a restore point just to get it connected. Leo says that there is an airplane mode key -- F2 or the Print Screen key -- and if he accidently hits it, it will put his laptop into airplane more.
Joe used to run the mobile division of IBM. He lead the charge to develop the Butterfly keyboard, which opened up the keyboard to be a full sized keyboard and then close back up when you closed the laptop. It was pretty slick and became the highest selling product in IBM history. But it was really expensive and eventually dropped from sight.