Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The GizWiz is shocking

Episode 1157

This week's gadget is the TreVolo portable electrostatic bluetooth speaker by BenQ. It’s the world's first portable Bluetooth speaker with electrostatic technology. Many music enthusiasts feel electrostatic technology delivers superior sound quality. But electrostatic speakers have been big and power hungry. Now, thanks to BenQ, that’s no longer true. The BenQ treVolo design, with its collapsible wings and bi-directional sound, captures an incredible range of sounds.

What laptop should I get for editing?

Andrew from Dayton, OH

Episode 1157

Dave needs a new laptop for editing video and images, and does discreet video work better? Leo says that Discreet video works for gaming, and not editing. You want an i7 with a large L2 cache. Will a touch screen help? Leo says not with video editing, now. Dell works well, as does Lenovo. You want a large screen and they're getting harder to find. Get an SSD drive. It makes a huge difference.

How can I replace my network adapter?

Ron from Hollywood, CA

Episode 1157

Ron's Dell computer is having trouble connecting and he has a hunch the network adapter is dying. He's tried different software and that really doens't work. Leo says that the adapter is soldered to the motherboard and to fix that would require changing the motherboard. But you can buy a USB-Ethernet network connector for $12. That's a good work around. Pick one up at MonoPrice.com.

How can I make an old computer faster?

Old Geek in the Bronx from New York, NY

Episode 1157

OGITB tried to clean up his friend's computer and he wants to know if "Ready Boost" will speed up that old PC. Leo says that Microsoft created "Ready Boost" for vista and Windows 7 and it would use the cache of a USB key because it's faster. Leo says he tried it and it didn't really work at all. Almost always, just backing up your data, formatting the hard drive, and reinstalling windows with the recovery disks and updating Windows will make it run like the day it came out of the box. Rather than have your friend buy a new laptop, Leo advises an iPad. It's simpler. Easier to use.

What's the best box to "cut the cord" with?

Judy from Yucaipa, CA

Episode 1157

Judy wants to know about the Jetstream Movie box. She gets all her entertainment options from satellite and antenna and she's thinking about "cutting the cord," and using it. Leo says he recommends the RokuBox. It uses the Internet to bring you streaming video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. But it doesn't give you local live broadcast channels. Neither does Jetstream, for that matter.

Can a laptop have "static buildup?"

Robert from Lolo, MT

Episode 1157

Robert is having issues with what tech support says is "static buildup" with his laptop. They advise unplugging it and plugging it back in, and that seemed to work. But it's happened several times. Leo says that can happen when the weather is really dry. That's why it's important to ground yourself before you touch it. You can do that by simply touching the case side. Unplugging and plugging it back in, though, leads Leo to believe it isn't a static issue. Leo has a hunch that it could be power supply related, or the cable connector. It just sounds like a red herring.

Microsoft Announces Holo Lens and it could change everything.

Episode 1157

This week, Microsoft announced a new Oculus killer called Holo Lens, which works natively with WIndows 10 and Leo says it's "incredibly impressive." It will give users that "Minority Report" experience and Microsoft says it's the future of computing. Leo says that after seeing computer interfaces come and go, Holo Lens is the real deal and Microsoft could very well be right. A revolution. And it starts this fall.

Why can't my Windows XP machine boot up?

Episode 1156

Louis from Palos Verdes, CA
HP Stream

Louis downloaded something and now he can't do anything when he boots up. Leo believes that the computer's hard drive is failing and that's what is causing the computer to stall on boot up. Especially considering it's an old XP machine. Given the issues Louis is having, it's unlikely from something that Louis installed. Leo says it's not really worth fixing.