Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Will OLED TVs ever be affordable?

David from San Diego, CA

Episode 1097

David bought a Pansonic VT55 and had it professionally calibrated. He's now looking at an OLED TV, but he's not sure it'll be around very long. Scott says that OLED is stunning. But they're not cheap by any means. And new models are going to be curved, also. Scott isn't much of a fan because with screen sizes below 110", it's just an unneeded feature. There's also the problem that OLED simply isn't going to be mainstream for awhile due to the cost and we don't know how long it will survive over the long term, especially with blue colors. Blue tends to age faster.

Is it better to get an A/V receiver with 'smart' functions or use a Roku with it?

Steve from Louisville, KY

Episode 1097

Steve's Pioneer Audio receiver finally bit the dust. He's looking to replace it and wants to connect Internet Radio to it. He's heard about the Onkyo NR646. Can he use the Roku in concert with it, or should he get smart capabilities in the receiver? Scott says it really depends on which app or service he wants to use, and whether or not it's on the receiver or the Roku. There might not be an option to get a receiver without those smart functions, as most TVs now have it.

How can I rip my LPs?

Glen from Baltimore, MD

Episode 1097

Glen wants to record digitally, but his DAT player has died. Scott says that there are plenty of ways to record digitally via the computer. But if he needs to run from an analog source like a record player, he'll need to get an analog to digital recorder, and high resolution audio isn't going to be part of it. He can clean it up, but there will be a bit of analog signal noise he'll have to deal with. He could have a service rip his LPs. There are also turntables that come with USB connections that go directly into the computer.

How can I mirror to my TV with my Note 2?

Eric from Torrance, CA

Episode 1097

Eric mirrors his Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to his HDTV via NetGear. But if he roots it, it won't work. Are there any alternatives to the NetGear? Scott says that's a black art, but he could mirror to his laptop and then HDMI. The chatroom says that the laptop has to be running Chrome for that to happen. The chatroom also says the Google Chromecast won't mirror just yet. Eric could connect it via an MHL cable and then run it that way. Scott says that's "so 20th century." But there is a way and it also fits in his pocket, so as long as the TV has HDMI, he's good to go.

Should I buy a refurbished Mac from a third party?

MJ from Burbank, CA

Episode 1096

MJ is thinking about buying a refurbished Mac. Leo says that if he's going to go refurb, don't ever buy it from anyone other than the manufacturer. He should buy it from Apple. What about Mac Enthusiast in Santa Monica? Leo says he knows those guys and he'd consider that the exception to the rule. But remember that a warranty for a refurbished computer won't be from Apple.

Why am I getting an error message that my recovery partition is running out of space?

JR from Hewitt, TX

Episode 1096

JR has a Lenovo computer, and has been getting error messages that his recovery partition is nearly full. Leo says that installing programs on Windows is almost always done to the C drive by default. He can choose otherwise, but it works best keeping all the programs on same drive as Windows. Leo says he shouldn't be able to put anything on the recovery drive, as it shouldn't even be visible from the operating system. The recovery partition is designed to only be slightly bigger than what is needed to hold the Windows recovery software.

What industrial grade computer should I get for CAD work?

Episode 1096

Mackenzie from Grand Rapids, MI
Lenovo Thinkpad W540

Mackenzie needs to buy a computer and 3D printer for a business. He needs a touch screen on the laptop. Leo says that no matter what computer Mac gets, a Wacomb tablet/monitor will make it touch. But with Windows 8.1, getting a Lenovo Carbon X1 Touch is a great option.

The Thinkpad W540 is larger, has a ton of power, and is considered a "mobile workstation."