Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why does my laptop say I need to replace my battery?

Riley from Boston Spa, NY

Episode 1162

Riley has a Windows 7 laptop and he's getting an error message that his battery should be replaced. Since Riley's laptop is about two years old, the time is about right for Riley to replace that Lithium Ion battery since they only have 500 fixed recharge cycles. So yes, Riley probably needs to replace the battery. If he keeps his laptop always plugged in, he'll be limiting the number of recharge cycles. He should only recharge the battery when he needs to for being out and about.

Should I wait for Windows 10 to buy a computer?

Debbie from Calabasas, CA

Episode 1162

Debbie wants to get a new computer, and she's wondering whether or not she should she wait until Windows 10 comes out. Leo says no. Microsoft is going to want everyone to move on to Windows 10 and as such, any computer that runs Windows 7 or 8 will run Windows 10. Microsoft has even said it will give it away for free in the first year to anyone currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Users will have a year to take advantage of the free upgrade when it comes out this Fall.

What electrical adapters will I need overseas?

John from Austin, TX

Episode 1162

John traveled to the UK and he got an inverter that nearly bricked his laptop. Leo says that most of the time laptops don't need a transformer because they're built for a world market. Just a plug converter is needed, or a travel adapter. They're only about $10, even at the airport. He should always look in the fine print of the device. It'll tell him the voltage it can handle.

What PC should I get for Minecraft?

Episode 1162

Rider from Manhattan Beach, CA
Dell XPS 13

Rider is saving up his pennies to get a laptop to play Minecraft and other games with. Leo says that just about any computer will be able to play Minecraft. A Mac will work as well. But more graphics intensive games may require a more powerful processor. Rider also wants the Oculus Rift, but Leo says it's just too early for that to happen. We don't know when that will be out. And by the time it does come out, Microsoft will have its HoloLens which Leo thinks would be even better.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1161

This weeks' gadget from the Giz Wiz is the Lenovo ThinkCentre M83 Tiny. A computer that's ideal for small spaces. The Tiny desktop creates an all-in-one that can be upgraded to fit the needs of the user and save space at the same time. M83 Key Specs: Intel Core i5-4590T processor, Intel HD 4600 graphics, 500GB HDD and 8GB RAM, and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.” As you’ll see on their website, there are dozens of options available to customize this computer.

Why does my Mac "Beachball?"

Loretta from Berlin, MD

Episode 1161

Loretta's Apple computer keeps "beach balling," and hangs up. This is OS X's way of saying that the computer is busy. If it's there for a long time, something is holding the computer up like a bad program or a failing hard drive. Most likely, there's a bad sector or two on the hard drive that's causing it and it could be the beginnings of a failing drive. Leo recommends going to MacSales.com and getting a new hard drive. It should be pretty simple to replace. Loretta should backup her old hard drive first.

Should I skip the iPhone 6 and get the Apple Watch?

Episode 1160

Chris from Miami
Apple Watch

The Apple Watch will work with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. He won't be able to use Apple Pay with the Apple Watch if he doesn't have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, however. So he may want to get the new iPhone 6 for that. We don't know yet if this will be such a great watch, though, anyone who's saying that is just guessing.

Should I get a Windows 8 laptop?

Episode 1160

Susan from Friday Harbor, WA
Dell XPS 13

Susan has an old Windows XP machine that she needs to replace. Can she still get a Windows 7 laptop? Leo says no, Microsoft ended Microsoft 7 release machines last October. She can buy a Windows 8 machine and then put Windows 7 on it, though.

Windows 10 is coming this Fall, and Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to it. So there's no real need to worry about having a Windows 8 machine. Leo says go ahead and buy one and see if she can live with it. She can even set it to boot to the desktop.