Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is there a market for high end smart watches?

Episode 1154

Dave from Fullerton, CA
Apple Watch

Dave says that there will be a market for the Apple Watch. Leo agrees and says that Swiss watches are worried that these smart watches will put them out of business. Especially the really expensive watches. But those expensive ones are status symbols, and nothing more. A good reliable watch now is under $10 thanks to quartz movements. It's really all about jewelry.

How can I get my ASUS ZenWatch to wake up?

Episode 1154

Steve from San Antonio, TX
ASUS ZenWatch

Steve got an Asus Zenwatch and he wants to know if it's a good smart watch. Leo says that it's a nice watch that has some good software. But it's ambient mode is a bit tedious because you have to violently shake it to wake it up, and sometimes it just doesn't know you're looking at it. Leo suggests updating the watch to the Lollipop version of Android Wear. They've worked on that. He can set the 'time out' for longer if he needs to as well.

Will Photoshop work well on a Mac Mini?

Episode 1153

Beanie from Reykjavik, Iceland
Apple Mac Mini

Beanie wants to know if Photoshop works the same on the Mac Mini as it would on a similar small device from HP. Leo says that Photoshop is CPU bound, meaning the speed of the chip's cores will matter. The more cores, the better. An SSD will speed it up, as well as a good graphics processor. The Mac Mini uses Intel's Iris Processor, which is OK. So while there are speed differences, it largely depends on what he's doing, and chances are, he's really not going to notice. Going up to an i7 processor will give him a boost because of hyperthreading, but only if he really, really needs it.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1153

Dick DeBartolo

Dickie D is back with the Pet Cube. It's a device that allows you to play with your dog over the Internet. It allows owners to watch, talk, and play with their pet from their smartphone thanks to a built in wide-angle (138º) camera along with real time HD video. You can also talk to your pet as the camera has a built-in microphone and speaker. And you can control a laser pointer so you can move it around via remote and play with them through the Petcube mobile app on your smartphone. It's available for Android and iOS. You can also take pictures with it. $199.00.

Tips for Flying Quadcopters

Episode 1153

Mark from San Diego, CA
Quadcopter drone

Mark's company currently enjoys an exemption from the FAA to fly drones for commercial use. Mark says the lighter your drone is, the more challenging it is to fly. It's always important to have extra batteries. Additionally, it's important to always fly with someone else because your perspective is often skewed, and a second person can help you keep track of it.

Pilots Pushing For New FAA Drone Policies

Episode 1153

Aerial Drone

Airplane pilots are pushing for new rules from the FAA to protect them from unmanned aerial drones, and according to GigaOm the pressure from aviation groups has been part of the reason why the FAA hasn't adopted formal commercial drone rules. Leo says that the other part of the problem is that the FAA, while having the authority to put forth said rules, has no way to enforce them.

Is there much of a difference between a Dell XPS i7 and a Mac Pro for video editing?

Episode 1152

Ken from Cape Girardeau, MS
Apple Mac Pro

Leo says there's not much difference between the two. He uses a Mac Pro at home and likes it, but it's not very upgradeable, and any upgrades he could do would have to be external. On a PC, if he gets a tower case, upgrades are easy. Leo just got all of the video editors at TWiT Dell PCs and they will be moving to Adobe Premiere. The Mac Pro is expensive for what you get, and for pro video editors it's probably not the best solution.

How can I get my laptop screen to work?

Episode 1152

Larry from Hisperia, CA
Acer Chromebook

Larry has a 7 year old laptop, and its LCD screen died. Leo says that often with laptops, the backlight goes out. If he uses it outside, he can adjust the angle to see something. If it's all black, then it's likely that the ribbon cable has finally broken from the frequent opening and closing. If he has a monitor with a VGA port and can plug it in, he can still use it as a desktop.

Another problem is the power supply. But after 7 years, they're really not worth repairing, especially since Larry can get a Chromebook for about $200, or maybe even an HP Stream.

What should I get to replace my old laptop?

Episode 1152

Diane from West Los Angeles, CA
HP Stream

Diane had an old Thinkpad and she needs to replace it. Would an iPad be sufficient for her? Leo says maybe, but for what Diane does online, a Chromebook a better and cheaper option. They only cost about $200 to $300. It's simple, based on Google, and is very secure. She could even get a 15" model now. They have a nice "power wash" feature that would allow her to start over if something goes wrong. She can also attach it to an external monitor.