Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why does my laptop reboot before loading Windows?

Matthew from Vienna, AUS

Episode 1301

Matthew has to reboot his laptop several times before it finally boots up. Leo says this has been an ongoing problem with PCs for decades and Leo believes it's a hardware issue in the overall PC design. He thinks it's because the laptop is cold and when it boots up, it takes awhile to get the connections warmed up in order to work. Leo says one way to test this is to reboot with a Linux CD and see if it boots up OK. If it does, then it's a Windows software issue, and reinstalling Windows should solve it. If not, it's a hardware issue.

Is Tesla's autopilot feature safe?

Episode 1301

Bill from Glendora, CA
Tesla Autopilot

Bill has a Tesla with the autonomous driving feature and he likes it a lot, but sometimes it can "misbehave." It won't change lanes unless he uses the turn signal to do so. It really does its job though, when in stop and go traffic. Leo says that is part of adaptive cruise control and it's great. Bill feels safe using the autonomous features. Leo says that even so, it's important to treat it as a driver assist and pay close attention to how it operates so he can take action should he need to.

Autonomous Vehicles Have First Reported Fatality

Episode 1301

Tesla has become the first car maker to have true autonomy in their cars, but they also now have the sad distinction of being the fist autonomous car to suffer a fatality. Leo says that while tragic, auto pilot is not perfect. Autopilot is better than human drivers who are honestly terrible drivers, but it won't ever be perfect in the fluid nature of driving in traffic. And crashes will happen. Leo also says don't treat autopilot like it's infallible and ignore what's going on. Think of it more as "driver assist." Pay attention. That way if anything happens, you can take action.

Should I buy a new 5K iMac?

Episode 1300

Laura from San Diego, CA
Apple iMac with 5K Retina display

Laura has had an iMac for 9 years and is wondering if she should upgrade her Mac to a new one. She's looking at the 5K iMac. Leo says it's a beauty and the best computer that Apple makes. Leo says that's a beautiful choice, but she shouldn't feel like she needs to buy a new computer if all she needs to do is replace the hard drive in the old one.

Where can I buy a charger for my fitness watch?

Episode 1300

Gary from Laughlin, NV
New Balance NX950 GPS Runner

Gary picked up a second hand New Balance runner's watch and he needs to get a USB charger for it. Leo says that NBMonitors.com is where he can go if it uses a proprietary connector. It uses a Pogo pin plug, though, and that means he can't just pick up a third party charger.

If Gary can find out what model number it is, he may be able to go to eBay and pick one up. He should definitely get it from New Balance, though.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1299

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is perfect for the summer. It's the Kool Max Cooler. This is a 40 qt. cooler that holds up to 48 cans or 28 bottles and keeps ice frozen for up to 3 days. Inside the lid is a detachable cooler flashlight (3 AAA batteries not included) which can be used elsewhere at night. Other features include a 350 watts amp with Bluetooth digital music player and FM radio with two built-in 6.5” Hi-Fi water-resistant speakers and two 2” high performance tweeters. It has XLR microphone/instrument input, 1/4 inch instrument input for entertaining with live music.

What computer should I get for video editing and 3D rendering?

Doug from Sacramento, CA

Episode 1299

Doug has been taking a lot video classes with Adobe Premiere and After Effects, but his HP computer performance isn't all that great. Leo says that when you buy a computer at Costco you're not going to get a pro-grade device. If Doug is being slowed down by rendering, he'll not only want a lot of RAM, but he should also put in an SSD. A good NVidia or ATI Radeon video card will give him a fast GPU to handle the rendering instead of his PC's processor. That's what Premiere relies on -- the GPU.