Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Jackie is considering making "the switch" to an iMac. Leo says he prefers the Mac, but there's really not that much difference now between Mac and Windows. It's largely a matter of taste. Buy business grade hardware and it'll last. Not all PCs are business grade - a lot of them are low quality consumer grade computers at low cost.
This week, Dickie D shows off a pair of terrible As Seen on TV gadgets. The most worthless item is EarVac. Ear Vac is a small, battery operated device to, in theory, gently suck the wax of your ear. It runs on two AA batteries, not included. Does it work? No. See the video here.
David has a home theater PC (HTPC) and he wants to get a larger hard drive, but he doesn't want an external drive in an enclosure. He just wants a bare bones disc to copy over too. Will a USB to SATA adapter do the job?
Leo suggests the NewerTek Universal Drive Adapter and it's a very handy thing to have around to access a bare bones hard drive. Not something he'll want to use every day, but it's great for when he needs to pull data off a hard drive.
Ryan has a car stereo that has bluetooth capability. He'd like to replace it with an Android tablet that can do the same thing. Leo says it's easy to do and he's seen it with an iPad. It does require some mofication of his dash, however. It also has to have the capability to route audio out of the USB port.
This weeks' gadget is The Source by Soda Stream. This is a 2nd generation soda machine that takes your tap water and incorporates flavored syrups and carbon dioxide to create your own soda. For $15, you can make up to 45 bottles of soda, which is about .30 a bottle, or 1/3 the price. You can enjoy great-tasting soda or plain seltzer in about 60 seconds. Dick made about 45 bottles of soda from one 60L Carbonator.
Hamit is blind, but he's interested in getting a 4K UHD TV. Hamit got Blu-ray for the audio, and he wonders if he'll need to use UHD. Leo says that with 4 times the resolution, he'd get 4 times the data. With UHD, more dots equal more data and the content will come down via streaming or a new disc that will handle 4 times the data. Leo suspects that compression will get better and better and storage will get better as well. All those things will meet in the middle and once UHD is mainstream, the workflow will be there to support it.
Leo says that external mics don't just inherently work with the iPad. He'd have to find something that would be able to plug into the lightning port on it. Steven is trying to make this work with the Double Robotics iPad robot, too. He could get the Rode LAV mic, but it would have to work within the Double Robotics software. He might have to call Double Robotics to find out what he could do. Leo thinks that any mic he can connect to the iPad would be recognized by it, though.
This week's gadget is the Mogo2Go. It's billed as the mobile phone case + wallet in one. It attaches to the back of your phone with 3M adhesive. It’s made of a high-quality silicone. The pocket slots are said to hold up to 3 cards. It holds your ID, credit cards, etc, and the best part is that it's only $5 plus shipping.
Monroe has a two year old MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and he's thinking of boosting the RAM on it to avoid beach balling. Leo says that beach balls tend to be an indication of software issues. Leo recommends formatting the hard drive and reinstalling OS X. While he's at it, he should upgrade to Lion. Upgrading to 8GB really isn't worth the performance boost he'll get, which is marginal.
Dillon is interested in Google Glass, but he wants to know how it works out in rural areas. Leo says he can't use it without connection via an Android phone and Bluetooth. Without that, he could take pictures, but he wouldn't be able to upload them. That would just be a mighty expensive camera.
Google Glass isn't even out to the public at this point, so things may change by the time it does hit the market.