Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Apple Announces New Smaller iPhone SE and iPad Pro

Episode 1273

Apple iPhone SE

Apple had its event on March 21, where it announced a new iPhone SE and iPad Pro. While they aren't revolutionary products, the iPhone SE brings the features of the current iPhone 6s to the smaller 4" phone. Apple's new iPad Pro is a smaller size as well, offering the features of the 12.9" iPad in the 9.7" size.

- Learn more about the Apple iPhone SE
- Learn more about the Apple iPad Pro

Why is my computer asking me to choose a boot order?

Fran from Sherman Oaks, CA

Episode 1274

Fran updated to Windows 8.1 and now she has to always choose a boot loader. Leo says that could point to a stuck F12 key. But it could also point to a changed boot order in BIOS. She should change it back to boot Windows first. Leo also suspects that the motherboard battery is dying. It can easily be replaced by popping it out. If her date isn't correct, then she'll know for sure.

What's a good low power computer?

Steve from Trabuco Canyon, CA

Episode 1274

Steve is a HAM Radio operator who wants to use a Windows tablet to decode radio signals. He uses WSJT-X software. Leo says that Intel created a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid for lower power usage. There's also something called an Intel Compute stick that can turn a TV into a computer. There's also the Kangaroo PC by InFocus. It costs $99, is battery powered, and runs Windows 10. It would be a great choice for this.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1273

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is Bruno: The World’s First SmartCan! When you're sweeping, and it's time to get of the dust, just sweep it up to the opening at the bottom of the Bruno SmartCan and built in sensors will turn on a vacuum that's also built in. Not only does the vacuum suck up the dust, but it's funneled up the back of the Bruno device and into the trash bag! But wait, there's more!! There's also a WiFi enabled model that adds alerts you when you need to empty the trash bag, or when you're running out of trash bags. The alerts are sent to you via a smartphone app.

What is a good monitor to limit eye strain?

Douglas from Las Vegas, CA

Episode 1273

Doug wants a monitor that won't give him eye strain. What about BenQ? Leo says that they've been around a long time and are very good. They have a monitor that has low blue light and reduces flicker. Any monitor with a high refresh rate will help with eye strain, though. So he doesn't have to limit his choices to one. He should just shop for that feature.

How can I get my computer's CD drive to play?

Ernie from San Diego, CA

Episode 1272

Ernie's laptop won't read any CDs. Leo says it could be a bad drive, or some other hardware fault. If it's on the motherboard, it's a bad thing. If it's a bad drive, it's easy and pretty cheap to replace. The other option is to just use an external CD drive. Ernie can try the Dell PC Diagnostics Quick Test. It will tell him if the drive is working or not.

What mobile hotspot should I get when traveling to the US from France?

Dorothy from France

Episode 1272

Dorothy lives in France and is coming to the US for holiday. She'll be on a road trip and she wants a Wi-Fi hotspot for everyone to use in the car. Leo says that he's done that going the other way to Europe and he just rented a MiFi Wi-Fi Card. It's a credit card sized device that is battery powered and gets its bandwidth from LTE. Then everyone can share it.

How can I keep my stream from buffering?

Episode 1272

Joe from Knoxville, TN
Raspberry Pi 3

Joe picked up a Raspberry Pi 3. Leo says it's an amazing $35 computer which comes with ethernet and USB ports. It's very popular with hobbyists. Joe uses it to run XBMC with his Roku, but it buffers a lot. Leo says that a lot of things can cause buffering like a lack of bandwidth and lost packets. Leo has a hunch that the buffer in XBMC is larger than on the Roku. He'll also get less buffering with lower quality streams. He should check out adafruit.com

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1271

Dick DeBartolo

Fan Hands. Want to make noise? Want to show that you're the "Ultimate Fan"? Fan Hands is the product for you! Fan Hands is a pair of specially designed gloves that have hard plastic pieces adhered to the palms and fingers. This enables the user to create a higher sound level than simply clapping their hands. Fan Hands are great noise-makers for sporting events, concerts, fun runs/walks, and any event where applause is needed! Fan Hands are made in the USA of a breathable, polyester fabric. Fan Hands - "The Ultimate Fan's Accessory.

What's a good webcam for accessing online?

Episode 1271

John from Indianapolis, IN
Nest Cam

John wants to set up webcams on his property and access them at work. Leo says he won't want to host those at home. He'll want to use a third party service for that. It has to run multiple cameras and from all angles through one stream, though. Leo recommends Nest Cams, which he can access online. Streaming all of those cameras will kill his bandwidth, but using one would be fine. It would send the stream to DropCam and then he can access it through a browser which can be accessed by multiple computers.