Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good Windows alternative to the 5K iMac?

Episode 1400

Rob from Vacaville, CA
Microsoft Surface Studio

Rob wants to replace his 5K iMac with a Windows desktop. He loves the hardware, but he's just not a fan of macOS. Leo says that if he wants flexibility with his hardware, then Windows is a far better option. Leo says that he doesn't have to get rid of the iMac if he likes that hardware, he can just run Windows on it through Boot Camp. He'll just need to buy a copy of Windows 10.

How should I back up my data?

Episode 1400

Steve from Riverside, CA
Synology DS416 Slim

Steve is in the process of digitizing everything and backing it up. Now he needs to consider backup options. Leo says the first thing he should do is make sure his data is encrypted. Windows 10 Pro offers BitLocker, which uses full disk encryption that unencrypts when he logs into his Windows account. He should be careful not to lose his password or certificates. He should back those up and keep them in a safe place.

What computer should I buy my daughter for school?

Episode 1399

Wendy from Los Angeles, CA
Apple MacBook

Wendy's daughter is going to college and she wants to get her a MacBook for school. She went to the Apple Store and they're trying to convince her to buy an iPad instead. Leo says that's Apple's new marketing strategy because they want to stop making computers in favor or mobile devices. But the fact is, we're not where they say we are, especially for college.

What is a good dash cam to buy?

Episode 1399

Stacey from Los Angeles, CA
BlackVue

Stacey would like to get a dash cam for her car after a recent accident. Her brother is also an Uber driver. Are there dash cams that record both forward and rear? Leo says yes. It's a huge category and there are plenty to choose from. Leo has been told that Garmin's dash cams are top notch. but they are only forward facing. That chatroom recommends BlackVue, which also records to a mobile device.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Episode 1399

James from San Francisco, CA
Samsung Chromebook Plus

James is looking to get a Chromebook, but he's thinking that as a musician, he may need a Windows machine. Are there online ways around it? Leo says that there are online resources to record audio. Leo says that Chromebooks are great for most people, but it may not be for everything he does. Leo says that before he buys, he should try using nothing but the Chrome browser exclusively for a few days and see if there's extensions that can do what he wants. Leo's guessing that for recording music, the Chromebook may be lacking and he would need a full OS like Windows.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1398

Dick DeBartolo

The folks at Monoprice say that too often, getting a low-cost 3D printer can mean getting a box of ill-fitted parts with poorly written and incomplete documentation. You end up spending hours on the internet, searching forums and asking for help to get the printer assembled and operating properly. Monoprice operates differently and their MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is a perfect example. This 2nd generation model printer not only comes fully assembled, it has already been calibrated at the factory.

What is the best way to set up my new computer?

Episode 1398

Rob from Lake Forest, CA
Laptop hard drive

Erick is having issues with his Dell laptop batteries swelling and causing a bulge in his laptop. So Dell replaced not only the battery, but the entire laptop. Could it happen again? Leo says that all manufacturers have had issues with swelling batteries, but it's unlikely that it will happen again. If it does, it's in their interest to replace it because after swelling of a battery comes catching fire and explosions.

How can I clone my old hard drive?

Episode 1398

Bill from Winnetka, CA
SSD

Bill's company has a third party server running Windows 8 Pro and SQL server. He wants to update the hard drive to an SSD, but there's latency issues. Leo says that since he's running proprietary point of sale software, the logjam could be there since they are concerned with piracy. It may mean that he can't just clone the drive and then restore it to the new one without having to reinstall that POS software. But ideally, each drive will come with a drive cloning utility that will make a direct copy that he can run. Once he does, then he can swap them out.