Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why isn't my laptop charging?

David from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1222

David is getting a low battery warning even though he's got his laptop plugged in. Leo says that a UPC battery backup could trigger that, as could the surge protector if it's malfunctioning. Both will prevent his laptop from charging if they are defective. The good news is that a laptop is built robust enough that he doesn't really need a surge protector.

What laptop should I buy?

Benny from Pasadena, CA

Episode 1222

Benny is still trying to figure out what computer to get, and he's leaning towards a Dell. Leo says he has the Dell XPS13 and he really likes it. Powerful machines, like desktop replacements, aren't usually very light. But the XPS 13 is an ultrabook and it's very light. He can also get a touch screen option, but that adds more money.

How can I encourage my kids to get into technology?

Edgar from 10 Fwy

Episode 1222

Edgar has a trio of granddaughters and two of them are into robotics. Leo says that's a great hobby that can teach them and move them into greater endeavors. Currently, they're using LEGO Mindstorms. His kids are also involved in a special program partnered with NSA to teach them to use their skills to serve the country. He's realized that he needs to get them a computer so that they can learn more.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1221

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the Nite Ize Powerkey Mini Power Cord and stylus. It's a key chain based power cord which will charge your micro USB or Lightning device. It's durable and sleekly designed to attach to your key chain. Simply pop open the protective cover, and plug in to charge or sync. There's a micro USB version for most Android phones and a Lightning version for Apple products. MSRP for the Apple Lightning connector is $24.99, and the Micro USB is a lot less at $14.99. Leo says he has one on his key chain.

How can I return my Dell computer?

T. Harris from San Diego, CA

Episode 1221

T bought a new Dell laptop and it turned out to be a lemon. So he had to send it back for repair. But he decided while he was waiting for the return box he decided he didn't want a Dell after all. He'd rather get a refund. Now Dell says it's too late. Leo says that if it wasn't past the 90 day return, T should be able to. The day he tells them he wants to return it, they can't legally run the clock out. But Leo says T may have to resort to a consumer protection agency to get recompense.

What's an affordable surveillance cam with high resolution video?

Episode 1220

Jeff from Mass
Nest Cam

Jeff's condo has been having several break ins and he's looking for a surveillance camera good enough to prosecute with. He's told that Wi-Fi cameras aren't good enough. Leo disagrees. Synology makes a good quality camera for an affordable price, and he's used DropCams (now called Nest) and they're good as well. They're 1080p HD and the quality is superb. It also helps if the area is well lit and the camera is positioned as close as possible. Nest Cam will offer online cloud recording for a monthly fee and Jeff could access it everywhere.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1219

Dick DeBartolo

With the upcoming new Star Wars films, toys are starting to come out and the biggest one so far is the new BB-8 droid toy, a remote controlled rolling droid that you can control with your smartphone. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings. BB-8 is more than a toy - it’s your companion. $149.99 with Amazon Prime.