7 things to NOT do with your Laptop

September 28, 2011

These examples have all come from my years of dealing with laptop relative issues.

1. Do not use your laptop to process food.

Believe it or not, I’ve had to replace a keyboard on Laptop because a young child had grated a banana all over the keyboard.

Whilst this is an extreme example, it’s quite common for people to eat and drink around their computers but when you spill a drink on your laptop it’s not just the keyboard that gets damaged. If this were to happen on your desktop fine, just get a new keyboard but on a laptop the liquid easily works its way down to the system board causing a lot more damage.

2. Do not use your laptop as a Frisbee.

I have lost count the amount of times I’ve witnessed a laptop being thrown around. Not only being thrown onto a desk but also launched across the room onto a sofa.

Although some laptops may have clever technology, like the HP 3D DriveGuard, that protects the hard drive by “parking the heads” it’s not fool proof.

The hard drive is a sensitive, mechanical device not designed for hard impacts and you could easily end up losing important data when the heads bounce off the drive.

3. Remember, the screen is not a handle.

It’s so tempting but avoid picking your laptop by the screen. I’ve had to replace a number of screens that have been cracked or damaged through the excess stress that’s put on the LCD/TFT panel.

What’s more, you could also physically warp the outer casing. In one particular instance the laptop lid would shut flush on the left hand side but was raised by 8 mm on the right.

4. Be careful in bed

People sit there in their nice warm bed under the lovely feather duvet using the laptop. The problem is the laptop ends up with no ventilation and over heats causing all sorts of issues.

Recently, the video display in one laptop overheated resulting in the screen being corrupt.

The best thing to avoid this problem is a bed tray; or anything with a hard surface to allow airflow underneath and around the laptop.

5. Your laptop is not a stationery cupboard

Another common form of damage is leaving items, normally pens and pencils, in that small area just above the keyboard. Work finishes. The lid is slammed shut followed closely by a sinking feeling.

More often than not the screen gets cracked leaving lovely patterns over the screen.

6. The laptop is not a kitty play thing.

For some reason cats are oblivious to the importance of the keyboard and on more than one occasion I’ve had to replace both the keys and the entire keyboard on a laptop because a cat pulled the keys off.

Initially drawn by the warmth, a laptop provides a good place for a nice nap, left unattended a cat can become quite curious and for some reason, begin to pick at the keys.

7. The power cord is not a finish line tape

A customer explained to me “I was typing away one minute and the next minute the laptop vanished from under my hands.”

The point of realisation came when they looked round to see a static, red faced child. As the child had run past the kitchen table to the garden they had not seen the power cable stretched across their path.

Now this would not happen with an Apple Mac as they’ve got magnetic power sockets that detach when someone trips over the cable.