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Top 5 Tips to Extend Your Laptop's Life

Because laptops are so portable, they're also subject to shorter life expectancies. They're vulnerable to being dropped, spilled on, or even left in a hot car. This week, Tech Talker gives his top tips for extending the life expectancy of your laptop so you can make the most of your computing investment.

By
Eric Escobar,
July 3, 2014
Episode #131

Page 1 of 2

Hey, everyone! This week, I'm going to show you how to get more life out of your laptop!

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Keep your laptop coolMore and more often, computer users are opting to use laptops over desktops. Laptops are portable, full computers (as opposed to mobile operating systems like the ones you'll find on tablets), and they are becoming almost as powerful as their desktop counterparts.

However, a laptop's strength is also one of its greatest weaknesses. Its portability also tends to bring along some risk. For example, they are more vulnerable to being dropped, spilled on, or left in a hot car. This generally leads to very short life expectancies for laptops. So. let's jump right into it and I'll give you my top tips for making sure you get the most out of your investment! 

Tip #1. Keep Things Cool

Here's my number-one tip -- keep it cool! Whether it's a phone, tablet, or laptop, excessive heat is the enemy here. It's horrible for electronics. For example, extreme heat can lead to screen damage, short battery lives, and even certain glues melting into the device.

There's more! When metals heat up, they also expand, and then contract when cooled. This means that all of the wire and metals in your device are being stretched and compressed, which could lead to the failure of any number of key components.

So, what will it mean if you inadvertently skip this tip and heat up your laptop once or twice? Is it the end of its life? Most likely not. However, repeated exposure to heat, whether it's from being left in a hot car or in direct sunlight could easily lead to a much shorter life. Take it from me, keep your devices cool and they will perform much better for you -- and last much longer. 

Tip #2. Buy a Case

The human skin is a wonderful thing, and when you get a bruise or scrape, your skin will heal itself within a couple of days. Laptops, on the other hand, are not so lucky. They show every scrape, bump, and accident like a badge of honor. So, do yourself a big favor and buy a case for your laptop. 

A good case can do a lot to pad your laptop from a life of minor scratches and bumps. I have a nice slim case that my laptop fits into like a glove. I put my laptop in this sleeve and then, from there, into my bag. This provides some padding and also keeps it super clean -- added bonus.

There are also cases that are attached directly to the laptop that protect it like a shell. That's yet another layer of great protection.

See also: Inside Tech Talker's Backpack: Hardware Roundup

Tip #3. Keep It Clean

This a good segway into my next tip. Keeping your laptop clean is a must if you want it to have a long life. This process doesn't have to be super intense by any means. Just running a can of compressed air through each of the ports, and keeping dust and junk out of the nooks and crannies should do wonders.

This isn't just to make your laptop look clean. Keeping grime out of hinges and moving parts reduces wear and also the chance for failure.

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