Notebook care is no trivial matter! It carries all your important files and memories. Having it go out of order is simply just unacceptable! Based on past experiences I have put up a few things that should help you take care of your laptop and extend its life.
To start off let us divide the article into two sections:
- Daily care instructions
- Battery care
Daily Care Instructions
- Make sure that none of the intake and exhaust vents are blocked. Vents can be easily blocked if the laptop is placed on the bed/carpet/cloth/cushion as most laptops have vents on the underside. Blocked vents can lead to over heating.
- Your laptop is not your dining table mat. Stop munching over your laptop or using oily fingers on the keyboard. You wouldn’t want bread crumbs or lays in your keyboard.
- If your laptop model/ Laptop GPU is one mentioned in the link posted below please avoid taxing your laptop (Playing GPU intensive games, Streaming on HD displays). Click for Details
- As harmless as it may seem, prevent your laptop from dust. It is the number one killer of laptops. Here is how; Every laptop has an intake fan and an exhaust fan too cool it down. Depending on your environment the intake fan maybe be sucking a lot of dust causing it to clog the fans which would gradually cause over heating. A common symptom that I’ve noticed is that the fans starts to whine. If that is the case try blowing into one of the vents and you should notice a cloud of dust. I would recommend have it serviced once in a while to keep the insides clean.
- Humidity, Water, Spills, Liquids. It shouldn’t be a surprise but your laptop is allergic to liquids so please keep it away from them. Stop having coffee, coke, juice or whatever you like in its vicinity. Even if you are a very cautious and careful user your laptop might still be exposed to humidity. Humidity can be caused by a number of factors such as climate, proximity to a water source (canal, river, sea), Use near a water air cooler. Some of these factors are beyond your control and will cause your laptop to depreciate more than those used in dryer environments. Parts usually affected are RAMs, Hard drives and in worse cases motherboards. The best you can do is to take continual backups of your sensitive data.
- Spending money and picking out the best laptop is not enough. You should make sure that you buy a good quality case and bag for it as well. Laptops are portable; meant to be carried around and carrying them around unprotected can be very dangerous. You might accidentally nick yours somewhere or might drop it. Unprotected it would be prone to all types of shocks. Shocks can cause mechanical damage to moving parts such as the hard drive. Would you want to lose all your data? I have often seen people buy cheap low quality bags that do more damage than protection. To learn more about cases, read the bag buying guide aimed to help you get the case that fits your needs! A good case dramatically increases the life of your laptop by protecting it from physical wear and tear. Bags/Cases for your gadgets
- Do you have a habit of touching your laptop screen? If you do please get rid of it. The screen is not meant to be touched or pressed upon. There is a great risk that you might poke it harder than it can sustain causing permanent damage to that beautiful display. It also leaves hard to remove and ugly fingerprints/smudge marks on your screen. Always use a lint free cloth to clean your screen and avoid using fancy solutions to clean the exterior. You might accidentally wipe off that coconut white color! The bottom line; keep your laptop clean!
- Go easy on your laptop! Always remember that a laptop is not designed to function as a desktop or as a server. It is not designed to be left on for days, weeks or months. Always take care if you have a dedicated GPU on board as prolonged use causes it to heat up. Constant taxing would also depreciate the hardware quicker! So avoid making your laptop a downloading server, go and get yourself a desktop if you must!
One of the most crucial and important features of a laptop is its battery which make it possible for you to carry it around and use it on the go. Batteries no doubt wear out eventually leaving you with 5-10 minutes backup but they vary in their lives depending on your usage. If you are brutal with your machine it may wear out in 2-3months and might go on for 2-3 years or even more!
Just to illustrate; My friend and I ordered the same 17″ gaming notebooks with the same original batteries and it turns out that his battery gave out in 10 months while mine is still going strong, giving 1.5 hours on a full charge after 2 years. Backup of the new battery being roughly 3h 30m.
So what is the secret?
- Never overcharge your batteries! I have heard people say that once the laptop is fully charged it shows the battery status as so and stops charging therefore causing no harm. I don’t believe this. In my opinion it keeps on charging and makes the battery lazy. This in turns causes the battery to discharge quickly.
- Nowadays batteries have got advance circuitry to cope with cycles and have built in memory to track performance etc but still no not leave it on the wall charger over the night or even while using it fully charged. If you have a gaming machine you can pull out the battery an run it on AC power. That way you can run your notebook on high performance required by GPU intensive games.
- Remember to let the battery run low every once a while. This helps to keep the battery in shape. You could even do a power cycle that includes a full charge and a full discharge followed by a full charge again.