Notebook Tips: Extend Your Laptop's Life
These tips and products will keep your notebook going and going.
Get a grip: Keep your laptop in hand by placing strips of 3M Safety Walk tape on its case. A small roll costs about $10 at your local hardware store.
Come in from the cold: When you bring your laptop in from the chilly outdoors, don't start it until it reaches room temperature. Otherwise, condensation could wreak havoc on its circuits.
Beat the heat: Placing your notebook on a blanket or other soft surface, or running it inside its carrying case stifles ventilation and makes it overheat faster. Instead, put a pencil or similar object under the back edge to elevate your laptop; even half an inch of space lets hot air flow away from the case. For serious overheating, pick up a laptop cooling pad such as Antec's $30 Notebook Cooler.
Stay dry or fry: To protect your notebook from liquid spills, use a $15 plastic keyboard cover from Protect Keyboard Covers). It just might save you the cost of a new laptop.
Save your screen: Lowering the screen puts most notebooks into standby or hibernation mode when they're running on batteries, but doing so might not put them in power-saving mode when they're plugged into AC power. Check the Power Options settings in Windows' Display Properties to make sure that you're conserving power: Right-click the desktop, select Properties, Screen Saver, Power, and set a duration under 'System standby' and 'System hibernates.'