Hardware Tips: Cheap Notebook Tweaks--Maximize Your Laptop

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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.

Cool your laptop and improve its circulation with Antec's Notebook Cooler.
Cool your laptop and improve its circulation with Antec's Notebook Cooler.
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.'

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