AT Newsletter Volume 10, April 2021

Working in technology, we have seen quite a few mishaps resulting in a good laptop being reduced to nothing more than a really expensive paperweight. The laptops we recommend are tough: they are able to take a physical beating due to their vibration and dust mil spec ratings, and the keyboard is designed to drain water through to the bottom, around the system board (please don't test that feature) but certain things will compromise the life of even the toughest laptops. Here are a few tips to help you maximize the life of your laptop: 

Give it a boot
Have you ever wondered why tech support people always ask if you've tried restarting your computer?  Actually, a lot of errors and issues can be solved by simply rebooting the laptop. In a perfect world, everyone would restart their computer every day.  Aim for restarting at least three times per week to optimize performance and reduce issues.  

Don't lunch on your laptop
Even if you are careful, eating and drinking near your laptop can result in crumbs or sticky drinks wreaking havoc. While water will flow through the X1 Carbon keyboards without damaging the laptop, any dirt or grime on the keyboard could be moved by the water into the keyboard, and cause sticky keys. I spilled a large McDonalds coffee on my previous laptop, and the laptop worked flawlessly for 3 more years.  However, sugary drinks (or a coffee with cream or sugar) can cause the keyboard to stick and debris on the keyboard can be pushed into the laptop by a spilled beverage.

No smoking
Smoking near the laptop can create build up inside the system board prohibiting peak performance. Also, the computer will carry the smoke, tar and odor to wherever it's used. 

Your laptop doesn't like your lap 
The name laptop is misleading because using it on your lap could actually damage the machine.  The powerful processors generate an enormous amount of heat making placing your laptop on your lap uncomfortable for you and dangerous for the machine. Many laptops have vents on the bottom so using them on a soft surface can block the vents and cause lasting heat damage. We have had several clients ask us to troubleshoot the heat generated by their laptop as it's not uncommon for internal temperature to reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a laptop stand will help make sure the airflow around your machine is sufficient to keep it from overheating.   

Stick It (or don't)!
A sticker on a laptop is like a tattoo and should be considered permanent-apply them with caution and plan on keeping the sticker forever.  The special rubber coating on Lenovo laptops could be damaged by removing stickers leaving you with two bad options: live with the ugly sticker or live with a laptop that may look worse due to a damaged finish.

It's in the bag 
If you take your laptop from home to work or anywhere, make sure you have a decent laptop bag,  Buy one that is padded at a minimum and a floating laptop sling is even better.  Also look for a waterproof or water resistant bag for added protection.  

Some like it hot-but your laptop doesn't
Extreme heat or cold can cause damage and will cause premature failure of the battery so don't leave your laptop in a car or anywhere with extreme temperatures. 

We would like to customize our future iMIS trainings to the topics that are most relevant and important to you.  Please reply to the short survey below so we can get your input.

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