For most people, laptops represent pretty significant investments. If chosen wisely and used correctly, they can last quite a while before becoming obsolete or malfunctioning. For a decent laptop that’s capable of doing everything you need, you’ll likely spend a pretty penny. Thus, it makes good sense to know how to care for it. When problems arise with relatively new laptops, many consumers blame these issues on a general decline in product quality and the all-around unpredictable nature of new technology. In reality, however, they’ve likely done one of the following six things to diminish the lifespans of their computers.
- Actually using your laptop on your lap
The term laptop was intended to convey the portability of these devices and their ability to be used without sitting at a traditional desk. Actually putting your laptop in your lap, however, can cause its processor to overheat. Functioning as the computer’s brain, the processor does a considerable amount of work and generates a significant amount of heat as the result. If you place your computer on your lap, you’ll be blocking the built-in venting system that’s designed to keep this component cool.
- Using the screen to pick your laptop up
Never use your laptop screen as a handle. It’s always far better to lift and carry this device by its base instead. That’s because screens are made from plastic and attached with metal screws. Putting too much stress on the screen can weaken and degrade the plastic leaving you with either a broken screen or a screen that’s inconveniently loose at its attachments.
- Never turning your laptop off
Shutting down and turning your laptop off takes time. It also takes time to turn it back on and boot it back up when you’re ready to work again. As such, a lot of people make the mistake of leaving their computers on all of the time. When you do this, you’re preventing your device from getting potentially critical updates. These updates are designed to bolster and improve software and to “patch” or repair vulnerabilities. None of these protective improvements can take effect until your laptop is restarted. To ensure that your laptop remains updated, be sure to shut it down completely at least once per week.
- Not using an actual laptop bag
Apart from being stylish and professional-looking, laptop bags are designed to provide essential cushioning for portable computers. If these bags are dropped or jostled, their contents typically remain unharmed. If you’ve been carrying your laptop in a traditional backpack, be sure to put it in an insulating case first. You can also look for a backpack that has a special, cushioned laptop chamber or slot.
- Overlooking the need for antivirus software
Without antivirus software, your new laptop will work just fine. What it isn’t guaranteed to do is to continue working that way. The wrong virus or malware can damage your computer entirely. Antivirus software is absolutely vital for keeping your system bug-free. Always look for a trusted software provider and a program that comes with auto-updates.
- Opening too many tabs at once
With your attention and your actions split in a seemingly endless number of directions, having multiple tabs open probably seems quite normal. From working, studying, social networking, and keeping up with the news, it’s easy to go from one tab to five or more tabs in almost no time flat. While your laptop is designed to handle having multiple tabs open, pairing poor ventilation with this extra stress can make your device overheat. Ultimately, the more work that you make your processor do, the more wear and tear it will invariably sustain.
Getting a quality laptop that’s streamlined to suit your user habits and your needs is definitely worth the spending. To get the most for your money, however, you’ll want to make a diligent effort to protect your laptop’s lifespan. By avoiding the six mistakes mentioned above, you can enjoy your new computer for quite some time to come.