This article would give you basic tips on how to care and maintain for your laptop and also get the most out of it. I would like to categorize this article under 4 major headings:
Preservation of Batteries
- Your Laptop would consume less power if there are less number of programs running on it. So, if you are on battery power minimize the number of programmes running on it.
- Never discharge the battery regularly. One should always charge it before it gets below about 10%. Unlike most other batteries, it is better to charge Li-Ion batteries sooner rather than later.
- Batteries lose up to 5% charge every month, so it’s better to check the battery on a regular basis. Keep it in a cool, dry place and away from extreme temperatures. Also store the battery with 40-60% charge if you don’t use it for long periods of time.
- Use of a portable mouse is better than touchpads and trackpoints. While in transit, the battery would drain very quickly if a mouse is left on.
- For lazying around while watching a DVD, a cordless mouse could double up as a remote control as well.
- Do not use your laptop while sipping coffee, cola or for that matter any drinks in hand. Leave your laptop somewhere safe while having dinner.
- Laptop keyboards are less durable than the normal keyboards. So, keep it clean and avoid being rough with it. They are also more expensive to replace.
- Usage of hard and flat surface is much better to the usage of laptop on bed, on your lap, on the carpet or for that matter any soft surfaces. Using a soft surface can restrict the airflow to your laptop causing it to overheat. Most of the laptops have air intake vents on their underside and feet to elevate it in-order to allow cool air-flow under it.
- Use a surge protector. Power supplies of your notebook do not have the luxury to bear the brunt of dangerous power fluctuations as compared to desktop computers (though you should still use a surge protector on them). A slight decent surge can cause damages which can be costly, but surge protectors are cheap. These can also protect against surges through the phone line (if you are using a dial-up modem).
- Also allow room to your laptop for exhaust outlets at the back/side of your machine. Keep it away from heat sources.
- Regularly check the laptop fans/vents for any fluff/dust buildup and also make sure the feet haven’t come off. If you feel your laptop is running hot, take it to your nearest computer technician so that they can clean it’s cooling system properly.
- Do not provide shocks (bumped) or moved while they are still switches on. Doing so may increase the chance of damaging the hard drive.
- Keep your laptop away from magnetic fields. Hard drives are magnetic devices. Exposure to strong magnetic fields can result in erasing the drive, this taking away valuable data with it. Hence, keep your laptop away from Speakers, TV’s, Refrigerators and even alarm clocks. These can generate strong magnetic fields.
- Pushing your laptop against a wall is a big NO-NO. The power connector on the laptops is at the side of the unit, meaning that it is easy to get damaged when pushed against a wall. In many cases, the power socket is built onto the motherboard, so damage may require a motherboard replacement which is not a cheap affair.
- Do not remove the labels/stickers associated with you laptop. For easy identification and also to ensure a priority level of support, your laptop has been given special labels that is important to remain on them.
- Avoid touching the screen and do not place any heavy materials on it (eg. books, bags). Close the lid gently as laptop screens are fragile and expensive.
- Usage of proper computer screen cleaning agents and soft cloth are recommended which should be available at your nearest electronics stores.
Tips while Travelling
- Always use a laptop bag to carry your laptop. These are particularly made in protecting your laptop from impact during transit.
- Laptop bags can get heavy if you overload your case with books or accessories. By making sure not to overload, you lighten the load on your shoulders.
- Many countries have broad wireless broadband coverage. But not all providers have good coverage and good bandwidth (in terms of internet speed). A USB or PC Card modem based internet plan is a better choice so that you can use the internet on your laptop anywhere you like.
- Most providers of wireless internet have coverage maps to indicate what sort of bandwidth one can expect in various different areas. Also, if you intend on using global roaming, check which networks your provider uses overseas and check the coverage maps for that network too.