A laptop can hold your life. If you’re working from home, it’s essential to your income. For students, it’s where you keep all your notes and essays. Plus, there are the personal photos and videos. Maybe sometimes use it to stream TV shows or sports, or to video chat with friends and family. Even if you don't use it for any of those things, it's still an expensive device which you'd like to make last as long as possible. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you keep newer laptops in top shape physically.
Don't drop it
We'll get the most obvious tip out of the way first: Laptops are not built to be dropped/thrown/stood upon or withstand any serious impact. Even if you keep your laptop in a bag while transporting it, be careful with the bag itself as laptops are still frequently damaged when it's assumed they're safe in a bag or case.
You also don't want to use your laptop in the bathtub or at the pool as even a simple water spill on a laptop can damage the circuitry. If you do get your laptop wet, immediately turn it off and unplug everything attached to it. If you can find a large enough container, you can try the "rice trick" similar to a cell phone but keep in mind this is a last-resort tactic and is not reliable.
With laptops getting thinner in every iteration, the screen and bezel surrounding it, are also getting thinner and weaker. This makes the display more prone to flexing which can damage the display, the bezel and also the almost paper-thin hinges on which the whole setup pivots on.
When opening and closing your laptop's lid, be sure to open it in one of these two ways: Either grasp each side of the lid in the middle of the display and rotate the lid up. Or, if your laptop has stiffer hinges, grab the top-center of the lid with one hand and gently lift while keeping the rest of the laptop down with your other hand placed in the center of the base.
Don't modify your keyboard or screen
Alright, maybe you weren't planning on putting faux rhinestones on the screen or keyboard. Still, reconsider any decorations or modifications you might think of adding. Even a keyboard protector (to prevent dust or spills getting into the circuitry) or the ever-popular camera privacy stickers could damage some of the new super-thin laptops. There is now so little clearance between the keyboard and the screen that any of these could potentially crack the screen when the lid is closed.
If you really must have stickers, put them on top of the laptop lid or on the protective sleeve that you get for your laptop. Keep the inside part of your laptop item-free.
Many newer laptops are now using USB-C as the preferred connection for power. This is great because it not only allows you to charge your laptop but you can also use the port for other things when you're not charging it. However, this port does present a challenge: it can be damaged. There is a small plastic "tongue" in the connector which can be broken if whatever is plugged into it is jerked or pulled in any direction but straight out. While it's always been possible to damage the DC jack, even on older laptops, the new use possibilities provided by USB-C mean your charge port may be seeing a lot more use than the older power connectors.
Keep it cool
Again, as the laptops get thinner, they are more vulnerable to internal overheating. Newer laptops have very little margin for error when it comes to keeping things like the processor and memory cool. Ensure your laptop's intake and exhaust ports, usually located on the sides and bottom of the laptop, are unblocked so that air can flow through and cool the circuitry. You may also want to blow dust out of the vents using canned air on occasion.
Also, avoid placing your laptop on very soft surfaces like bedspreads or couch cushions. A soft, uneven surface is more likely to block those intake and exhaust ports. This leaves your device unable to regulate its temperature and will likely cause overheating. While most modern laptops have built-in temp sensing which will shut the laptop down before it melts, it's generally not advisable to take it to this limit.
Keeping laptops running for the long haul
Laptops are great at offering a perfect blend of portability and practicality. Newer laptops are taking these features to the next level but, as with anything, they do have a couple drawbacks. Average laptop lifespan these day varies between two to five years. Keep your laptop on the long side of this range by taking these tips to heart.