December 13, 2009

How you can Get More Years of Useful Life from your Laptop

While you can take some steps to get more years of useful life from your laptop, it is true however that doing so would involve some upfront costs.

Should you have your broken laptop repaired or would you rather buy a new one? A few simple ideas for lengthening the life of your laptop may mean not having to deal with this question later on.

You already know the basics of taking care of your laptop. You normally would not leave your laptop on places where it might be stolen or where it might fall down or where it might get wet or where someone may accidentally sit on it. You already know that the laptop bag was made to provide basic protection for your laptop so you diligently use it when taking your laptop outside or bringing it with you on a long trip. Of course you would not let small children play with your laptop or expose your laptop to extreme temperatures whether hot or cold.

But there are other not so intuitive ways of prolonging the life of your laptop that you may not be aware of. So here are some points that you might want to consider if you want to get more years of useful life from your laptop.

If you're using your laptop in places where it can become extremely hot, you can use a laptop cooler to keep the heat from accumulating at the back of your laptop. A basic laptop cooler simply affords space where your laptop can breathe to prevent the back of your laptop from getting too hot. More sophisticated coolers provide small fans that drive away the heat from the back of your laptop but they have to draw power from the USB connection in your laptop.

Your laptop's keyboard and pointing device are both expensive and fragile components while those used for desktops are cheaper and more durable. So, when using your laptop at home, connect both a USB keyboard and mouse on your laptop. They are easier to use and less expensive to replace. And you can probably work faster without having to worry about having to replace them when they break down.

If dust is a problem where you use your laptop, make an effort to dust off your laptop's keyboard to prevent dust from setting in underneath. Dust can prevent good contact on the switching mechanism under the keyboard and can make some keys dead or unusable. You can purchase a USB powered vacuum cleaner that can suck the dust that have settled between the keys of your laptop's keyboard.

The DVD ROM drive that came with your laptop should never be used for high volume copying of writing. If you need to do high volume DVD or CD writing, then it might be a good idea to buy an external DVD ROM drive that can be connected to one of the USB ports in your laptop. You can then use the external drive for high volume writing and use the internal drive only occasionally.

When you're using your laptop at home, connect an external portable speaker to the audio out port of your laptop. This way, you'll have better sound quality and you'll be able to extend the life of your laptop's speakers. It will also safeguard your laptop's internal components from the vibrations caused by the internal speakers. An external portable speaker would not significantly affect your electric power consumption.

Getting more years of useful life from your laptop invariably involves some costs. One setback for implementing these measures is that there will be a considerable drain on your laptop's battery. But if you're using your laptop at home most of the time, then you can always connect your laptop to the electrical outlet. Your laptop's power consumption is just minimal compared with other electrical appliances so the impact to your power bill can be negligible. To save on electricity, power on your external DVD ROM drive only when you're going to use it.

Another drawback would be the cost of the additional equipment that you have to buy. Well, if your laptop is critical to your livelihood or if you use your laptop for doing your job, then everything that is necessary for your laptop to be in top shape must be done. Compare the value of the opportunity and time that you stand to lose when your laptop suddenly breaks down. I think it would be far greater than the amount that you have to spend upfront for the additional equipment.

With computers, it is sometimes preferable to buy a new unit than have your broken-down unit repaired. You might find yourself thinking of buying a new unit when you find out how much the repair would cost. The upfront cost of additional equipment can serve as insurance that can extend further the time that you need to buy a new computer.

The best thing that can happen is that you will want to replace your laptop after having served you well without ever having to break down. These simple little steps might just help you achieve that goal.

Read my article on a common sense approach to investing on a laptop at:

Read my other article on whether your laptop is getting obsolete or not at:

Read my other article on laptops may yet survive despite the tablet onslaught at:

Read an article on how to safeguard personal files on your computer at:

Read an article on how you can keep your hard disk lean and clean to extend the useful life of your Vista laptop at: