Cars have bumpers. Homes have brick walls. Heck, humans have skulls. But your gadgets? They go out into the world naked, unprotected, vulnerable. It’s amazing any of them survive at all. Of course, you’ve made a considerable investment into your gadget ecosystem, so it makes sense to want your devices to last as long as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the practical ways you can prolong the life of your most beloved devices.
Laptops are tough to protect. One unfortunate encounter with the pavement and you could be looking at a busted screen, a dead hard drive, and years’ worth of irreplaceable work. At the very least, keep your laptop in a padded case when you’re walking around with it. Equally important, make sure the cooling-fan vents are never blocked during use, otherwise the laptop could overheat. Likewise, every few months, use a can of compressed air to blow dust out of those vents. While you’re at it, blow the crumbs out from between your keyboard keys; any detritus that falls into the cracks can cause keyboard malfunctions.
You should also take care not to over-exert your laptop’s battery, which has a finite number of charge cycles. If you spend most of your time working at a desk, pop the battery out and rely on AC power.
Smartphones are much easier to fortify. Look for a case with “rugged” in the description, one that offers multiple layers of outer protection and a screen shield to guard against cracks and scratches. And if you’re concerned about water hazards, send it off to a service like Liquipel, which for $60 will coat the inside and out with a special polymer that can withstand dunks in the toilet and trips through the washing machine.
Although tablets are less likely to go for a swim, you should still wrap yours in a sturdy case. That settles everyday damage protection – but what if you want to use your tablet as a kitchen companion? They’re great tools for showing recipes and cooking-prep videos, but nobody wants a tablet coated in flour or spattered with grease.
That’s why a few enterprising vendors have created disposable clear-plastic sleeves that can keep a tablet pristine in even the messiest kitchen. Once you’re done cooking, you just remove the sleeve and pitch it. But before you spend extra money on such a specialty product, try an ordinary plastic bag. (Gallon-size is about right for bigger tablets like the iPad.) They work just as well, allowing you to fully interact with the screen and buttons, but cost considerably less.
Of course, even the toughest plastic bag can’t protect your gear against unforeseen circumstances like accidentally driving over it with your car. (It happens!) That’s why the best protection is a device-specific insurance policy, which affords both peace of mind and comprehensive coverage against even the most calamitous circumstances.
To learn more about the common dangers your devices face and what you can do to keep them safe, check out this infographic from Worth Ave Group.