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Mum...a Monster Ate My Laptop

We've all been there…the kids come home from school and there is something wrong with their laptop, something bad, and you just know this is going to be expensive.

Nothing Is Forever

The family budget is often stretched significantly when parents purchase a laptop for school, and you do so on the understanding that it will last…at least for a while. 

Often the salesperson tells you that it's good enough to see the kids through school which isn't exactly a lie, however there are many assumptions built into that statement. Specifically, that there are no accidents, spills, or other general misuse along the way. Unfortunately, that rarely is the case.

How To Kill A Laptop

In practical terms, and barring any manufacturing defects (or an act of God), you should expect to get between 3-5 years out of a good laptop but with mistreatment you'll be lucky if it makes 12 months; so it is important to educate your kids on how to take care of their laptop, more on that towards the end of the article. 

When it comes to laptop damage I've seen it all. Broken screens, keyboards, fluid damage, DOA due to overheating or damaged / faulty power adapter, disk issues etc. all of which usually have a root cause. 

Some of the most common causes include: accidental drops, kicking / punching / throwing (either during a tantrum or caused by a school mate), sitting on it, spilling liquid on it, or suffocating it (by using the laptop on dust laden surfaces like bedding or cushions – which is a fire risk as well); all of which will bring about an early demise for a laptop.

3 Ways To Protect Your Investment

A lot of people think, I will take out an extended warranty.  Unfortunately, when it comes to extended warranties they are very prescriptive about what is / is not covered, and accidental damage is generally not included. You're also not covered for data recovery, so it is important to keep a regular backup.

But, what can you do to minimize the risk?

    1. If possible try to ensure your kids laptop is covered under your home / contents insurance, that way if there is an accident, you should be able to recover some of the cost of repair or replacement.
    2. Purchase a good-quality laptop case / bag, or that your kids school bag has a padded and water-proof section for their laptop.
    3. Buy a backup drive and setup a regular backup

Multiple Repairs Multiplies Your Repair Costs

With laptops, tablets, and smartphones some repairs may be cost effective, and some are not. Setting aside the manufacturers planned obsolescence, the portable nature of these devices increases their vulnerability and can significantly shorten their lifespan, particularly if mistreated.

For common problems like: broken keyboards, some damaged screens*, faulty power supply or replacement battery a repair may make sense in isolation, particularly if you spent a lot on the laptop, however if your computer has developed multiple faults the cost of repair can quickly escalate; and in some cases, be prohibitive. 

* Touch screens are in vogue however the cost of a replacement touch-panel compared to the standard LCD panel can be exponentially higher.

Some repair shops are happy to take your money, but we prefer to be up-front. We will provide a quote on repairs if we feel repairs are viable, and if a machine is too far gone we will tell you so and can offer, where appropriate: an insurance report, data-recovery services and help setup your new machine.

Message For The Kids:  Please Don't Bully Your Laptop

 When it comes to taking care of your computer, and protecting your data, it is not that difficult. Your laptop is your friend so cherish it, don't bully, and abuse it, and remember:

    1. Your laptop is fragile: Don't sit on it, drop it, throw it, punch it, or kick it 
    2. Computers do not eat or drink: Watch where you leave your drink and, and no matter how slow it is going, do not attempt to give it energy by feeding it
    3. Just Like You, Your laptop Wants To Be Cool: Laptops hate dust and can quickly overheat if left on a bed / cushion / pillow 
    4. Use Protection: Decent Internet Security is important, but so is common sense so practice internet safety and avoid the bad sites
    5. Back it up: A regular backup will protect your important files
    6. Keep it up to date: Ensure you install relevant service packs / hot-fixes / drivers

Final Word For Parents

When dropping your laptop off for repair with us, or any another technician, ask yourself this…if the laptop looks like it has been dropped off a cliff, run over by a truck, stomped on by an angry troll or spent a little time in Dante's inferno then is it entirely unreasonable that the cost of repairs will be more than the cost of a new machine? 

It is far better to educate your kids than to deal with the inevitable disaster.  But if disaster does strike, give us a call on 9456 7932

We hope you found this article useful, if so, please don't forget to like and share. 

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