Ten ways to break your laptop

A computer repair company lists the top 10--sometimes bizarre--ways people deep-six their laptops.

It's a well-known fact that circuit boards and liquids don't mix, but there are more bizarre ways to break your laptop. A Massachusetts-based computer repair company has listed the top 10 ways that people deep-six their laptops--MacBooks, in particular.

Is your MacBook an accident waiting to happen?
Is your MacBook an accident waiting to happen? Apple

In many respects, a laptop is an accident waiting to happen. Often there is no more than a thin piece of plastic between the user and disaster. And Apple MacBooks are particularly vulnerable at Starbucks these days due to their increasing popularity over the standard-fare Dell laptop.

But spilling coffee on your keyboard is one of the less colorful ways to break your laptop (Apple MacBook Air owners take note: No. 7).

Computer repair company MicroReplay, which specializes in repairing Apple computers, listed the top 10 ways that consumers kill their laptops.

The List:


10. Sorry, honey, I punched the laptop: "Striking a laptop computer with a fist, even while (the laptop is) closed, will jostle the logic board and stop the computer," said Joseph Kouyoumjian, president and founder of MicroReplay. Estimated repair cost: $1,000.

9. Facebook freakout: A teenage girl discovers a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl becomes outraged and flings her MacBook off the desk, sending it crashing onto the hardwood floor. Estimated repair cost: $475.

8. Cockpit crusher: The pilot of a commercial Airbus A320 moves his seat forward while the laptop is on the floor, crushing the case and breaking the logic board. Estimated repair cost: $800.

7. Temper Toss (a subset of the "Facebook freakout"): Thrown objects can easily break a laptop's screen. "If you receive bad news on your BlackBerry, resist the temptation to throw near your open Apple MacBook Air." Estimated repair cost: $500.

6. Hurling. "If you puke on your laptop, don't even tell the laptop computer repair company what the liquid is," notes Kouyoumjian. "If we know it's bodily fluid, we don't want it." Estimated repair cost: Fix it yourself, please.

5. Passing out drunk on your Dell laptop: Your sleeping bodyweight can bend the case, and may also ruin the screen. Estimated repair cost: $325--$500.

4. MacBook laptop as foot stool, or scale: No Laptop computer is designed to support your weight, so stepping on your laptop will almost certainly break it. Repair cost: Depends on how much you weigh....

3. Ear buds as laptop or notebook computer terrorist: "Closing your laptop with your ear buds inside will crack the screen," according to Kouyoumjian. "This kind of laptop computer repair is growing with alarming speed. It seems we love our ear buds, yet forget that they are not made of cushy foam. We see a lot of cracked screens as a result." Estimated repair cost: $440.

2. Your 5-year-old discovers gravity! Any time you drop your laptop from more than 2 feet, it can shake loose a chip or board, and break the machine. Estimated repair cost: $300.

1. Starbucks hates your keyboard: "Liquid spills on a laptop's keyboard short them out every time. Maybe it's the caffeine that makes us jittery, but so many laptops are killed by coffee there should be a warning on the paper cup." Estimated repair cost: $350 to $500, depending on the amount of time the computer was left running after the spill.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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