Problems with thin notebooks

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People are buying into the idea that thinner and lighter is better.  Sure light weight helps when you’re carrying around a notebook/laptop all day, however to make it lighter you are giving up a few features such as now having a smaller screen, smaller battery, no DVD drive, and a thin screen.  So you’re probably wondering why I say a thin screen is classified as a bad thing; here’s the problem.

Computers used to be built like tanks, even laptops which are called notebooks now so people don’t get the impression you can use them on your lap.  It’s a notebook so you can use it on your desk rather than block the heat vents when it sits on your lap.  That’s besides the point, but leading up to the idea of peoples expectations of notebooks thinking they can’t get damaged that easily.  Laptops are built with plastic parts that snap together with less screws to begin with.  Having the thin screens means it can more easily crack as well.  It doesn’t take much pressure to crack a screen and with a thin screen it doesn’t have as much padding on the back either.  So pressure from the back of the screen can crack it just as easily as if you had pressure from the front.

Knowing a few pointers to avoid cracking your notebook screen can help keep it in one piece.  Some of you might think these are obvious but people actually don’t think twice about it:

  1. Don’t carry your notebook around by the screen with the lid open.  The base part is heavier and you’re putting all the weight on the screen, and having to squeeze it that much tighter probably too which will definitely crack it.
  2. Don’t try pulling your notebook out of your bag with one hand.  You’ll most likely be grabbing it from the middle of the screen and squeezing hard to get a good grip to pull it out.
  3. Careful how you pack your bag.  When putting the notebook in your bag, have the screen side of the notebook facing the outside of the bag or the side of your bag that doesn’t have any hard items such as your battery charger, screw driver, etc.  Hard items like this can cause concentrated pressure on the notebook, so if it’s against the bottom of the notebook (The motherboard side) it’s not going to hurt it.  If the screen side is getting pressure from these items, the screen will crack, especially if your bag is packed tight.  A bunch of papers or books won’t pose as much of a threat since they are flat and especially if they are as long as the notebook itself to distribute the pressure evenly, but there ideally should be no pressure.
  4. Use a proper notebook bag or at least use a notebook sleeve to protect it from the rest of the stuff in your bag.

These tips don’t just apply to thin screen notebooks.  Any notebook at all you want to be careful.  You don’t have to be paranoid about it or baby your notebook, but just be mindful of how you are handling it and remember it could cost you a couple hundred dollars to repair depending on the Make/Model and if there is even stock available.  If it’s too new, warranty won’t cover it and there will be no local stock easily accessible.

About Daniel Gauthier

work as a peace officer in various forms. Daniel wrote a book in 2009 called “Tech-Knowledgy” which got him on television and radio a few times. The concept behind the book was “to level the playing field between computer techs and non-techies so they don’t get take advantage of”.
Daniel has a couple certifications including MCP and A+; he is preparing to write the Network+ exam and has studied CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and CHFI (Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator). Daniel has run his own computer service business “TwinBytes” since 2004. He has done a few talks on cyber security and generally enjoys training, educating and helping others.