22 May Protect the Most Common Breakage Points on Chromebooks
Use preventive safety measures to avoid damaging the most vulnerable areas of your Chromebook, including the display, keyboard and hinges.
It’s no surprise that Chromebook manufacturers are releasing more rugged models every year. The education market is driving the Chromebook’s rapid success, and districts need devices that can make it through a typical school day in (less than cautious) student hands. Hardware defects and daily wear are inevitable for any electronic device, but careless handling is the fastest way to create or escalate computer problems.
Traditional laptops are often hardy enough to keep working for a while despite common abuses, such as sitting books on the lid, but Chromebook users quickly discover that these slimmer, lighter devices are less resistant to damage. If you don’t want your Chromebook to face an early death, take extra care to safeguard the most damage-prone areas of your computer.
Cracked Display or Bezel
Cracked screens are undisputably the most common type of breakage in schools, and districts without in-house repair teams have shelled out thousands of dollars to fix broken displays. While several users have reported spontaneous cracking, in many cases, a small, unseen crack starts near one corner of the device and suddenly spreads during use. Similar damage can affect the bezel surrounding the display, especially near the bottom corners. To minimize repair costs in your district, choose a child-friendly model with a thick, reinforced bezel or protective bumper, such as the Dell Chromebook 3120 or Asus C202.
Assuming it isn’t defective, a display usually cracks from repetitive tension when you lift your computer, sit objects on the lid, or open and close the lid. Avoid lifting the Chromebook by the top or sides of the lid, which aren’t meant to support the weight of the computer. Always hold your device from the bottom on both sides, and close the lid before moving the Chromebook from your desk to another location. Use both hands to open the lid, instead of repeatedly putting pressure on one area.
Broken Hinges or Hinge Covers
Hinges are the kind of parts most people overlook until they break. Unfortunately, when a laptop or Chromebook hinge cracks open, the underlying wires are exposed, which can stop the screen or camera from working properly. Similar to displays, Chromebook hinges are most vulnerable to damage from repeated stress or severe impact. Tension wears down the hinges when you continually open and close a laptop without applying equal force on both sides of the lid. The same holds true when you quickly yank the lid open or allow a small object to get stuck in the corner, putting pressure on the bottom of the bezel.
Impact damage usually occurs at the corners when you drop the computer or accidentally bang it against a desk or an item in your backpack. The prevention tip is the same as screen care: be careful how you open the lid, and invest in a protective cover to shield the sides of the device at all times. Improve your odds by choosing a Chromebook model with reinforced corners and hinge covers, such as the Lenovo N22 and Acer C740.
Almost everyone has experienced the dreadful moment when a supersized Coke topples over and covers every inch of the keyboard with liquid. You rush to clean up the mess, but it’s nearly impossible to stop liquid from leaking between the keys and leaving the underlying mechanisms stiff and sticky. A similar, but far less detrimental, problem can happen when crumbs are trapped beneath the keys. In both cases, the keys can eventually stop working, either from immediate damage or from tampering when you attempt to remove or clean the keys.
The obvious prevention method is to keep food and beverages away from your Chromebook, or store them in tightly sealed containers when you computer is open. If your Chromebook model has a lot of space under the keys, use a can of pressurized air to blow out crumbs, instead of trying to remove individual keys. For districts where keyboard damage is common, choose a model like the Lenovo N21 for liquid resistance and anti-peel keys that aren’t easy for students to remove.
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