Unless you live in California, chances are it's pretty freakin' cold where you are. You may not realize it, but freezing temps can be just as dangerous to gadgets — if not more so — as the Summer heat, since there are hidden dangers you can't see. Check out these six Winter weather tips that will help ensure your gadgets see the light of Spring this year.
- Keep them out of the trunk — Keep your laptops, cell phones, and tablets out of the trunk for extended periods during cold days to prevent damage to screens and to keep your hard drive from freezing.
- If you must trunk it, keep it bundled up — If you absolutely must leave your gear in your car in freezing temps, wrap it up in layers — like a jacket or sweater — to keep it warm. You can also find laptop warmers (which are specifically made for laptops) to keep them from getting icy if you live in cold conditions.
- Turn them off — Letting your laptop or tablet remain in sleep mode may keep it warmer (since it is still working), but it also increases your chances of damage if you're on the move. Be sure to power down all the way to keep your data safe.
- Warm up before booting up — If your machine is on the cold side, let it warm up to room temps slowly before turning it on. This will prevent condensation and dew, which can ruin your computer's sensitive guts.
- Carry a charger — Cold weather sucks the life out of your batteries, so be sure to carry extra chargers in your car for emergencies.
- Watch out for sensitive screens — Cold weather makes a smartphone screen extra sensitive, so be sure to keep it close to your bod if you're out in the snow or consider a warm accessory — like a smartphone wallet, sock, or sleeve — to keep it cozy.