How to Keep Your Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones from Wilting in the Summer Heat

When you stay out too long in the summer sun, it's easy to feel like you're melting. Just imagine what it's like for a piece of electronic equipment that doesn't have the benefit of sweat glands and can't go swimming in order to cool off! Here's how to make sure your laptops, tablets, and smartphones survive the heat this summer.

1. Leave the laptop at home: You may want to take your computer along on your trip to the pool or beach. Resist this urge as much as you can. If the heat doesn't hurt your laptop, an errant splash from a swimmer or a bucketful of sand certainly will. Worse yet, once you decide that your laptop doesn't really belong poolside, where are you going to put it? In the changing rooms where it might get stolen, or in your car, where it might cook? Leave it at home. Facebook can wait.

2. Care and feeding of smartphones: Your laptop might have an internal fan to help cool itself when it starts to get overheated, but your smartphone doesn't. That's why it's particularly important to help keep it at the right temperature. If it's 100 degrees outside and you're sitting on the patio having a long conversation on your phone, it will probably get pretty hot, and that will be bad for all the tiny pieces of electronics that make it work. If your phone gets to the point where it's very warm to the touch, finish your conversation, move inside, and remove the cover from your phone (which can hinder your phone's ability to dissipate heat properly).

3.Respect the battery: All of these devices—laptops, smartphones, and tablets—have batteries, and batteries can be fickle things. If they get too hot, it reduces their usable life. A battery that's overtaxed by location-based apps, intensive processing, or searching for a Wi-Fi signal while you're on the road, will quickly drain. Streamline your app use so that you're using what you need and shutting off extraneous services that just make your battery sad. This will prolong your battery's life and help prevent your device from overheating.

4. Don't leave electronics inside your hot car: Bring them inside with you whenever possible. If you can't, place them in the trunk or underneath a seat where they are away from direct sunlight.

5. Watch out for moisture at the beach or pool: Consider packing your smartphone or tablet in a separate Ziploc bag. This adds a layer of protection from water and sand. Another trick: use an anti-glare screen protector for your smartphone and tablet—they can also prevent sand and other objects from scratching the surface.

The bottom line is really pretty simple: to get the most enjoyment out of your favorite tech toys and tools, keep them protected from extreme heat and always keep them covered up and in the shade when not in use.

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