Winter is coming, and the cold, icy weather can be brutal on more than just your head and hands — it’s not too good for your devices either. If you live in a cold region, then you’ve probably got hats and gloves for yourself (maybe even some pelts), but what about all that tech you spent your hard-earned money on?
Temperatures can play havoc with technology, from the blistering heat of summer to the freezing cold that many of us are about to experience. But don’t fret. The cold may be coming, but there are things you can do to guard that gear. Here are a tips that will soon have you laughing in the face of winter.
Kick portables to the curb (or at least from your vehicle): If you’ve ever gotten into a car that has been sitting outside over a winter’s night, then you know how freezing cold it can be. That heater just can’t warm up fast enough, can it? Well, you don’t want to subject your laptops, phones, tablets, mp3 players or gaming handhelds to that cold either. Yes, it’s a little inconvenient, but so is a frozen hard drive or a cracked screen. If there’s no choice, and you have to leave a gadget in the car, at least wrap it up in an extra scarf, jacket, sweater or any other layers you might have on hand.
Handle condensation wisely: Sometimes, after being out in the tundra, condensation can form inside your device. The chances of this go up if you try to turn on your gadget while it’s still cold. If you spot wetness — or, for that mater, you just dropped it in a sleety puddle on the sidewalk — DON’T power it on right away. I know, you want to see if it’s still okay, but resist the urge. First, let it naturally come up to room temp, then put the device in some uncooked rice. (Make sure it covers it.) This is your best chance at getting rid of that moisture and salvaging your gadget.
Turn your device off… completely: Running around with a sleeping laptop or netbook increases the odds (and potentially the magnitude) of damage that can happen if you let it fall — say, like on that icy patch in front of your house. Don’t let it happen to you. Power your machine down completely before you head outdoors, just to be safe.
Invest in a decent earbud with inline mic/call answer button: If you don’t have to whip your phone out in the sub-zero temperature to answer calls, all the better. You can keep it safe and toasty warm in your pocket without missing calls if you have an earbud with an inline microphone/call answer button. Spend a couple of bucks and get a good one, a product that fits well and has good call clarity. (It does no good if you don’t like using it because it’s uncomfortable, or everyone sounds like Darth Vader on the other line. Personally, I like Etymotic.) You won’t have to use gloved hands to fumble with a ringing cell phone — a scenario that has had me drop (and break) more than one smartphone.
Get a case or sock: There are numerous tough cases, sleeves and the like for any gadget you can imagine. While you may prefer a naked look to your device, the extra padding is a good way to maximize protection — possibly even insulation. Think of it as a winter snuggie for your beloved.
Use case scenarios differ, so depending on what and how you rock, there are also plenty of products out there to help, from capacitive gloves for touchscreen use to laptop warmers and portable power (cold temps can be hell on batteries), and everything in between. ‘Tis the season for sales and promotions, so check out your favorite retailers and see what they have to offer.
Got any other must-do tips for winterizing your gear? Share them below in the comments!
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Play and mix your favorite songs on the best DJ mixers.
An excellent mixer is an integral part of every DJ's setup. Find the perfect one for you on this list of the best DJ mixers.