Winter is here. And you know what that means – gearing up New Year’s resolutions, getting ready for a mad dash to K Mart for some last minute shopping, and finding out how Ernest saved Christmas. However, something else comes to mind with the holiday season – bitter, freezing cold weather. And along with that comes the anxiety that goes along with letting your electronics get cold.
This has been a subject of fierce debate for quite some time now. Some people are completely content leaving their MacBook in the trunk of their car during a blizzard. Others treat their devices like they’re cradling a baby, with anxiety raising if their device’s core temperature delves a few degrees below room temperature.
However, who is correct in this situation? Is it the care-free electronic owners who would gladly let their devices freeze if it saved them the inconvenience of having to bring them inside? Or is it the overprotective owners of devices who never let their electronics go outside at all?
Well, because I value my electronics too much to test it on my own, let’s take a look at what Popular Mechanics found out during their experiment. Testing various mobile phones in a car experiencing sub zero temperatures, they saw everything from the screen dimming to entire devices shutting down. While none of the damage was permanent, it was obvious that the devices were not meant for such bitter chills.
However, the freezing alone may not be what has the worst effect on electronics. In fact, it could be the actual warm up process that does the worst damage. According to tech talk show host Kim Komando, getting your electronics warmed up and booted too quickly after freezing could do serious damage.
And if you’re reading this in the summer (you very lucky person), the heat should be taken just as seriously. Once the temperatures start creeping up towards 100, you significantly put your electronics in risk of damage to the processor. I should know, I may or may not have left my (now deceased) laptop on a windowsill one summer. Rest in peace, my dear Toshiba.
While different people have different opinions on the risks of letting your electronics freeze, the bottom line is that you are still taking a chance by leaving your devices out in the cold. You’re simply better off being safe than sorry when dealing with these expensive pieces of tech.
(Also, it should be noted that I got through an entire article about the freezing cold without making any kind of ice pun. I’ll leave that to Arnold Schwarzenegger, thank you very much.)