By Ryan Emerick, Kite Technology Group
As work locations change and more users shift to using other devices such as laptops to connect, it is important to ensure that your device is ready for the task. Nowadays, a desktop is similar in overall office application performance compared to using a laptop, and working remotely brings its own set of challenges in order to get the most out of your device. These ideas below are based on a variety of common laptop issues that our Help Desk team works on every day as well as potential disruptions that you may encounter while working.
When powered off or in sleep mode a laptop may not connect to get Windows updates as they are available. As Microsoft typically issues patches multiple times a month, having an old laptop that is not used frequently or a computer that is never rebooted keeps any patches from being applied. Best practice is to log off from your account when finished working and to make sure to reboot your computer on a regular basis to make sure that it can be up to date on any Anti Virus, Windows, or other critical patches to improve security.
Battery Care for Both New and Old Laptops
Batteries in all electronic devices have a limited lifespan (often around ~500 full discharges). With a desktop PC, this is not something that users think about but it can be valuable to remember in order to extend the lifespan of any laptop. It is best to not have laptops or cell phones plugged in all the time when working but rather keep the charge level between 20%-80% if possible to preserve battery health. When the charge is kept in this range, the overall stress and wear on the battery cell is much lower and it can therefore retain much of its original capacity. While your devices are smart enough to not overcharge past 100%, they function much better and for longer when the battery is not sitting on maximum energy level at all times
Newer laptops often utilize a reversible USB-C port for charging, connecting to a dock and for accessories. This is quickly becoming the new standard plug for phones and laptops in the wild and it is a great improvement from proprietary charging systems with expensive specialty cables. With this convenience and important nature however comes the need to be extra careful when plugging cables in. Our Help Desk team has found that users need to be more careful when plugging in vs typical USB ports or older style connections. Overall, it and many of the smaller ports used to create thin and light devices may not be as durable as you expect based on experience with older equipment.
In order to avoid overheating and the reduced performance that goes along with it, it is best to use laptops on a flat surface where air can reach the bottom cooling vents. Using a desk, table, or an elevated surface allows the air to flow, fans to function, and the processer inside of a laptop to run at its designed speed. We recommend avoiding placement of a laptop on a bed, couch, or blanket for a prolonged period of time due to this reason. In addition to device slowness, the heat generated can eventually cause damage to the battery and even cause the laptop to be uncomfortable to the touch in extreme cases.
While it may seem obvious, keeping your keyboard and trackpad clear of any debris will ensure that your laptop is able to function well while working. There are a lot of sensitive electronics below the keys from LED backlights to switches that can be damaged if ignored. Wipe away any accidental moisture that gets near these areas from drinks or your hands. Use a can of compressed air to regularly clean underneath the keys to remove any crumbs or obstacles preventing smooth keyboard travel. It also is a good idea to turn off your Laptop first and then wipe down with a disinfecting wipe to clean the keys, remove germs and also get visible dirt off of the surface.
Taking the time to take care of your laptop will go a long way in ensuring that your work experience will be a success, regardless of physical location. Ready to learn more about how KiteTech can help your organization with remote work strategies? Contact us today!