Is it really that hard not to spill your morning coffee on your laptop? I have never done it myself, but some of my users have a really hard time with this concept. In the last 3 years, I had 3 or 4 cases of “Oh shit, I spilled _____ on my laptop”. Usually the spilled liquid is initially water – but later it usually changes into coffee. Go figure.
Usually, spilling anything on your laptop is more or less fatal. Spilling shit on a regular desktop keyboard can be harmless – your keys may get sticky, and in worst case, you will need to spend maybe $20 on a new keyboard. But laptop keyboard is directly over the mobo – so when you spill something on it, the liquid will most likely hit all the crucial components of your system – the CPU, the onboard graphics card, the sound card, the network card, and etc…
Most people should have enough common sense not to spill shit on their portable machines. But then again, common sense is anything but common. So I decided to write this little tutorial. I will be talking about coffee, but please note that this can apply to any drinkable liquid. Here is a hint: positioning of the coffee cup is crucial. Let me show you a visual example:
This is the usual setup most people use when working on a laptop. We have papers on the right, papers on the left, and the computer in the middle. Note that in most cases, there will be a lot of shuffling between the piles of paper – you will be moving papers from one pile to another.
The points labeled A and B are theoretical coffee cup locations. The location A is a very common choice among the sill-prone laptop users. Notice however, that this position is just asking for trouble. A force applied to the cup from the left will invariably make it tip over, and deposit it’s liquid contents all over the keyboard. Furthermore note that it is relatively easy to accidentally apply such a force to the cup while moving papers from the left pile to the right pile, or even by moving your hand from the pile of papers back to the keyboard.
Spilling any liquid directly on the keyboard is likely to cause instant, irreversible damage to the hardware. Also, if the liquid is a light and sweet latte, chances are that the spill will leave sugar deposits on the hardware, and intense smell. This will prevent hardware repairs under warranty unless you bought the expensive accidental damage protection plan.
Now consider the position B. When the cup at that position is tipped over in any direction, it will likely spill the contents on the table. If the force is applied to the cup from the direction of the right uppermost corner, then the liquid might spill on the back of the laptop, but:
- There is a chance that the cup wont tip all the way, but it will be held upright by the laptop display positioned at a 90 degree angle to the table surface
- The spill will affect only the laptop casing and the exposed ports in the back
- Picking up the laptop will prevent the liquid from penetrating inside the casing, and reaching the mobo
- The motherboard and CPU will be shielded from the spill by the raised display
- If any of the liquid gets underneath the laptop, the force of gravity will prevent it from traveling upwards where it could damage the motherboard and the CPU
From the above it obviously follows that position B is far superior to position A. Remember about this next time you are enjoying a nice cup of coffee while working on your laptop.
[tags]coffee, laptop, spilling coffee on your laptop, coffee spill, spill damage, spilling coffee on your keyboard[/tags]