Shockproof Gear

Tripping over a laptop cord. Juggling a cup of hot tea in one hand and a video camera in the other. Lobbing a cell phone off the side of a boat. Our lives are fraught with danger, and even more so when it comes to our technology. I, for one, have brought down two cell phones, one iBook and a handful of cameras to clumsiness.

A cup of coffee destroyed a friend’s laptop in college. She was rushing to finish her thesis, and tipped a steaming latte onto her keyboard. Two weeks and one seriously angry advisor later, her information had been transferred to a new computer.

Tech designers are finally listening to consumers’ requests for tougher laptops, cameras, phones and even watches. Read on to learn about some of the products getting rough and ready in our slippery world.

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  • Grims
    If I'm not mistaken this is suppose to be a site for Computer Enthusiasts...if so why is this article treating us like we're idiots?
  • Claimintru
    My god, if your computer is making a whirring noise you recommend giving it a light smack? What kind of non-technical potentially risky bullshit is that. I want to hear one computer professional recommend smacking a computer when its on, when the probable cause is a wire near a fan.
  • My dog chewed on a brand new cell phone (no sim card), breaking the screen and puncturing the battery. I found the same model (differant carrier) on ebay for $15, opened them up, put the old board into the new phone and it fired right up. All of the programming info was on the circuit board, so Sprint never has to know.

    Another phone I had got drenched in a rain storm. Popped out the battery, and put it in the toaster oven on low with constant supervision for an hour. It baked out the water and the phone was as good as new.
  • Hmm as an IT professional, I would never recommend "smacking" a computer and definitely not RISING OUT A LAPTOP if you spill something in it, talk about making a bad situation worse. If anything the water will dilute whatever you spilled and ensure that it gets in every single crevice and guarantee your laptop will never work again.
  • As long as companies keep outsourcing to the chinks in china with their substandard quality and tainted goods, nothing will ever be good.
  • sarahwingler
    Hey, I'm almost certain the last part wasn't serious, guys. It's clearly a joke. It's the OPPOSITE of what your supposed to do.

    (Oh, and I like the atomic-proof drive.)

    An interesting article though, and the only problem I have is that it seems these laptops that are 'ultra-durable' are compensated by their cost and performance.
  • randomizer
    Actually, smacking is a good method for fixing an aging CRT monitor when it decides to turn pink or green. I used to really abuse mine.
  • Grims
    To little detail was given on each item, we know these laptops exist...why aren't they telling us the specs, or why the USB hard drive isn't compatible with all computers..? Or the hard drive ticking comment....oh come on who do you think you're talking to here?
  • Tomsguiderachel
    GrimsIf I'm not mistaken this is suppose to be a site for Computer Enthusiasts...if so why is this article treating us like we're idiots?

    Hi Grims,

    Tom's Hardware is for "enthusiasts," while Tom's Guide is for interested consumers, but we think both groups can find interesting things to read on both sites.

    Thanks for your comment!

    Rachel Rosmarin, Editor of Tom's Guide
  • zunaro
    A good method for drying your toilet, lake, sink or bathtub dunked phone is to take it apart, remove the battery and sim card. Heat up some uncooked dry rice in the microwave for about 30-60s. Then put the wet phone in the rice (covering the phone with the rice) and repeat until it is dry, let it sit overnight, reassemble and fire it up. This worked on my brother's Palm Treo, and is most likely safer than a toaster oven =P
  • smack it? why smack it?! are you crazy? don't give bs tips to non-IT readers! what kind of advice is that...
  • randomizer
    smack it?smack it? why smack it?! are you crazy? don't give bs tips to non-IT readers! what kind of advice is that...

    If you are stupid enough to rinse off your laptop or smack your computer because it is noisy, you shouldn't really be reading this anyway. In fact, you shouldn't own any electronic device.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    zunaroA good method for drying your toilet, lake, sink or bathtub http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub dunked phone is to take it apart, remove the battery and sim card. Heat up some uncooked dry rice in the microwave for about 30-60s. Then put the wet phone in the rice (covering the phone with the rice) and repeat until it is dry, let it sit overnight, reassemble and fire it up. This worked on my brother's Palm Treo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Tr%C4%93o , and is most likely safer than a toaster oven =P


    I'll keep this one in mind ;)
  • Sugar2K
    Why I use a Panasonic Toughbook and Linux...

    Billy in Sugar Land