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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #1
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Macbook and Cold Weather

What temperature can a Macbook sustain? Tomorrow it's suppose to be between -20 and -30 with the windchill. I always carry my Mac in a cozy/case inside a laptop bag, but even so I'm worried that it could be damaged from the cold.
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lily18 View Post
What temperature can a Macbook sustain? Tomorrow it's suppose to be between -20 and -30 with the windchill. I always carry my Mac in a cozy/case inside a laptop bag, but even so I'm worried that it could be damaged from the cold.
From the MacBook specifications:
Quote:
Operating temperature: 10° to 35° C
(50° to 95° F)
Storage temperature: -24 to 45° C
(-13° to 113° F)
Your MacBook is perfectly safe to carry down to -24C ambient. The windchill makes little difference to the computer. It is a comfort index. Just let the computer warm up some before running it. The most critical component in this regard is the harddrive because of so many moving parts each with different thermal expansion/contraction rates. I have carried many different notebooks for the original Powerbook 100 through my current MBA in a simple padded bag in Ottawa winters without incident.
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #3
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Storage temperature: -24 to 45° C

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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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also keep in mind that 'storage temperature' means the computer is shut down, not in sleep mode... and i'd let it come back up to room temp before turning it on, just in case there's condensation inside... :-)
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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Thanks!

I was wondering about sleep mode; it makes sense to turn it off. I won't use my computer for about an hour after I get to school so it should be all warmed up by then.

Oh I just though of this: what about getting on/off the bus? I have to transfer so by the time I get to school the compter will have gone from warm to freezing cold several times. Could that have an effect?
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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This is good to know; this is exactly why I don't leave my Blackbook in my garage (which is actually my studio). -24 is much, much lower than I initially guessed!
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lily18 View Post
Thanks!

I was wondering about sleep mode; it makes sense to turn it off. I won't use my computer for about an hour after I get to school so it should be all warmed up by then.

Oh I just though of this: what about getting on/off the bus? I have to transfer so by the time I get to school the compter will have gone from warm to freezing cold several times. Could that have an effect?
Inside a padded case the computer is somewhat insulated. It doesn't change temperature that quickly. If it is like the buses around here "warm' is definitely a relative term. Don't worry. Just don't run it too cold.
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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Thanks. I'll make sure to check the temperature before I leave tomorrow.
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgray View Post
The windchill makes little difference to the computer.
Actually the windchill make zero difference to any inanimate object.

If you don't believe me, tape an exterior thermometer to the outside of the windshield of your vehicle so you can see the temperature through the windshield. Note the temperature, say it's -20.

Now drive at 100 kph down the highway and watch the thermometer. It will stay at -20 as wind chill has zero effect on anything that is not warm blooded and alive. And then, it only "feels" colder and freezes flesh quicker.
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