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Old 27-01-2015, 11:57 AM
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Effects of cold temps on laptop while imaging?

I inquired with Dell tech today about safe operating air temperature for my laptop. I know some who have used outside for imaging at temperatures down to almost -20 F with no permanent adverse effects to laptop. Dell stated "Regular laptops have been designed to work within a safe temperature range normally 50 to 95 degrees F (10 - 35 degrees C)." What are your experiences with laptops regarding imaging in cold temperatures? I'm looking at approx. 20* F this evening. Also, as far as power I will be using household/110 AC (not batteries). Just don't want to "break" my new laptop. It's a Dell Inspiron 15R. What say you fine folks???

Thanks! Dana T
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Old 27-01-2015, 12:10 PM
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You won't break it. Specs for an Inspiron 15 (not your exact model but should be similar):

Temperature range:
Operating 0 C to 35 C (32 F to 95 F)
Storage 40 C to 65 C (40 F to 149 F)
If you can survive that range of storage temps then your laptop will too

There may be some risk of problems with operation at very low temps but I've never heard of it happening. Most laptops generate enough heat to keep warm even if the ambient is below freezing.

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Old 27-01-2015, 12:31 PM
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Never had a problem with mine at around zero C, and they keep dew off well due to their generated heat. But it's a good idea to cover them with a 'tent' of some sort (I use one of those large clear storage boxes, on its side, with some holes punched in the walls to allow ingress of cables - works a treat).

Last edited by Amaranthus; 28-01-2015 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 28-01-2015, 01:40 PM
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Battery performance would be reduced but you're using AC so not aproblem. Screens have been known to go dark but have to be a lot colder for that to happen.
As Barry says, keep it under cover from the dew, water is your biggest problem and with the box you can also add a front light sheild curtain to protect your night adaptation.
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Old 28-01-2015, 03:18 PM
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As long as the laptop is already warm before you take it outdoors then it should be fine.

You will usually only have issues when starting up a frozen cold laptop. You need to let it thaw out to room temperature before even turning it on to avoid condensation.

Hard drives can have issues spinning up in sub zero temps. Laptops like Toughbooks come with hard drive heaters to overcome this. If you have an SSD then it wont be a problem since theres no moving parts.

Also LCD panels can freeze, after all the L stands for liquid. You can make a shelter out of storage tubs to help keep the heat in and the wind out.
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