How Do Cold Temperatures Affect Your Technology?

How Do Cold Temperatures Affect Your Technology?

February 1st 2021

I was inspired by the absolutely frigid temperatures this weekend to write this article. You may be tempted, if you drive to school, to leave your Chromebook in your car overnight. Plus, technology runs faster when it's cold, right? That is not necessarily true.

  • Most of our electronic devices use batteries for the sake of portability and convenience. Batteries drain rapidly in freezing temperatures. It's likely that when you arrive at class the next morning, your Chromebook will be completely dead.

  • Your Chromebook screen could stop working entirely. LCD stands for liquid crystal display. Your Chromebook screen is made up of thousands of individual pixels, each corresponding to a transistor. When a screen is turned on, the signal for brightness and color is sent by the transistor and illuminates the liquid crystal resulting in a colored pixel. When it's extremely cold, the transition response time in each pixel is degraded which can cause a fuzzy picture.

  • Cold objects accumulate condensation when they warm up fast! When condensation forms on the inside of your Chromebook, it's essentially the same thing as spilling a glass of water over the keyboard.

Isn't technology wild? Generally, devices like to be kept anywhere from 32 to 90 degrees. The cooler in this range, the better. If you do forget your Chromebook outside the best thing to do is not use it right away. Bring it inside and let it gradually warm up before charging and using it. Enjoy any snow that the forecast says is coming our way!

-Leo Bunyea, Technology Technician and Abominable Snowman