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How many g’s can your laptop take ? October 18, 2006

Posted by dorigo in computers, personal.

This morning I experimented with Sony’s ability to put together sturdy portable computers. I was buying a newspaper at the train station newsstand, and was in a hurry to catch the train… My laptop travels with me inside an IEEE bag with no handles, like those you keep under your arm. It is very light and it has exactly the space for laptop, pocket umbrella, and power cord, but it is no real protection against shock.

The bag fell on the ground unhindered, landing on one edge. I knew the acceleration was enough to break the screen as soon as I saw it fall, and was relieved when, once on the train, I took it off the bag and realized the damage was mostly aesthetic. A bad bump on the edge, but no real functionality loss – although the CD burner now seems to have some trouble writing data.

The fall was from four feet on concrete. Has your portable lived through anything like that ? I think Sony might be proud of its little Vaio….



1. Markk - October 19, 2006

I have a 12″ Powerbook that has been knocked off a table onto a concrete floor, has been yanked by its cord onto the floor, and has its aluminum case dented twice. I am typing on it now. You just have to be lucky and have the hardest shock not hit the screen I think.

2. dorigo - October 19, 2006

I agree Markk, it is a matter of luck in the end. Electronic circuitry should resist a lot of g’s, but the LCD screen does not. The CD-rom also is a rather fragile device… Mine is still working, but I noticed it has trouble opening now.


3. Torbjörn Larsson - October 19, 2006

Another cause for concern is the hard drive. But modern hard drives seems to be impertubable compared with old ones. No hard- or software damage to speak of. Perhaps they use a sensor and a fast parking mode, or else they have changed the arm mechanism for the better.

I did have to open up and repair my USB’s after a cord yank to the laptop. Turned out they had forgotten to secure the connector casing to the board.

4. dorigo - October 19, 2006

True Torbjorn, the hard drives fifteen years ago had a procedure for parking the heads before transportation… Looks like the paleolithic if you thing about it.


5. Tony Smith - October 22, 2006

I dropped my 7-inch Sony VAIO PCG-U101 from about 4 feet onto a hard floor, chipping a corner of the case, but it seems that there was no damage to the screen, hard drive, or anything else. I agree that it is something of which Sony should be proud.
Tony Smith

6. dorigo - October 22, 2006

There you go Tony… Good for you. I think the smaller the device, the easier it is for it to go undamaged from a fall, but since these things are not supposed to be dropped on the floor, I think Sony does get good grades from these “tests”.

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