Keeping Your Devices Safe In The Cold


Stepping out into the bitter cold does not only have an effect on you, but the blast of arctic temperatures could put your electronics on thin ice! Smartphones, notebooks, tablets, and laptops can all lose functionality as the temperature drops. Here are some problems that may occur during these chilly days:

Battery Drain: Is the most common and most immediate effects of cold weather. Your device may spontaneously power off with a dead battery in extreme cold. If your smartphone is exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time, you risk killing the battery altogether.

Screen Issues: LCD displays on smartphones, Apple iPads or Android tablets are sensitive to the cold. Users may experience delayed touchscreen reactions as well as smudging or ghosting of images. The cold weather makes the panel more rigid, which makes it more likely to shatter if dropped.

Internal Component errors: In extreme cold temperatures, smartphones and mobile devices may begin to register various errors of their internal components. Smartphones may have difficulty reading a SIM card or executing any number of processing  operations.

Physical Damage to Internal/External Components:  Mobile devices that are subjected to extreme cold  can cause both internal/external components to become rigid, which could lead to physical damage such as spontaneous screen shattering. Leaving devices in extreme cold temperatures for an extend ed period of time can cause permanent damage.

Liquid Condensation: When used too quickly after bringing your device in from the the cold, your mobile devices are susceptible to liquid condensation underneath their displays. This can cause various liquid damage issues and make your display screen hard to read.

Now that you are familiar with the problems that can occur with your mobile devices in cold weather, here are tips to help prevent it.

Tip #1

Try not too take your devices out in cold weather, or if you have to, limit the use.  Keep your devices in your jacket pocket, bag or purse to limit exposure to the direct cold.

Tip #2

Protect your devices with a case. For smartphones, use a heavy duty, weatherproof case such as a Lifeproof or Otterbox.  For laptops or tablets, get a well insulated and well padded case.

Tip #3

Never leave your smartphone, notebook, tablet, iPad or any other mobile device in your cold vehicle for extended periods of time. Even with a case, such extended time left in the cold can cause permanent internal and external damage.

Tip #4

In addition to protecting your devices from the cold weather, you should keep your devices out of the snow. Dropping your device in the snow causes it to get wet and this can be extremely damaging. If your device does get wet, you should get indoors (to keep the seeped water from freezing), remove the battery, take out the SIM card (if the device has one), dry the device with a clear microfiber cloth or paper towel and then put the device in an air-tight container with packets of silica gel to absorb the moisture. It has also been said submerging your wet device in a pot or bowl of uncooked rice can help remove moisture from it.

Tip #5

Laptop hard drives can freeze from the cold. It is recommended that you let your laptop warm up to room temperature before using it. This is a good rule a thumb to use for all mobile devices that have spent extended time in cold weather.

Tip #6

NEVER use pocket warmers or other warmers not intended for mobile devices to try and keep them warm.  These warmers  are not designed for that purpose and can create other issues. For example, generating too much heat can cause internal components to melt.

Tip #7

You can keep your laptop warm by changing the power settings to power save mode. This keeps the laptop warm as it continues to run, and instead of shutting down the hard drive, it keeps it spinning. The longer the laptop can be kept running, the warmer it will stay as it generates its own heat.

Tip #8

If you find your smartphone has shut off, don’t start it back up immediately. Condensation can form inside your device if you turn it on while it’s still cold.

Tip #9

Charge your smartphone before going outside. If your battery is fully charged before going into the cold, it is less likely to experience battery drain. For all your mobile devices, keep a mobile charger around for long trips as well as an extra battery for backup.

Tip #10

Make sure to check your manufacturer’s temporal guidelines. For example, Apple products can operate in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees.

We hope this post will help you keep your devices protected from the cold days ahead. Remember, if you can, avoid or limit use of your electronics in the cold. Stay warm!


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Sweepstakes of the Century April Giveaway: Win a Houseful of Electronics from Sony!

We’re continuing our celebration of 100 years of P.C. Richard & Son by offering a sweepstakes every month this year. This month, enter to win over $10,000 in Sony electronics for your home, including a slew of TVs, Blu-Ray and DVD players, cameras and camcorders, and more. You could probably open up your own P.C. Richard & Son with all of the stuff you’ll receive!

This contest is open to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania residents over the age of 18 and the winner will be randomly selected from the entry pool. The lucky winner will receive 12 Sony electronics, amounting to a $10,120.00 value. These electronics include:

  1. One (1) 52” BRAVIA NX800 Series HDTV (KDL52NX800)
  2. One (1) 46” BRAVIA EX700 Series HDTV (KDL46EX700)
  3. One (1) 40” BRAVIA EX500 Series HDTV (KDL40EX500)
  4. One (1) 400 Disc Blu-ray Changer (BDPCX960)
  5. One (1) Blu-ray Disc™ Home Theatre System (BDVE570)
  6. One (1) Blu-ray Disc™ Surround Sound System (HTSS370)
  7. One (1) Blu-ray Disc™ Player (BDPS570)
  8. One (1) VAIO® Notebook (VPCEB12FX/BI)
  9. One (1) VAIO® L Series All-in-One 24″ Touchscreen Computer (VPCL111FX/B)
  10. One (1) 16GB HD Handycam® Camcorder (HDRCX150)
  11. One (1) Cyber-shot® Digital Camera (DSCW330)
  12. One (1) 9” Portable DVD Player (DVPFX950)

Entering is simple and there’s no purchase necessary. There are two ways to win:

Stop into your nearest P.C. Richard & Son store during business hours and locate the promotional displays at Point of Sale terminals throughout the store and/or ask a P.C. Richard & Son employee to assist you in entering the sweepstakes during normal store hours.  At the counter, there will be a computer where you can access the electronic entry form and follow the directions to complete it.

By Mail
On a 3”x5” card, hand print your full name, address, city, state, zip code, telephone number (area code included), date of birth and email address (optional) and mail in an envelope with proper postage affixed to: Houseful of Sony® Sweepstakes II, P.O. Box 1443, Midlothian, VA  23113. All mail-in entries must be mailed separately, postmarked by April 30, 2010 and received by May 8, 2010 to be eligible.

Only one entry per person will be accepted, no matter how many times or by what means you enter. For more details and further rules, check out the sweepstakes page. Good luck!

If you won this contest, what would you do with all these products?


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Hot Deal of the Week: Gateway 15.6″ Notebook Computers now $499.97

Save $130 this week with a Gateway notebook, available in NightSky Black or Cherry Red. Both have an Intel Pentium Processor, 4 GB of RAM, 320 GB of hard drive space, and a DVD-DL/CD-RW Dual Layer drive. Dual Layer DVDs write on one side of the DVD, but in two separate layers, allowing for up to 8.5GB of data between them. They also come with Windows 7, an easier and more stable operating system than XP or Vista.

These are the perfect notebooks for a student, commuter, or those computer users who enjoy watching video, surfing the web, accessing media and light multitasking. Downloading pictures from your digital camera is easy with the 5 in 1 Integrated Digital media reader, which supports Secure digital(SD), Multimedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture Cards.

Either notebook will fit the bill for the average computer user looking for a convenient, long-lasting laptop for a great price. These computers won’t be available at this price for long, so buy them now!

Gateway NV5425U NightSky Black Intel Pentium Processor 15.6″ Notebook Computer

Gateway NV5423U Cherry Red Intel Pentium Processor 15.6″ Notebook Computer


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How To: Choose the Best Computer Processor for You

Our customers always ask us questions about processors when choosing their computer models. A processor is an integral part of your system and is one of the things you should really invest in when choosing a new computer. This guide will help you understand computer processors, learn how to choose one, and give recommendations for your computer usage.

What is a computer processor?
A computer processor is a small microchip that fits into a socket in your motherboard. It analyzes and controls data flow in your computer. The speed at which it processes this data is measured in gigahertz, and common desktop computer processor speeds range from 2.6 to 3.66 GHz, and laptops/netbooks are usually less than that.

When choosing a computer processor
Consider what you will be using your new computer for in the next 3 years. How many windows do you keep open at once? Do you have multiple users logged into Windows at the same time? Do you regularly connect to your work computer from home, or vice versa? Do you or your kids play 3D games? All of these things take up processor speed, so the more you do on your computer, the faster the processor you’ll need.

You’ll usually find an Intel or AMD processor in laptop and desktop computers. They have various models that are appropriate for different uses:

For the casual computer user
If you play the occasional game of Solitaire, use Excel or Word or use e-mail almost exclusively, you won’t need a very fast processor. An Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron or AMD Sempron processors would be a good match for you.

For the multitasker & mainstream performance user
If you browse through your pictures, listen to music and watch movies on your computer while running other programs simultaneously, you should consider the Intel i3, AMD Athlon II or the AMD Turion II Dual Core processors.

For the power computer user
For a gaming machine, running 3D modeling software, editing long videos and other processor-taxing tasks, Intel i7, AMD Athlon II X4 or AMD Phenom Quad Core processors are best.

As technology advances, so will your need for a faster processor. Always consider the future of your computer use before you decide on a new model to purchase, and assess the processor that comes with the machine you’re looking to buy. Our sales associates or online live chat representatives are always there to help you determine the right processor for you, so let them know any questions you may have. Enjoy your new machine!


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