Laptops are easier to damage than desktop PCs, and often harder and more expensive to mend.
High-risk laptop parts include the screen, which is unlikely to survive if dropped or sat on, and the keyboard, which won't cope with liquid spills. Over time, dust build-up on the cooling fan can cause a laptop to overheat.
In-store, check things like the hinges to get an idea of the build quality of different brands, and to find a laptop that’s rugged enough for your lifestyle.
Laptop warranties and insuranceFor peace of mind, most laptops have at least a one-year warranty. Laptops are often classed as high-risk items on home insurance policies, so make sure you’re covered, especially when travelling with a laptop.
And check how your insurance company will deal with repairs or replacement in the event of an accident or theft.
Laptop protectionTo protect your laptop there are a wide range of covers (often called skins), bags and backpacks.
There are cushioned neoprene fabric sleeves to offer basic protection from knocks and scratches, and other options include hard-shell covers or waterproof zip cases.