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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

What to do with a Macbook Pro on a U.S. Road Trip


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bailey84

 
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I'm gonna be doing a road trip from Canada down the west coast USA and up through Nevada in june.

Since Im a blogger who will be videotaping everything as well, It would be nice to have the laptop with me.

But Im worried about storage at certain times.

For example, when we go to disneyland or go camping for a night or hiking - and I store the laptop in the trunk, will it overheat and melt?

I've heard about the high heats down there.

What if I wrap it up in clothes and put it in the trunk.

Any suggestions or experience?
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baggss

 
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Melt? I would think not. Assuming you power it down when you store it I think it will be fine.


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vansmith

 
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Storage temperature for the current MBPs is between -24 to 45C. The upper limit might be a concern, especially if it's stored in an un air conditioned car. Try to keep it out of the sun but don't wrap it - I can only see that exacerbating the problem. What's it like when you're wrapped up in clothes in the heat?

Now, as I noted, those are the storage temps for the current MBPs. Search here if you don't have the current model for the appropriate temps.

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thurstmw

 
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I think wrapping it in cool clothes and leaving it in the trunk is a great idea. Often time i have unpacked my suitcase and it had been 20 degrees cooler than the outside because of where I packed it even after multiple hours. But anyway if you just avoid direct sunlight when you are leaving it I think it will be fine. And of course have it off.


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baggss

 
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Frankly, I'd be more worried about it getting ripped off leaving it in my car than it melting....


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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thurstmw View Post
I think wrapping it in cool clothes and leaving it in the trunk is a great idea.
I have to disagree. In a trunk, wrapped in clothes, with the sun beating down and no circulation, the trunk is going to get quite warm.

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MunkeyQ

 
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I'd be worried about the battery. Li-ions don't like getting warm, so you're likely to see a reduction in the battery's lifespan if the car gets really hot inside.

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Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
What's it like when you're wrapped up in clothes in the heat?
Wrapping it in clothes will keep the computer nice and cool. When you put on loads of clothes on a hot day, you only feel hot because your body radiates heat, and the clothing is acting as thermal insulation, preventing the heat from escaping.

However, a switched off laptop doesn't create any heat at all. Wrapping it in clothes will help keep it at the same temperature as when you put it in, compared to the air in the trunk. It's the same as putting it into an insulated coolbox (with no ice) in the trunk. Clothing doesn't magically make things hotter - it helps hot things (like your body) retain heat, and it works the other way around too.

By your logic, putting drinks in a coolbox in a hot car makes the drinks warmer...
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JohnTheMacGeek

 
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So you're gonna be hiking around Nevada in June? My first question is ARE YOU NUTS? ;-)

Seriously, I've left my MBP in it's Brenthaven case in the trunk in the summer here in Alabama (with it powered off) and have had no problems. I have, however, allowed it to cool in front of an A/C vent before powering it up when it is REALLY warm. I also bury it under other stuff in the trunk, but that's more for security concerns. (Not that it would prevent someone who breaks into my trunk from uncovering it...)

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I'd be worried about the battery and screen warpage personally. You're probably ok - if it's just one day and you don't leave it in direct sunlight, and better yet, keep the car in the shade if you can. I agree that insulation works both ways - to keep heat out - as well as in - although clothes won't have much of a lasting effect either way. But if you have it in a suitcase that's been in a cool hotel room then putting it in there wrapped in your clothes seems like a reasonable idea. Make sure the laptop is completely powered off. I would not use an air conditioner vent to cool it - as that's the surest way to get condensation somewhere you don't want.
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josh air balloo

 
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Last weekend, I went to a themepark in South Georgia and on the 2nd day, after we checked out of the motel we went to themepark and I was forced to leave my macbook in the car.

I put the macbook in a case, wrapped the case in a trashbag and then put it all in my cooler. It got up to 92 that day, 100 percent humidity as always, and my macbook stayed nice and cool all day.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkeyQ View Post
However, a switched off laptop doesn't create any heat at all. Wrapping it in clothes will help keep it at the same temperature as when you put it in, compared to the air in the trunk. It's the same as putting it into an insulated coolbox (with no ice) in the trunk. Clothing doesn't magically make things hotter - it helps hot things (like your body) retain heat, and it works the other way around too.
True but if you leave it in the trunk, out in the sun, surely that's going to be generating some heat in the trunk. We all know that cars heat up nicely in the summer ("nicely" is putting it mildly). Is wrapping it in clothes really going to "insulate" it from the heat generated by the sun?

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MunkeyQ

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
True but if you leave it in the trunk, out in the sun, surely that's going to be generating some heat in the trunk. We all know that cars heat up nicely in the summer ("nicely" is putting it mildly). Is wrapping it in clothes really going to "insulate" it from the heat generated by the sun?
The computer itself isn't going to be generating any heat at all, as it's switched off! Worst case scenario, the insulation isn't enough and the computer reaches the same temperature as the air in the car.

It's like putting a chicken in the oven - the inside takes time to reach the same temperature as the oven because the meat around it is insulating it from the heat.

Wrapping the laptop in clothes insulates it. This is exactly the same as putting it in a coolbox. Clothes don't make it any hotter magically.

Sorry if I'm getting a bit short with you; this is basic elementary school stuff.
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Well, never having owned a car and living somewhere that's freezing cold (or at least cool) 8 of the 12 months of the year precludes me from having a keen awareness of the properties of heat.

That said, I am aware of the fact that the notebook won't produce heat. I'm basing my knowledge on the fact that regardless of what's in the car, it's all really warm when I get back during those really hot summer days.

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Get a Pelican case

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Acrilyc

 
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It should be fine. Just put it under a seat, and try parking in the shade. I recently went to Disney WORLD in Florida, (Florida is hot..) and kept my MBP in the car, and I'm currenty typing this on it now.
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