This weekend, I did something to my Chromebook that I’ve never done before. I dropped it on the concrete. It was a tiny fall, mind you, but the end result was no less catastrophic. I was riding to a Thanksgiving weekend dinner, watching some football and as the game wrapped up, I was a bit disgusted with the current state of my Tennessee Titans. As such, I shut the Lenovo Duet 5 tablet I was watching on and slid the closed-up slate between my seat and the door, content not to have to watch any more butt whooping for the day.
About 20 minutes later, we arrived at our destination, ready to enjoy some time with family. In my haste to get out of the car after a little bit of road time, I forgot my Chromebook that was hanging in the balance next to my seat, opened the door, and out it fell onto the driveway. It was a very small fall – 18-inches at most – but it was enough to do some serious damage. The tablet had it’s back on and the keyboard cover in place, but there was nothing in the way of the corners to protect it from the drop, and that meant some serious damage. Take a look.
Why Chromebooks need a case of some sort
Case in point: Chromebooks that aren’t built for durability aren’t durable. I know that’s probably clear, but it isn’t something I’ve thought about too often, and there’s a reason for that. With Chromebooks, I generally drop them in my backpack when not using them. That cushion acts as my Chromebook protection when out and about and I generally only get my devices out when at a table, desk, or when I’m on the couch. With that habit, I’ve not had any drops or issues with ramming my Chromebook into the ground.
With the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, however, I’ve been carrying this thin, light tablet around without a backpack or case for a few weeks. You’ll see this in the review later this week, but this Chromebook has served as my go-to device when I leave the office and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed not lugging a backpack to and from the office on a daily basis. For some reason, though, I never thought about putting it in a sleeve or anything. Again, being used to a backpack as my Chromebook defense mechanism, I just didn’t think twice about a case.
But this drop and resulting cracked screen made me really think about what needs to be done to protect my Chromebooks moving forward. As someone who doesn’t mind keeping a backpack on my at all times, I think that will remain my go-to strategy. But as more thin/light Chromebook tablets emerge, I know I’ll be tempted to minimize things and get back to that quick-carry scenario I had with the Duet 5. So what then?
I think for those of us who decide a backpack isn’t the best for daily carry, some sort of sleeve becomes essential. There aren’t really cases for Chromebooks out there to grab, so your best bet is to get some material between your device and hard surfaces. A simple, small neoprene sleeve will do just that, and you can find those in all shapes and sizes on Amazon, at Best Buy and other retailers.
If you don’t plan on buying a more bulky, drop-resistant Chromebook, this is something you should really be considering right now. If you good with carrying a bag around, that should be drop-resistant enough for most scenarios, but an additional layer of security via some sort of sleeve is probably still a good idea. Trust me, you don’t want the gut-wrenching feeling I had yesterday as I picked up my tablet off of the concrete and saw the mangled screen. It’s avoidable for sure, so take your precautions now. You’ll thank me.