RT Cunningham

Blogging For As Long As I'm Able

Why Is My Laptop Computer Bulging?

Tagged with laptop computer, raspberry pi, rsync on May 16, 2024

bulging laptop computer While I was writing my previous article, I noticed that my laptop computer felt odd under my fingertips. The entire computer felt out-of-balance. When I looked down (because I rarely do so since I’m a touch typist), I noticed the touchpad wasn’t seated properly. So I ran my hands horizontally across the machine, and it was then that I realized it was starting to bulge.

A Defective Battery

The first thing I did was search on Google for an explanation. Well, it turns out that this is pretty common. Some lithium-ion batteries are defective, and it seems I won the lottery on this won. The computer is still within the one-year warranty period, so it would be pretty easy to get it replaced if I was in the United States, where I bought it.

I ordered it online from Walmart while I was in the United States, and I received it on July 13, 2023. Unfortunately for me, I’m not in the United States and I don’t plan to go there until sometime in March 2025. Possibly even later. The one-year warranty expires on July 13, 2024, of course. If I remember correctly, I paid something like $380 for it. A one-way ticket to Seattle costs more than twice that amount. I lose no matter what.

I have no way of knowing if the bulge will get worse. My laptop computer might last me another year, and it might become unusable in a week. It isn’t hot, so I doubt it will explode like some phone batteries did. If it does become unusable, it looks like my plans to use my Raspberry Pi 400 (“Pi” for short) as a remote server are foiled.

A Replacement Computer

I prefer desktop computers to laptop computers, and that’s because I only use my phone when I’m out and about. I don’t need a portable computer, and I like being able to swap out parts in a matter of minutes. You can’t do that with laptop computers. Desktop computers don’t need batteries, unless you count a UPS. I love using my Pi as a desktop computer, especially with the version of MX Linux made for it.

So… I’ll probably end up buying another single board computer, which can double as another desktop computer, the next time I land in the United States. I don’t want to invest too much in one because I don’t use computers like other people. Since I spend most of my time reading articles and listening to music, the Pi is more than capable of doing what I require it to do. I watch videos on my phone, not a computer monitor, and only when I’m already in bed.

It’s not a question of “if” my laptop computer will become unusable, it’s a question of “when”. I’m a pessimist, so I believe it’s most likely that my Pi will serve as my daily driver, once it fails, until I get something else. I’m already in the process of setting up another SSD on the Pi. File copying, even while using rsync, takes a long time.

Image by GatewayUSA

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