Supertoys Last All Winter Long, One Hopes

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-23 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

I'm typing this on a newly uncrated Dell notebook, the replacement for the ill-fated Chuwi that died when one of its hinges exploded on me in mid-unfold. So far the only things I don't like about the Dell are the power connector (I don't think it supports charge-over-USB-C, which allows me to use a mag connector instead of the yank-the-wrong-way-and-you-break-it power plugs that are so common with notebooks) and that it's not fanless. But there may be a way around the former, and the latter is mostly me being a nitpicker. The rest is quite nice. It even has a fingerprint reader built in, something I totally missed when scanning the specs, and it supposedly gets all-day battery life. That, we will have to test independently.

One other thing I'm a little uncertain about is how well it will hold up under regular use. I have to teach myself to be gentle with electronics, as I came of age at a time when the average PC component was built to take a beating. I still type with both fists, as it were. Having a relatively delicate notebook and a desktop keyboard that's designed for being sledgehammered right through the desk makes me force myself to be gentler overall.

The first week or so I spend with any new piece of gear, I'm super-paranoid about messing it up. And then I remember what happened once to a friend of mine. He'd spent over a thousand bucks — a staggering amount of money for him at the time — to buy a vintage Stratocaster he'd been coveting. After forking over his grand-plus and taking it home, he brought it up to his room, reached over to plug it into the amp, and then dropped it. The underside of the guitar landed square on the floor and put a bruise the size of the ball of his thumb on the otherwise pristine finish. He sat down on his bed and managed not to bawl into his knees.

Then he actually plugged it in and played it, and it played fine. By the time a week had gone by, he wasn't cringing every time he saw that massive bruise on the guitar body. It gave it character! And it wasn't as if he had been coveting it so that he could resell it someday; he wanted to play it, and playing it meant wear and tear of one kind or another.

My friend told me this story as consolation, on a day when I locked myself out of my father's car and ended up breaking the lock mechanism trying to get back into it. (Dad was peeved.) He was, I guess, trying to find a way to let me make lemonade out of the massive lemon I'd just handed myself. It didn't quite work at the time, but later on down the road, I did see what he meant.

Tags: technology