It’s true what they say: Bigger boys just want bigger (and more electrically-fueled) toys. Nobody is too old for “toys” but the reality is that, as adults, we want bigger, badder and more expensive ones. No matter what your learnings, whether it’s pure gaming or you prefer a DIY build-a-computer, you need to protect your investments. Gone are the days when a broken toy is a two dollar replacement and run to the local super store.
Today’s “toys” (for all ages) are costly, engineered works of art. However, one of the best ways to protect your gadgets is ensuring the insulation is adequate (don’t expect everything you purchase to have top notch insulation). This is especially true if you’re of the engineering mindset and picking up pet projects that don’t come with instructions. Overheating won’t just ruin your project, but’s it’s also a massive fire risk.
To warranty or not to warranty?
Much like the Oxford comma, warranty vs. non-warranty is up for a huge debate. There are geeks who are solidly on one side of this argument over another, and no amount of evidence is going to shift their mindset. However, the truth is that warranties depend wholly on the product, the terms of the warranty and being honest with yourself on need, wear and tear.
For example, there’s a reason warranties come automatically with new cars. You’re spending a lot of money, there are a lot of things that can go wrong even with the best manufacturers, and even the daily commuter is being put through a lot. Think of every electronic toy as a similar purchase and be realistic about how rough you are on things and whether or not the total warranty cost will be worth that protection.
Some people are naturally tougher on their toys than others, and that’s okay. However, practicing good habits such as regular cleanings and packing away certain items can help extend their life. Minimize transportation and follow any care instructions (they’re there for a reason). Something as simply as putting discs back into their cases (think Blu Ray) can make a disc last decades longer even if you’re sure you won’t otherwise scratch it.
There’s always a cost-risk analysis with every purchase, but it’s important to look more closely at high-cost electronics. Read reviews and keep an eye out for complaints of breaking. If you spot a pattern, you might want to think twice or spring for added protection.