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Shut Down or Sleep?

Q:

Every night I shut down my desktop computer. I’ve been told I should just put it to sleep since shutting it down wears it down faster. I do it to save energy and I thought preserve its life longer. Should I continue this process of shutting down or let it sleep instead?

A:

You will certainly save more energy by shutting it down, though modern computers use very little juice while asleep. However, assuming your desktop, like most, uses a traditional hard disk, it’s possible that shutting down and restarting every day can add to wear and tear on the disk. My arbitrary rule of thumb is to only do a complete shutdown if the machine isn’t going to be used for 48 hours or more.

Q:

Can you recommend any of these hybrid type of Windows PCs that would serve as both laptops and tablets, but also be lightweight, have good battery life and dependability?

A:

I can’t recommend the so-called convertibles I’ve tested — the ones that flip, slide or twist into either the traditional clamshell laptop position or the screen-up, flat mode of a tablet. The main reason is they make for heavy, thick, tablets and have much less battery life than a pure tablet. There are some hybrid models called “detachables,” in which the screen can be removed to become a tablet. These models work much better as tablets, since the removable screens approximate the weight and thickness of real tablets.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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