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Shut Down or Sleep?


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?


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.


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?


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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