Electronic devices suffer from temperature extremes. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) of laptops, phones, and PDAs really do freeze. Laptops have been designed to work within a safe temperature range, normally 50 to 95 degrees F (10 - 35 degrees C). This range refers both to optimal usage temperature of the outside environment and the temperature the laptop should be warmed to before using.
Never leave a laptop, or other device, even in a well-padded and insulated case, in the trunk of vehicle in cold or hot weather for long periods of time. The device could freeze and you lose all data contained in it. Heat may also damage components.
Let It Warm Up
Once you bring a laptop in from the cold (or heat), allow it to return to room temperature before booting. "Ruggedized" laptops are designed to work under extreme weather conditions. Standard issue Hampshire laptops are not "ruggedized."
Protect Your Display
Do not boot up an LCD display device if you suspect the display is frozen. Don't use heating pads or other external sources of heat to warm up or thaw the display. Allow it to warm on its own.
Incorrect Warming/Cooling Methods
Do not use devices such as mug warmers or pocket warmers to heat or keep a laptop warm. Likewise, refrigeration of a hot laptop subjects components to too rapid cooling. Devices not designed for this purpose can create problems as they will not distribute temperature in the right way. They could heat the wrong parts or generate too much heat and melt internal components.
Do not use your laptop while it is still inside a laptop bag. There is no room for air to circulate and you will get heat build-up.
Laptops, cell phones, and other mobile devices are tools to help manage the details of life. Don't leave your tools out in the wet and cold. Proper care and maintenance of your digital devices is as important as maintaining the brakes of a car—both keep you from crashing.
As computers have become more powerful they have simultaneously been generating more heat. Portable computers are particularly susceptible to overheating, so make sure yours has room to breathe.
All computers generate heat that must be dissipated to avoid damaging components. Desktop computers are large enough that they can include large fans and heatsinks, and some customized systems even contain water-based cooling systems. In contrast, portable computers are limited in the amount of space they can devote to cooling; add to that the fact that batteries generate heat when charging and discharging, and you've got a very delicate balance when it comes to managing heat.
Some guidelines for ensuring that you don't hasten your computer's demise by inhibiting its ability to cool itself: