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I have a laptop, and 2 monitors that are on a desk next to a window. They get direct sunlight for a few hours a day. In summer it seems to be about 3 hours. Most days I'm not using the hardware during these times.

Is there a concern that exposure to sun and in particular the heat of this can decrease the life span of this equipment. This would also be valid question if someone say had their current generation Apple iMac in the same position.

Should I be concerned about damage, or possibly only on very hot days. Or only if the heat exposure is combined with the devices being currently used and generating heat through normal operation being even hotter.

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The sun can damage plastics over years. fading the color, and making the plastic more brittle. At only 3 hours of exposure, It would take more time than the backlight in the monitor would last :-) The thinner the plastic is the faster the exposed plastic would be efffected in any way that would matter. –  Psycogeek Jan 10 '12 at 1:34
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Heat and direct sunlight can damage plastics, usually increasing the degradation of the materials, resulting in discoloration, brittleness, and eventual structural failure.

Leaving computer equipment in direct sunlight is not generally the best idea over the long run, especially as you have describe.

If you have something, anything really, that can go over the lid of the laptop while it is closed to keep the direct sunlight off, it should be just fine. A book or magazine should be sufficient, though a case or cover may be more convenient over the long run.

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