Expensive mistake, inappropriate usage.

I like to use my 13-inch MacBook Pro (Escape) in bed, but that has led to problems. Today I collected it from the Apple authorised repairers I had taken it to four days earlier. The problem was one of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports wasn't allowing USB-C connecters to be pushed all the way into the port, so I couldn't use it for charging or connecting peripherals. The other port was being cranky as well but not to the same extent.

The service department determined both ports were heavily encrusted with dust and one was loose inside. A few times the Mac had fallen from the bed, landing on various edges, leaving significant dents in the aluminium top case. One such dent crossed the loose port diagonally, meaning that particular impact had caused internal damage ultimately rendering the port unusable.

The way Retina MacBook Pros are constructed is that the top case also incorporates the trackpad & battery as one complete unit, making for a somewhat expensive repair should something be broken. The serviceman was able to get the ports working by removing the dust but one port would still be loose inside. I had noted that battery capacity over the month of April 2020 had dropped below the minimum recommended 80%, indicating the battery was dying off.

Can you see where this is going? I now had two reasons to replace the top case: one to replace the battery & another to rectify the dents on the edge plus to finally secure the loose Thunderbolt port's internal fixings. I then had to weigh up the cost. It was going to be approx. ⅓ of the cost of a decently-specified base model 2020 13-in MacBook Pro. Also, mine was less than two years old so I considered it worthwhile to proceed with the repair.

Now that's done I need to re-evaluate my usage of this laptop. I will still use in in the bedroom but not on the bed, instead at a desk. This should keep it away from dust & accidental falls from the bed should I doze off while using it. Plus, when not in use, it will be put into a hard-shell laptop briefcase along with its backup drives & assorted peripherals & dongles. I shall also buy some "canned air" from an electronics hobby store. This is a can similar to an aerosol can but filled with desiccated compressed air, delivered to where it's needed via a thin plastic tube. This will be used regularly on the Thunderbolt 3 ports.

I'm using FruitJuice, an app that monitors the battery health & calibrates it when needed. FruitJuice will let you know how long to stay unplugged each day to keep your battery healthy, it aims for at least 20% of the battery life expressed in hours. I'm using the app now to run the initial Maintenance/Calibration cycle. This involves fully charging the battery then running on the battery until it's used 80% of its charge. Then it is fully charged again and ready for regular use.