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CONSUMER BRIEFS / TECHNOLOGY

Apple laptops to detect spills

October 26, 2008|times staff and wire reports

Trips to an electronics repair store sometimes turn into an exercise in debate: "Yes, I'm sure I didn't spill water on it!"

Apple Inc. is looking to put those arguments to rest by using a technology that detects when a laptop has been exposed to liquid.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's new MacBook and MacBook Pro computers include two liquid submersion indicators, which are small sensors located under the keyboard and near the trackpad that change color when exposed to a liquid.

The technology has been a standard in cellphones for years, with indicators normally located underneath the battery. Water damage is a violation of the AppleCare warranty. Significant liquid submersion can cause major electronic problems, including corrosion and shorting.

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