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One Foul Ball Too Many for This Laptop


A couple of months ago, I shared a story about how a Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 fell off the roof of a car, got run over by an SUV and survived. I first heard about it via Twitter and since then, I’ve seen many other tweets with amazing stories behind them like:

But, one that really stood out recently came from Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Sun.

Now, when you first see that you might wonder how one of our laptops getting demolished by a foul ball is in the same field (see what I did there) as those previous tweets. To understand, you have to go back about a year to the first time I noticed one of Encina’s tweets.

I reached out to him then and intended to write a post here about that incident, but life throws curve balls. I let that one get by me. Fast-forward to a new season and Encina found himself, and his Dell Latitude E6440, again on the receiving end of a foul ball.

“I was told that the exit velocity of Alvarez’s foul ball was 76.2 mph, but when you see leather and seams coming at your head off the bat, it seems like it’s 106.2 mph,” he wrote in his re-telling of the evening.

So, while his Latitude proved itself exceptional and continued to enable Encina to file stories after taking one hit, the second was just too much.

I asked him how often foul balls come into the press box and Encina said it’s hard to really gauge how many, but rarely does a laptop get hit. We both noticed several commenters on Twitter suggested he start bringing a glove with him, but the balls come back into the press box so fast, Encina says there’s no time to reach for a glove.

“Now, where I sit (in the front row, just to the left of home plate) seems to be a hot zone when left-handed hitters are at the plate,” he added. “Both shots to my computer were off the bats of left-handed hitters.”

After the first hit, Encina didn’t replace his laptop because it was still fully functional.

“Plus, I almost wanted to keep it even more because it had the ball mark and indentation on the top panel, almost like a ‘battle scar,’" he said.

Luckily, after the second hit did it in, the newspaper was able to save the hard drive and all of Encina’s files and place it in another Dell laptop of the same model.

“But I can’t help but, more than anything, be thankful that my laptop was there for me because on two separate occasions, those baseballs were heading straight for my dome before my screen made the ultimate sacrifice,” Encina said.

I won’t try to tell you that all the tweets I see tagging @Dell are happy. We live in a world where things don’t always go as well as we’d like. And the situations noted in this post are not typical. But, our @DellCares team is there on Twitter around-the-clock and around the world (@DellAjuda, @DellHilft, @DellVousAide and more language options are available) to do what they can to assist.

And let me again recommend our Accidental Damage Service plan, because while we do test all our products for reliability and performance, only our Dell Rugged products are independently tested by third-party facilities to military standards to validate durability.

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