Testing gift electronics before wrapping them is an excellent idea

This week, the Consumerist recommends testing a Playstation 4 before gifting it. That’s always a good idea anyway, given that most failures happen very early in the life of an electronics gadget. If they survive the first 24 hours, they are much more likely to have a long life. It’s a good idea if you’re giving something other than a Playstation 4 too, like an Xbox One, or something slightly older.

It’s an especially good idea in the case of newly released electronics, because the new releases tend to be more glitchy than venerable products near the end of their retail life. The manufacturers have had six or seven years to work out the issues with previous generation consoles. They’re still learning how to make the current ones.

So, unwrap it, open it up, set it up, power it on, play a game, disable the power-saving feature if you can, leave the game playing in demo mode, and leave the system powered on for 24 hours. If it’s still working after 24 hours, re-enable any power saving features you disabled previously, box it back up and wrap it. If it doesn’t make it, box it back up, take it to the store and exchange it. It’s much less frustrating to the giver and the recipient to get the failure out of the way before the big unwrapping.

Some people even believe that a 24-hour burn-in can fix minor issues.

I don’t know about that, but I can say I’ve been doing these kinds of burn ins since 1991, and I can count the number of electronics failures I’ve had on one hand in all those years–even with a house full of computers and a habit of keeping them well past their prime.

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