back to article Acer expands its antimicrobial PC offerings – with caveat they may not offer any protection

With both Windows 11 and a new generation of Intel silicon upon us, big PC-makers are unveiling this year's models. So what does Acer have to offer to separate itself from the socially distanced pack? In a sign of the times, the Taiwanese giant has applied antimicrobial coatings to more of its range. Devices with …

  1. Little Mouse Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    I don't think this product is targeted at people like me

    My keyboard looks like this -------------------------->

    and my mouse could do with a good wipe too. Meh - Maybe tomorrow.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Only the strong survive

    One problem is that this coating is not 100% effective. It was written elsewhere that it "only" kills 99.9% of microbes.

    We have to assume, therefore, that the 0.1% that survive will be the strongest, most potent and therefore most dangerous ones.

    While the wimpiest ones might give people an easily fought-off dose of whatever (thereby priming their immune system), leaving behind only the "schwarzenegger" variants, anything that a person does catch from an unhygienic keyboard (or telephone handset) will be worse for them.

    1. ShadowSystems

      Re: Only the strong survive

      I used to use a "keyboard condom" to keep my work keyboard somewhat cleaner than the others around me, but then I noticed that one of the coworkers on a different shift kept removing it "to make typing easier". I took to bringing in a personal keyboard, swapping out the work one during my shift, & taking mine home with me at shift change.

      Now that I don't have to share my stuff with anyone anymore, I still use a "keyboard condom" of sorts -- I've slipped it inside a bread loaf bag & folded the open end under so the weight of the keyboard keeps it closed. I don't worry about crumbs nor drinks getting into the keys, only that I have to go find a new bag every month or so.

      If you could find a clear sheet of contact cling film & cut it to fit, couldn't you create something for laptops that kept it as crumbs-free & spill-resistant as possible without causing it to retain so much heat that it essentially toasted itself into an early grave?

      I don't imagine it would work for touch screen smartphones/tablets, the film might be too thick to transmit the touch, but would sticking it in a ZipLock baggie work?

      Then they would be much easier to clean/disinfect/sterilize...

      1. Phones Sheridan

        Re: Only the strong survive

        Et voila, one laptop keyboard condom!

        Tho unwrapping it from the foil each morning and applying it slowly and sensually by mouth is going to become a bit tiresome, not to mention look weird in front of your work colleagues.

      2. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Only the strong survive

        And then the condom ends in tne sea and becomes part of the 1/3 of a microsoft branded mouse recycled plastic.

      3. DS999 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Only the strong survive

        Wouldn't it be easier to avoid holding drinks or food that generates crumbs over your keyboard than it is to type through a plastic bag?

        The Reg needs a tinfoil hat icon for this one!

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Only the strong survive

          >Wouldn't it be easier to avoid holding drinks or food that generates crumbs over your keyboard

          So some sort of intravenous tube system ?

          Think management might be considering it

          1. Rob Daglish

            Re: Only the strong survive

            or, maybe, just moving away from the desk for a while? I can probably find a study that points to productivity gains by doing this, too...

  3. Zebo-the-Fat

    But...

    Silver kills a microbe, but does it do anything to a virus?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: But...

      What do bacteria do to viruses? Apart from bacteriophages, of course, which are viruses parasitic on bacteria. I'd have thought that a coronavirus would have made a nice snack for a bacterium, a package of amino-acids, nucleotides and a dressing of lipids.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: But...

      I dont know about Viruses, but it works wonders for killing Werewolves and Vampires!

      What do you mean that Movie last night wasnt a documentary???

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: But...

      I was curious so I googled (well duck duck goed, but that doesn't flow off the tongue/keyboard too well) and found this:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32958250/

      The question I have is, what viruses are passed primarily through physical contact and could thus be affected by silver nanoparticles? Common knowledge was that to avoid catching the flu you want to "wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes", and at first they assumed coronavirus was similar. When they found out coronavirus was spread almost exclusively through the air someone did a historical review of medical journals to determine where that common knowledge about influenza came from.

      Apparently it was based on a paper written 60 years ago that was later retracted, but it had already become "common knowledge" in the medical community and beyond. The cold and flu viruses are now believed to spread almost exclusively through the air. It is funny that we seemed to know that or at least believe it back in 1918, as there were recommendations to wear masks to reduce the spread, and plenty of photos of people doing so outside medical settings in the US like walking on the street or in the stands at a football game.

      I suppose non respiratory viruses may spread more or even exclusively through touch, but washing your hands and not touching your eyes is probably still a better bet to avoid those viruses than coating everything you touch in silver nanoparticles.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Use copper

    Copper has proven anti-bacterial properties, does not need to be reapplied and would make for a killer keyboard+mouse combo.

    Now that I've thought of that, I want it !

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Use copper

      Keyboard and mouse actually made from copper - Yes, Please!

      Even better, have the keyboard itself made from a lighter bronze, the key caps made from a darker bronze, and the letters be a copper inlay. Bonus points for using Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Use copper

      Steampunk people got there a mite earlier :)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Use copper

        So just glue some gears on it ?

        Or will any old, copper plated hunk of 1980s junk work?

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    Windows - 11

    This will not help reduce bugs brought in to the PC by that vector.

  6. Zebo-the-Fat

    Disinfect your equipment every morning with a blast of high energy gamma rays... you know it makes sense!

  7. Cuddles Silver badge

    Not a touch screen

    "applying a "a silver ion antimicrobial agent" to the high-touch surfaces... Acer has also created a microbe-disrupting monitor, the 23.6-inch VE246Q"

    Which parts of a non-touchscreen monitor count as high-touch?

  8. idiot taxpayer here again

    I think I can safely

    ignore any of this antimicrobial stuff. Looking at my keyboard, I very much doubt any self respecting germ would approach it. Even my son has commented on it. And given the state of that tip that I laughingly laughingly refer to as his bedroom…

  9. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    It's just another way to add built-in obsolescence: After about 6 years, antimicrobial coatings are a hard to remove sticky mess! I'm forever removing such coatings with isopropyl alcohol and hard scrubbing. Takes forever! Coated keyboards are not worth cleaning - the lettering comes off with it...

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