After placing a powerful neodymium magnet against mechanical hard drives to see if they would fail, we moved on to other office gadgets.
People are tentative when placing magnets around electronics, even though most modern components are immune to all but the strongest magnets.
To see if this hesitance is warranted, we placed our powerful magnet on a number of everyday tech gadgets – from headphones to laptop screens.
For each test – detailed below – we checked if there was any change in the device’s performance after exposure to the magnet.
The magnet used was a 50mm Eclipse Neodymium Block Magnet. It has a grade of N35 and a pull force of 40kg.
We placed the magnet on both sides of a 27-inch LCD monitor, moving the magnet around while the display was turned on.
There was a strong magnetic force around the panel and behind it, but there were no changes to the display and it continued operating normally.
A Mobicel feature phone was attracted to the magnet, but after moving the magnet around the handset, it continued to function.
The display, menu navigation, and storage all worked normally after exposure to the magnetic field.
For this test we used a Motorola Moto Z, which has a magnetically-attached back cover for adding mods such as cameras and speakers.
After placing the magnet on the Moto Z and moving it around, it continued to function normally, with the display, navigation, and storage working.
The magnet was strongly attracted to the back of the device, which made it difficult to remove.
Placing the magnet on a 17-inch LCD laptop screen and moving it around yielded no changes to the functioning of the display or the laptop.
The magnet was attracted to the panel edges of the display, but easily passed over the back and front of the panel.
We used a convertible Lenovo Yoga mouse with a rotatable hinge in the midsection for this test.
The mouse continued to function normally after the magnet was placed on and around it, but we did notice some strange behaviour.
When the magnet was placed close to the midsection of the mouse, the device would mistakenly detect that its hinge had been rotated and would switch to its “Presenter” control mode.
We placed the magnet on each earcup of a pair of over-ear Monster headphones while listening to music.
Despite the magnet fixing firmly to each earcup, the music continued to play flawlessly and no change was noted.