by Akiva Goldstein | March 10th, 2020
While a laptop to desktop conversion may sound simple, everybody has their own way of working. Some people like working on leather armchairs in clean offices, while others prefer having the background noise of a chill café. With the outbreak of COVID-19, people may find these “work preferences” greatly disturbed. So, what can you do to prepare and avoid changing your routine? First, think about the type of environment you need to work best. Then, consider what type of computer most enhances your ability to work in that environment.
Changing a laptop into a desktop is something that anyone can do, even when the workplace is totally safe and healthy. It’s not unusual for someone to prefer using their laptop as a desktop over using an actual desktop computer. All you have to do is find a monitor, keyboard, and/or mouse to plug into your laptop. If you don’t have inputs for these devices, you can easily find Bluetooth accessories or special adapters. For example, new Macs have Type-C USB slots that require adapters in order to use HDMI, Type-B USB, etc.
Desktops are often preferred over laptops for the environment they require. While laptops can be used on the go, desktops almost always require a work desk and chair. People often use laptops on planes, in cars, and on high chairs at cafés. However, none of these places promote healthy posture. Having your hands close to your torso, as one would expect at an office/home desk, keeps the back straight. Also, having a monitor separate from the keyboard allows the user to sit straight up rather than hunch over, facing downward. Obviously, desktops aren’t portable like laptops. When transforming your laptop into a desktop, you’ll need to remember to bring your accessories in a bag. Then you can take your “laptop-desktop” wherever you go!
People often take for granted how much a great keyboard helps their workflow. Similar to the keys on a grand piano vs. an electronic keyboard, the amount of resistance or “action” of computer keys varies greatly. Most newer laptops have butterfly keys that barely “click” or resist when you press on them. Additionally, the profile of laptop keys is usually lower than traditional desktop keyboards, making the laptop thinner, overall. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, which may change based on your work environment. For example, you may appreciate the “quiet” typing of a laptop in a library. On the other hand, some people find that it just feels wrong.
A nice keyboard is one where you can lay your fingers on the keys and appreciate the design. Of course, this is just a personal opinion, but that’s the point. If you aren’t comfortable with your laptop’s built-in keyboard, you can always get a Bluetooth or USB keyboard for extra customization. Whatever makes the experience more personal and comfortable is sure to improve your workflow.
If you have a small laptop, you might appreciate adding on a larger monitor for work. Larger displays help users read small fonts or fit multiple projects on their screen. Plus, a separate monitor means that you can move the screen closer, further, lower, or higher than you can with the laptop alone. As a result, you’ll lessen the strain on your eyes, as well as support good neck and back posture. Another advantage is that an external monitor can act as a backup in case your laptop screen breaks. Almost everyone has dropped their laptop at some point. From knocking it off the sofa to tripping over the power cord, there are a lot of ways laptops hit the floor.
Unfortunately, laptops’ thinner, hinged screens are also more likely to crack or disconnect, leaving you without a display! Luckily, if your laptop screen breaks, an external monitor can be a quick and dependable replacement solution.
The last accessory for a true laptop to desktop conversion is the mouse. Some people prefer their built-in laptop track pads for their speed and proximity to the keys, but I think everyone can agree that a good mouse offers more comfort and better cursor control. Mouse prices can fluctuate greatly, based on style and brand. First, you’ll need to choose between corded USB or wireless bluetooth. Then you’ll need to double check if it is optical or an old-school ball mouse. Ball mice require a mouse pad, collect all kinds of dust and detritus, and the ball needs to be removed and cleaned frequently. Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a ball mouse, unless you are using outdated hardware.
Most new mice are optical or laser, and do not require a mouse pad. However, some people still prefer using a mouse pad because it mutes the sound of the plastic mouse being repositioned on their hard desktop. Furthermore, some mouse pads have built-in wrist support for extra comfort and to prevent developing carpel-tunnel syndrome. Lastly, you’ll need to see which mouse feels best in your hand and has the options that help you work efficiently. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. However, most basic mice, with few exceptions, have a left and right click button. Other options may include a scroll wheel (a necessity, in my opinion), track ball, and additional shortcut buttons.
Whether your company’s office closes as a precaution or you are temporarily quarantined at home, remember to bring your laptop to desktop accessories. And when you’re in a pinch, don’t forget to call OnsiteIn60 for remote support. Despite our name, we also offer award-winning remote support for low flat rates, based on number of users. Likewise, our business continuity planning and cloud services can help prepare companies for every employee to work efficiently from home. For instance, if someone doesn’t have a desktop computer, these tips can help them use their laptop and accessories efficiently. When they need a secure server while working from home, Onsitein60 will handle the rest. Go to our website and checkout the Ask A CTO page or reach us at (877) IN- SIXTY.