If you can't change your laptop, can you add anything to make it better? You bet. Companies make a variety of laptop accessories to remedy the problems. From document holders and external keyboards to screens that detach entirely from the notebook to let you place them anywhere, there's no lack of solutions. Here's HealthyComputing.com's quick guide to laptop accessories and their uses:
External Keyboards allow you to more freely position your keyboard, meaning that you can independently adjust both the screen and the keys to obtain a better ergonomic position.
Document Holders keep documents positioned properly while you're working from them, helping you avoid pain and save space on your desk. Chances are that you lay documents or worksheets flat on your desk, repeatedly tilting or twisting your head when returning attention to the screen. Document holders raise papers off your desk, keeping them in the line of sight (and at the same height as) your screen. Some even attach directly to your laptop's screen; this means less head movement and increased comfort.
Laptop Stands resemble a music stand; laptops are placed on a height-adjustable platform which allows a wider variety of adjustment. In essence, it's a portable desk - meaning you're not confined to the height of whatever desks or countertops happen to be convenient. Laptop stands are great for people who have a favorite chair from which they work; it lets them bring the desk to them.
Glare Filters (also known as glare screens) help cut reflections and glare, both of which are common causes of eyestrain. Attached to your screen, they filter out up to 99% of reflected light, allowing you to see your screen more clearly. (If you work with sensitive documents, you may also want to consider a combination glare filter/privacy filter).
External Mice are often used by people who find the laptop's built-in touchpad or trackball difficult to negotiate. The bigger size of a traditional mouse lets you use your entire hand to move the mouse, distributing the motion over a wider area and leading to a more comfortable experience for many users.
Laptop Lights Since most mobile users don't have an adjustable task-light like the one at their office, getting proper lighting to reduce eyestrain can be difficult. Laptop lights attach to your notebook (using either battery power or your USB port) to provide a focused, adjustable task light. This accessory is commonly used for night-time work or on airplanes.
Ergonomic Carrying Bags are generally designed with broader shoulder straps to more evenly distribute the weight, and often have wheels to let you remove the burden from your shoulders entirely.
Detachable Screens A new advancement in laptop computing, these notebooks allow you to completely remove the screen and place it nearly anywhere. Similar to the concept of an external keyboard, they let you independently adjust the position of your keyboard and monitor, helping create a more ergonomic arranagement. They're also a good tool for presentations, allowing the moderator to control the progress while keeping the screen visible for their audience.
Laptop Supports are cushions or pillows used to adjust the height of the notebook on your lap. Companies also make desk-based models that raise the laptop off the desk, saving space and bringing the monitor height closer to an optimal viewing position.
Docking Stations let laptop users enjoy the comfort of full-sized peripherals at the office while preserving a notebook's portability for travel. Docking stations contain connections for standard-size peripherals such as keyboards, monitors, and mice. When at your desk, you simply plug the notebook into the docking station, which serves as an interface between the components and essentially creates a desktop computer. When you're ready to leave, you simply remove the notebook from the docking station.
Back to Top