As the small computer form factors such as the tablets and ultraportables (Ultrabooks, etc) become popular, there is room to make mistakes with using them in the living room. This environment is where you are most likely to be when you are tired and wanting to relax and, in a lot of cases, you may be having a bit to drink.
These mistakes can end up with your equipment being out of action for a significant amount of time and could, at worst, cause irreparable damage. It is although the manufacturers are understanding the realities associated with the portable equipment and are making it more rugged.
Avoiding the risk of that device being sat on
For example, you could be using that iPad while lounging on the couch and you need to get up to visit the kitchen or bathroom or answer the door. Then you put that iPad on the couch as you get up. This can be a risky move for the device if one hasn’t got their eyes peeled for these devices.
In the living room, this can easily happen with most of us when we are tired or have had a bit too much to drink. It can be exacerbated with devices that have sleeves, wraps or other accessories that could blend in easily with the scatter cushions and other upholstery that exists at your house. Then you could end up easily sitting on that iPad that is on the couch as you find somewhere comfortable to sit and this can cause damage to that device.
A good idea to avoid this situation would be to place the portable computing device on the coffee table or side table when you want to get up from that chair or sofa. Personally, I would make this easier by having side tables that have enough room to rest at least one 10” tablet like an iPad or avoiding the temptation to forego the coffee table or similar tables in the name of minimalist living.
The book-style cover offers extra protection for tablets in the living room
As well, the covers that you can get for the iPad and other tablet computers that open and close like a book also work well in keeping spilt drinks from damaging these computers and are a must when you use them in the lounge room. Here, you simply close these covers when you put the computer on that table.
Similarly, decorating the accessory covers or the backs of the tablet or ultraportable computer devices in an individual manner can allow one to make a device easily identifiable from the others especially when there are many of these in a common area. I would find this more important with popular devices like the iPad which use a consistent style and interface and also find this important where a particular brand or model of this device is favoured by most of your family or friends. I made a reference to this practice when I reviewed the Toshiba Satellite L730 which was available in white.
Reducing the risk of drinks being spilt in to that ultraportable computer
As well, ultraportable notebook computers can be at risk of drinks being spilt in to them when they are left open on the coffee table. This is more so with drinks that are in tall containers like bottles, tumblers or wine glasses.
Here, a good practice would be to close up these computers when they are not in use there. In the case of the detachable-keyboard “hybrid” convertible, these computers could be assembled before you close them up to keep drinks out of them.
Further on, a laptop wrap may also work wonders in protecting these computers from being damaged by drink spillage on the coffee table.
Avoiding the romantic candlelight mistake when using notebook computers
As for laptops, notebooks and similar computers, the area behind the screen can be a death trap for these computers when it comes to using those candles to set up that romantic environment. This is a greater risk with wide candles including tea-lights rather than the tall “taper-style” candles that are typically used with a candlestick and the risk is greatly exacerbated when you swing the laptop lid outwards.
This was highlighted by an incident that happened with some close friends where the husband was downloading pictures from a digital camera on to his laptop and his wife, who just so loves that romantic candlelit look, set up some candles at his work table. There happened to be a small candle just behind the computer in the blind space behind the screen and this scorched the display unit in that computer.
In these situations, check that there are no candles behind the computer before you open it up and keep an eye on those candles that are on your work table. Especially pay attention to the blind spot behind your computer and make sure any candles in that area are fully visible.
It may be better to make sure that if you want to set up those candles around the laptop, that any lit candles stay on the side of the computer or towards the centre of the dining table.
By reading this, you can avoid placing your equipment at risk of damage when you use it in that lounge area whether you are working or relaxing.