Laptop Question - How Can I Hold It?

I just got a laptop last week, mostly for academic purposes. Since I have to read really long PDF files for class, sometimes I just like to lie on my bed with my laptop on its side in front of me as I scroll through the PDF. Can having the thing on its side cause damage?

“Long PDFs.”

What, I should say “large?” They’re long. Like a book, a book is long. So there.

As long as you hold it over your head and shake it real good when you’re done reading, to clear the screen, holding it sideways shouldn’t matter.

Clear the screen? What? Are you kidding? I’ve never owned a laptop before so I can’t tell.

I doubt it – I do the same thing with my little Dell 700m. I love that feature of Reader – full screen at 90 degree rotation, hitting space to flip to the next page. It makes me want something about the size of the 700m, with a second LCD where the keyboard normally is. Weight doesn’t bother me – I can hold the 700m with one hand just fine. Not that I do anything that requires this.

I’d pay a couple of hundred for that.

Yes, you need to shake it much like an etch-a-sketch every time you change lateral orientation. Otherwise the pixels pile up at the very edge of the screen and the image gets all scrunched up. It’s no big deal.

I don’t think there’s anything adverse that would happen with keeping a laptop on its side. The only moving parts would be the hard drive and from what I’ve read you can mount them sideways or upside down without problems (but this depends on the manufacturer).

I also believe that a laptop on its side on a bed would be preferable to plunking it down normally on top of a blanket. Wouldn’t the blanket cause the laptop to heat up more?


That’s what I figured.


This applies to your desktop monitor too, if you have a LCD. Put your monitor on its side and play a DVD for an hour or two, then put it back. It’s more subtle on a big desktop monitor, and you really need to shake it hard to redistribute the much larger pixels. Think can of spray paint more than etch-a-sketch here. Good luck!

Methinks the sarcasm here is going right over Mog’s head.

Go easy on the Moggie. He’s asking valid questions. Some heat pipes (metal tubes full of liquid that convect heat way from the CPU) work better in certain orientations, for example. And, hard drives built with older stepper motor technology are orientation-sensitive.

But, have no fear Mogg. A couple degrees difference in CPU temperature is not going to matter, and any hard drive you are likely to have uses newer hard drive technology.

You don’t have anything to fear other than accidently knocking it off the bed. The shock of the fall could damage your hard drive.

I’ll second Roger’s statement, and add “don’t shake your laptop like an etch a sketch.”

After using a new laptop for several months, cosmic rays can pit the surface of the screen. This is pretty easy to fix. Just pick up some medium grit sandpaper, soak it in milk for at least an hour to soften, and scrub the surface of the screen with an easy circular motion. Don’t be afraid to apply constant steady pressure, it’s really quite durable.

OK, just in case my lame attempt at humor was misdirected (although methinks he’s just giving it right back to me :) ) I was Just Kidding about treating it like an Etch-A-Sketch. I forget that there are young whippersnappers who’ve probably never played with an E-a-S before!


Can you rotate your screen’s orientation as it appears? I ask because you can do that with most LCD flat-screens for desktop rigs.

Yes. It rarely comes in handy. Go Dell 2005FP!