Laptops are uncomfortable. But you can fix that if you’re willing to look just a little weird. The key is in the just a little. Today Wall Street Journal tech columnist Christopher Mims tweeted a photo of his mobile work station. Mims uses a wireless mouse, foldable keyboard and laptop stand to make an ergonomic but efficient setup when he’s working at a cafe.
in coffee shops I am that guy pic.twitter.com/ANnev2A1QZ— Christopher Mims ???? (@mims) July 16, 2018
The extra gadgets have “done wonders for the ergonomics of my mobile work environment”, Mims tweets. The stand turns your laptop into a monitor, the split keyboard puts your hands in a more natural position and the mouse, while not the most ergonomic solution, beats an awkward laptop touchpad.
While you might get a couple of looks, the photo shows how this setup doesn’t really spill into anyone’s space. If a café doesn’t mind a normal laptop user, they shouldn’t mind this. And these foldable peripherals won’t take up much space in your laptop bag.
Mims lists every gadget shown above in an Amazon wishlist, which should help with tracking down your own replacements. You (probably) already have your own laptop and headphones, but the key components are the three ergonomic addons: a wireless mouse, folding Bluetooth keyboard and a laptop stand.
We recommend one replacement: to avoid the awkward dongle setup Mims has above (to connect his USB 2.0 mouse to a USB-C port), you can upgrade to a Bluetooth mouse. This connects directly to your computer without any dongles or wireless receivers. (You could get even more ergonomic with a trackball or vertical mouse.)
If anyone at the café gives your setup too much side-eye, just slowly rotate your wrists and explain how much this has helped since “the surgery”. See if they bug you after that.