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Improvement to the ease of use of a laptop computer Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014739D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jun-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue



A laptop computer is designed to be used lying on the user's lap. Because there is an obvious need to make the computer smaller, it is becoming increasingly less comfortable to use the computer on the lap. The problem is that humans have to change body positions frequently, but a small computer can lie on the lap essentially in one position. In particular, it requires the user to keep his legs in the same position all the time. Thus, there is a need for an improvement that would allow the user of a laptop computer to change his legs position while using the computer. A second problem addressed here is that when a laptop is used on the lap, there is no flat space to hold a sheet of paper or a booklet that the user may need to look at. The main idea of the invention is to equip the laptop computer with an extendible base. With a wider and deeper base, the user can move the legs, holding them in different positions under the computer, use more flat space for holding paper documents. Let's refer the dimensions of the laptop as W (width) and D (depth). An extendible base can be implemented in several ways: Two hard sheets (for example 1mm of aluminium), each of dimensions W/2 by D can be installed at the bottom of the laptop so that they slide out to the two sides of the computer. If, for example, a sheet slides out 50% of its size, then the width of the base is increased by W/4 on each side, thus increasing the width by W/2 or 50%. On a typical laptop with W=12" this amounts to adding 3" on each side when the computer is in use. The size of the extension is variable since the sheets are sliding. Similar to the preceding, except that the two sheets fold out from the bottom rather slide. This solution provides even a larger base. The same size of sheets can fold out 100% instead of 50% as in the preceding. This solution addresses more adequately the need to provide some flat space for holding documents. A disadvantage though is that the extension dimensions are fixed, and may be too large in some situations. More sliding sheets. In addition to sheets that slide sideways, a sheet that slides or folds out from the front, and a sheet that slides or folds out from the back can be installed. A back sheet helps when the user wishes to cross legs. A front sheet is useful for additional flat space. The dimensions of such sheets can be of different combinations. The width of each can be up to W. The front sheet can be of depth 3D/4 and the back sheet of depth D/4. An inflatable cushion. For extended periods of usage time, when the user needs to change legs position, cross legs, etc., an additional improvement can be provided by a lightly inflatable cushion attached to the base of the computer. The cushion enables holding the computer in a levelled position even when the legs are crossed and do not themselves provide a levelled support for the computer. When inflated lightly, the cushion allows for levelling the computer as desired. 1