If you’re reading this blog from home, there’s an ever-increasing possibility that you’re reading it on a tablet such as an Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface, or Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. For many people who only use computers at home for basic tasks, the tablet PC has become a more and more viable option for people who only want to do simple tasks like browsing the internet or watching streaming video, in many cases replacing laptop and desktop computers entirely thanks to the tablet’s ease of use and exceptional portability.
Even for hardcore PC enthusiasts who require a more powerful computer for things like video editing or gaming, the tablet represents an excellent “in-between” that makes it convenient to read e-books or reference materials on the go – which is why we include Google’s Nexus 7 tablet in our ErgoKit assessment tool kits, and why I recently purchased a Nexus 7 for myself.
However, switching to a tablet PC isn’t without its downsides.
After using a tablet for any significant length of time, a couple of issues will quickly become noticeable. While they are more portable than a laptop, tablets are able to obtain this form factor by omitting an integrated keyboard, and with it, the ability for a tablet to stand itself upright. As I can attest, holding a tablet upright for extended periods of time at an optimal viewing angle can be a bit of a pain, and it only gets worse when trying to type on a virtual keyboard that rarely performs as well as a physical one (doubly so on smaller tablets like the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini). While there’s a number of various tablet accessories on the market, we’ve put together a few popular accessories that’ll address these issues and make your tablet-using experience more ergonomically-friendly.
While many tablet cases feature some kind of limited “stand-up” functionality such as the iPad Smart Cover, the range of height and angle adjustment is often extremely limited, leading to uncomfortable viewing angles that can cause neck strain over long periods of time. Dedicated tablet stands such as the Matias iRizer Adjustable Stand for Tablets and the Goldtouch Go! Travel Notebook and Tablet Stand offer significantly more viewing angle options, all while folding flat for easy storage and transport. A wider base than case-integrated tablet stands offer also helps to improve the stability of the tablet, and a “shelf” based design ensures that both tablet stands will be compatible with nearly every tablet brand and outer case in both portrait and landscape orientations.
For iPad owners, there’s even more potential solutions for improving your tablet’s view height and angle. If you keep your iPad at your desk at all times, Innovative, Workrite and UpLift iPad arms offer the same level of flexibility as modern monitor arms, all with added security and stability over desk-based stands.
In most cases, improving your tablet’s viewing angle alone will provide a massive improvement in comfort, but for those who have fully replaced their old laptop or desktop PC with a tablet, it’s essential to add an external keyboard. After all, it’s hard to write an e-mail or short document when you’re fighting both the tablet’s built-in auto-correct and the cramped, inconsistent virtual keyboard, all while holding your tablet upright.
Luckily, there now exists a variety of slim, portable Bluetooth wireless keyboards compatible with iOS and Android as well as Windows 8 and Mac OS. Keyboards such as the Goldtouch Bluetooth Wireless Mini Keyboard and the Bakker Elkhuizen S-board 860 Bluetooth Compact Keyboard not only offer a full-function keyboard with an embedded 10-key, but also feature tactile, soft-touch keys with low force activation to provide a far more comfortable typing experience than your tablet’s touchscreen. For even more ergonomic comfort, we recommend the Goldtouch Go! Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard. A scaled down version of the ever-popular Goldtouch V2, the Goldtouch Go! features a split keyboard design and adjustable tenting feature for an optimal typing angle.
When paired together, a tablet stand and a wireless Bluetooth keyboard can help replicate the comfort and functionality of a laptop or desktop PC on your new tablet, all with minimal bulk that can be added or omitted at will. Of course, once you’ve experienced the improved comfort and productivity that comes with using both, chances are they’ll go with you everywhere your tablet does.
Learn more about ergonomic iPad and tablet accessories at TheHumanSolution.com.