My Mobile Office is an HP Chromebook 11 (The original -1101 model, with the beautiful screen and USB charging) and a mobile phone. A very light combination, but what happens when I need to spend a lot of time in one place?
The Micro Office requires a more ergonomic approach to the workstation.
My portable office is often a place I spend a few minutes here and there. the laptop is enough. But sometimes I need to spend hours or even days in a single location with the minimum of technology.
So how do I cope with the ergonomic issues of a small and light device without the back pain and wrist issues caused by “iPad neck” without much extra weight? A few additional lightweight devices.
I have a very light and simple laptop stand. It is a strip of Corflute board purchased from a stationery store for about $5 and used for a number of projects.
I cut a strip with the (tubes running upwards) 480mm wide and 130mm high. I sliced half way through it vertically at the half-way point resulting in two wings 280mm wide by 130mm high that can bend around like the covers of a book. I added a strip of cloth tape down the fold to strengthen the bend. I now have a light stand 280mm wide, 130mm high and about 10mm thick weighing a barely discernible 57 grams or 2 oz.
This can be opened into a triangular shape to support a laptop, opening facing forward. The size may have to be adjusted for your laptop and height. It supports the laptop perfectly, but requires an external keyboard and mouse.
I use my HP Chromebook 11 as my primary portable office computer and carry a Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard (K810) for my PC, tablet and smartphone and a Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630. The combined weight of the keyboard and mouse is 400g or 14.4oz.
For a long mobile working session, this is a very small price (in weight) to pay for arguably the best keyboard and mouse on the market.
The mouse and keyboard both charge via a Micro-USB port, so I can charge them with the Chromebook charger, or from a USB port on the Chromebook. One charger can handle the HP 11, my phone, the mouse, keyboard and my Bluetooth headset. I carry a couple of extra leads and can charge the HP Chromebook 11 while using it, or while it is suspended, and also charge devices from one or both USB type A ports. I have written about the brilliant HP Chromebook 11 here.
These devices have probably been replaced by later models, but are the best lightweight, quality devices I could find at the time. I have written about the Logitech Ultra-thin mouse here
As you can see from the Photo, I have cut two pairs of notches in the front part of the stand. This fits my tablets, and at a pinch my phone. It allows me to use a tablet (or phone) at eye level to watch video.
I can also use my Windows 8.1 tablet with Keyboard and mouse as a full PC if I need to. (more on the tablet later, it is still under review)
When I fly, the folding stand goes in a pocket in my SCOTTeVEST jacket in front of my tablet screen, if I am carrying one. It protects it from impacts that may break the screen, and adds zero weight. I use two thin rubber bands to keep them together in transit.