Jun 19, 2012

Morph Your Laptop into a Desktop Style Computer - Part 1

My office has been through a multitude of changes since we first started working on it February of  last year. There have been paint changes, layout changes, and overall concept changes.  E is pretty much over the shape-shifter which I call my office but I am more than willing to accept the changes as they come.  After all, I am a woman and it is my prerogative to change my mind!  Uh...but that being said, I too am ready to zone in on the perfect space so I can move on to one of the many other projects getting backlogged at LBR.  Today I would love to share with you my latest point of perfection:

Morphing my laptop into a desktop computer...oh, yes, with a few wires it can be done!

Last year I spoke about my chronic back and shoulder pain which I contributed to the amount of time spent hunched over my laptop for work.  After trying a new chair, new desk, and a few simple fixes we came up with this:

We opened the laptop as wide as it could go and propped it up (more on that HERE) so the monitor was at eye level.  We then added an external keyboard and mouse to make it user friendly...without it you could see typing would be quite awkward!  You can buy a stand for this but, being ever so frugal, this works just as well without the hassle and cost of another piece of equipment.  Plus, this contraption was only used for a short time before we mixed things up again which would make the new stand utterly useless in the future...

The laptop propped up worked wonders for my back and shoulder instantly but eventually we aimed to make a more permanent solution by adding a separate monitor to the mix.  This was easily done by connecting a VGA cable (less than $5 on Amazon) from your laptop to the new monitor like so:

Plug one side into the monitor...
Plug the other end into the laptop.

And there you have it!  With the external keyboard, mouse, and monitor you have yourself a new desktop!   As many of you  know, E is a computer hoarder and insists on keeping old computers, laptops, and all sorts of outdated computer related paraphernalia in the event we might eventually need it.  In this case it all worked out for me as this entire upgrade cost me NOTHING!  A freebie worthy of an ice cream sundae.  For those of you without computer geek husbands, the cost of such a project is less than $115 but the savings to your back is priceless.  Here is a breakdown for the Average Joe::

VGA Cable - $3.88
Mouse - $6.43
Keyboard - $6.88
New Acer Monitor - $93.88 - Make sure it has the capability to be mounted on the wall if you are interested in future tweaks!

GRAND TOTAL:  $111.07 plus tax

Or you can go wireless with the keyboard and mouse for as low as $18.95!  I fully intend to do this in the near future...

**Don't forget to check garage sales and friends basements for extra parts...if your neighbors are anything like ours your project could be super cheap or even free!**

You will now have a laptop connected by a couple of wires to your "new" faux desktop computer.  For a while I hid the laptop in my closet which is right next to the desk but today I got busy with a new solution which I will share with you later in the week...

Stay tuned for the next computer update:  Mount your monitor to the wall in 2 simple steps.  

Anyone else updating your office space or have any tips/tricks to share?  Feel free to leave a comment below!

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