A Hot Setup for Tablet Couch Surfing Using Re-Purposed Components

I have gladly ditched laptops for the convenience of a tablet. In fact, I am now on my second tablet and admiring the forthcoming ASUS Transformer Prime from afar. In other words, I am a tablet devotee.

Granted, tablets are not without minor disadvantages, among them full-blown apps, screen navigation, and a keyboard useful enough for extended use. As far as a keyboard is concerned, the iPad is limited to the use of a Bluetooth keyboard and does not support all of the function keys on Apple’s own Bluetooth keyboard. As far as pointing devices are concerned, iOS doesn’t even support them.

My current tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A500, is considerably better than the iPad in many regards plus it supports all the function keys on the Apple Bluetooth keyboard(!) as well as a pointing device. It even has a built-in USB port on the lower right side so that you can use corded devices.

Regardless of brand, tablets eventually become uncomfortable to hold if you don’t use some sort of  stand. This is especially so when couch surfing. You either have to hold them with two hands in front of you or use your folded leg or a pillow to prop it up. Plus they will slide around if they do not have a sticky back or sticky gel-case on them. Literally tired of this, I found a couple of items laying around that when assembled, make a perfect solution.

Acer Tablet, Wacom Bamboo Stylus, Foam Shelf Lining and Belkin Laptop Pad.

The piece of shelf lining keeps the tablet from sliding down the angled Belkin Lappy Pad. When I said that this stuff was laying around, I meant it. Note dust prints on right.

The Belkin Lappy Pad is hollow. A perfect place to stow an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and a set of ear buds. The plastic earbud case is wedged in to keep the keyboard from sliding out of the end. It was salvaged from a hair-coloring kit. I found that a Stowaway Bluetooth Travel Mouse fits well and can serve the same purpose.

A hand towel wedged into the other end serves two purposes: 1. Clean the tablet screen; and 2) keep the keyboard from sliding out of this end of the Belkin Lappy Pad.

Here is the ultimate setup for when I need to do serious typing. The Apple Bluetooth keyboard connects with the Acer Iconia Tab A500 seconds after it is turned on. The foam shelf lining keeps the keyboard from sliding down the angled Belkin Lappy Pad. With the fully-functioning keyboard, a pointing device is not really necessary. However, you could make room on the right for a mouse but I use the Wacom Bamboo Stylus whenever necessary. The whole deal can be picked up and easily moved.

Enjoy and feel free to share your hot setup in the comments section!

Terry Wirth

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