Bad Design Diary: Laptop Latch

My work laptop has a button latch on the front of it. You must press in the button to open the screen. Now this is a really wide notebook, having the ten-key pad on the right side and all that, so it’s like sixteen inches wide. The problem with the button is that it’s pretty wide itself, being about and inch and a half. And the problem with that is that you must press in the whole button. Not just the left side, say, because then it will only pop the left release and the right side of the screen will still be locked.

You can probably see where I’m going with this. It takes two hands to open the screen. No, not one on the latch and one on the screen. I mean two on the screen, while a mysterious third hand presses in the button. Now it can be done with two hands total if you press it just right and lift right in the middle of the screen. However, I like to lift from both corners simultaneously, so as not to stress the screen.

So riddle me this, batman. Why do we need a latch to begin with? Do people have problems with their laptops just jumping open? I don’t. And furthermore, it’s a very tight hinge. Most laptops are, I’ve found. Meaning even if they don’t have a latch on them, you have to hold down the base of the unit as you lift the screen, otherwise the whole thing just comes up off the desk. And the notebook is not going to spring open while it’s in my bag. Or while it’s just sitting there. Perhaps if the hinges got really oiled up and loose, maybe it would open on the way from the bag to the desk. But that’s highly unlikely, as you have to grab it by sort of pinching it together anyway. So the whole thing is just retarded. Laptops don’t need latches. Especially ones that you have to press in both sides of while lifting the top with the other hand and somehow holding down the base of the unit with a foot.

Just… just die, you stupid latch.

My solution: leave off the damn latch system. Tell me one time your laptop has problematically popped open when it shouldn’t have, and I’ll justify the utility of a latch. Otherwise, leave it off.

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