Using a Smartphone as a Laptop Alternative

Before I get into this, I want to make one thing very clear, this article is written with a focus on writers specifically. Being one myself, I know writers don’t require too much to be productive. A word processor, a browser, and an internet connection is all that we need most of the times. However, the setup shared here can work for social media marketers, video editors, and graphic designers in certain scenarios. That being said, let’s start.

So, recently I came across this rant on a Facebook group. A writer was complaining about missing a few deadlines because of the power cuts we are facing in Karachi.

If you are not familiar with the city, it is Pakistan’s financial hub. Once known as the city of lights, Karachi now faces regular power cuts that can last for hours depending on the area you live in. The frequency of these cuts is especially high during the summers. Apparently K Electric, the company responsible for the management and distribution of power to Karachi, doesn’t get enough electricity from the national grid to meet the city’s demand. Or so we are being told for decades.

You might’ve also noticed that I have mentioned laptops in the title. So, there’s one other thing that you should know about Pakistan. Compared to other countries, brand new laptops cost a lot more here. Luckily, we have large markets dedicated to selling refurbished laptops. I wouldn’t be wrong if I say that such markets cater to a large number of freelancers of the country. Unfortunately, the battery backup of these refurbished machines is hardly enough and most people, including me, use them plugged in.

I hope these two small details have managed to establish the significance of, and need for, an alternative.

Anyways, being a Karachiite myself, I could totally relate to that rant. Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to not miss my deadlines, well, at least I haven’t missed any because of the power cuts. ;)

So, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I share my portable setup with everyone? It would benefit the community and help a lot of writers keep their clients.”

Hence, this post!

The Setup

The Accessories

· A smartphone holder

· A Bluetooth keyboard

· A Type-C to USB dongle (or one that is according to your phone)

· A mouse (I have used a wireless one but a wired one works as well)

· A mouse pad (optional)

· A pair of earphones (if you like listening to music while you work)

Once you have everything, the rest of it becomes self-explanatory, frankly.

Hardware Setup

Now, place your phone sideways on the holder.

Your hardware is ready for action. The tough part is over. You are almost ready to become productive.

I have used an Android phone for this. If you are an iPhone user, however, the setup is more or less the same. Except, you will require an iOS-compatible Bluetooth keyboard and a relevant dongle. And seeing how Apple works, both of these items might set you back a lot more.

App Setup

I also use Google’s Chrome browser as it lets me share the same tabs on multiple devices. Safari works in a similar manner I think, although I am not sure of this.

If you haven’t already, turn on the auto screen rotation. Also, increase the font size of your phone to avoid straining your eyes or, at least, lowering its intensity.

Turn on split-screen as it comes in handy. Don’t worry, most modern smartphones have it and so do a lot of flagship models from previous years. So you don’t necessarily need a newer model.

Conclusion

For those of you wanting to use this setup for any other purpose than writing, if relevant apps exist, you will be able to make this work for most basic tasks. When you try it, let me know how it turned out for you.

Despite being simple, this setup can make you very productive. There are a few cons to it though. Like, the typing speed gets somewhat affected, the small smartphone screen can strain the eyes, etc. It also takes a little getting used to the split-screen. And, yes! It is not a permanent solution. But it is perfect to meet those tight deadlines when struggling with power cuts.

Do let me know if you find this post useful. Also, let me know whether you have ever used a similar setup or not. Until next time!

Professional ghostwriter. Tech and car enthusiast. A family man. Working on a book. For my services https://www.majidwrites.com