The UK gets precious little sunny weather each year, so it’s no surprise that people want to make the most of it.
If you’re one of the millions working from home, now seems like the perfect opportunity to take your computer out in the garden for the day.
Many laptops aren’t designed for outdoor use though. In direct sunlight, you’ll probably have a hard time making out what’s on the screen, while the device can quickly overheat.
However, with the help of these tips, it is possible to ensure your time outside is more productive than frustrating.
Find a good working environment
You’d always seek out the most suitable setup for working indoors, and that shouldn’t change now you’re outside.
Look for a solid surface which can handle repeated clicks and taps, as well as somewhere you can see yourself working for 8 hours or more. If that means brining your office chair out onto the decking, so be it!
The idea of sitting in the sun might seem alluring, but consider picking a shaded area working. This will ensure neither you or your laptop show any ill effects from an extended period outside.
Turn up your brightness
Most laptops automatically adjust their brightness according to the ambient light, although they aren’t always the most reliable. It’s worth checking for yourself to make sure.
On Windows, head to Settings > System > Display, where you should see a slider marked ‘Adjust brightness level’. For Mac it’s System Preferences > Displays, where a similar slider appears.
You may also want to consider turning on High Contrast mode, which inverts the colours and helps text to stand out more.
On Windows, go to Settings > Ease of Access and click the ‘High contrast’ tab in the left pane. Click the toggle to turn it on. On Mac, it’s System Preferences > Accessibility and checking the box next to ‘Invert colours’.
Both operating systems offer various customisation options from these menus.
Take steps to reduce glare
Once upon a time, all laptops had matte screens which did a good job at absorbing external light sources.
However, as screen technology has improved, most manufacturers have swapped these out for much more reflective glossy ones. You can still pick up matte screens on the likes of the
Lenovo Yoga C740 or
Acer Aspire 3, but they’re relatively few and far between.
If you’re not in the market for a new laptop, there are some other practical steps you can take to reduce glare.
NuShield’s DayVue is an antireflective screen protector that can help to stop a glossy screen being so reflective, while there are some great alternatives on
For a complete solution,
iCap’s Notebooktent provides all-around coverage for laptops up to 16in.
Regularly used by live sports photographers, it can protect your laptop against all the elements you might experience when using it outside.
Fully charge your laptop
Most modern laptops should be able to last a full working day, but only if they’re fully charged before you start.
Make sure your device is topped up before you start work, which should ensure you don’t need to sit near a wall socket later in the day.
Aside from protecting your eyes, improved visibility is one of the main benefits of wearing sunglasses. It perhaps goes without saying that this is useful when using a laptop outside.
If you usually wear glasses, adaptive lenses from the likes of
Glasses Direct are a great way to make the transition to working outside seamless without impairing your vision.
Considering buying a new laptop for working outside? Look for one with a high maximum brightness, as well as efficient cooling system. Matte screens are preferable over glossy ones, although they’re increasingly few and far between.
best laptop chart has some great options if you’re looking to pick up a new device.