One finger laptop open
Laptop Questions

Is Opening A Laptop With One Finger Important?

Is being able to open a laptop with one finger important? I’ll explain why I always test this and think that it’s worth checking when buying a laptop.

When I review a laptop, I mention whether or not it can be easily opened with one finger. Some people seem to laugh, thinking this is a stupid test. I want to explain the two main reasons why I disagree and why I continue to do it.

Weight Distribution

The word “laptop” literally implies you’ll be using it on your lap. The last thing you want when resting a device worth thousands of dollars on your lap is for it to tip over and fall onto the floor.

This can happen easier the more back heavy the laptop is. In most cases, laptops have heat pipes and heat sinks towards the back. As these tend to be metal like copper, more weight is placed towards the back of the machine. Some laptops also have the battery up the back as well, so that’s even more additional weight.

MSI GP75 - Heavy components towards the back.
MSI GP75 – Heavy components towards the back.

It’s usually not possible to open a laptop easily with one finger if it is too back heavy. It will start moving and you’ll need to use your other hand to hold it – big deal, right?

It Just Feels Better

Seriously, the difference between just walking up to your laptop and opening it easily with one finger compared to doing the two hand dance is just a better experience.

I’ve used some pretty cheap machines that require you to hold carefully with both hands to open properly. It makes a world of difference when you can just do this one handed. Forget the one finger thing – the main point is using one hand without having to use the other to stop it from moving around.

The worst part is if you forget that you’ve got a back heavy laptop and attempt to open it with one hand. I’ve tried to opened a few quickly without thinking, at which point they just slide back into other objects – awkward.

Attempting to open MSI GP75 laptop with one hand/finger.
Attempting to open MSI GP75 laptop with one hand/finger.

Maybe this is more a first world problem for a tech reviewer who constantly swaps laptops, but I’m telling you the one finger/hand open is nice to have. I’d even go as far to say that it’s just a more premium feeling experience in comparison.

I think it’s worth spending a few seconds mentioning in my reviews for those that do care. All made possible from a machine with a good weight distribution.

Does it really matter?

No, not really, but it is much nicer to have. If you have a laptop that needs two hands to open, you’ll get used to it quick enough. You might not even know of the better life that’s out there if you’ve never tried both 😉

If given the choice between the two though, sign me up for one finger opening every time! Obviously it’s not going to change my mind when deciding which laptop to buy, it’s just one of those small quality of life things.

Let me know which you prefer, or if you even care. While writing this post my partner said “who cares, use two hands”, so I guess we’ll see!

16 Comments

  • Arthur Martin

    That’s not important. Laptop should have full-size keyboard like Y540 , good battery backup, an option to use Intel Graphics instead of Dedicated Graphics card to save battery, a bright and colorful screen. And I always have to use mouse, I’m not comfortable with touchpad at all.

    • Jarrod

      Fair enough, so would you prefer to have a machine that was more annoying to open if you had the choice between one that was crap and one that was fine? 😛

    • Arthur Martin

      Hello Jarrod, should I buy Acer Nitro 7 primarily for programming? Have you used that laptop? Can we switch to Intel Graphics (to save battery) ? How is the screen quality? Can we change Refresh rate to 60Hz (to save some battery) ? And how is the battery backup?
      And I’m still not getting emails for your replies.

      • Jarrod

        I haven’t tested that one, but believe it’s basically a Nitro 5 with metal lid, so it should use Intel graphics by default. If it is a 144Hz screen, then you will be able to lower the refresh rate in Windows. Pretty much all 144Hz screens have decent brightness/colour gamut, so I’d guess it’s fine, but again hard to talk about that and battery life without testing it myself.

  • Karl F

    Great content! Was actually wondering how opening 1 finger laptop matters. I didn’t know someone made an actual informative post about it. I bought a GE 75 Raider because of your reviews and the weight distribution to my current one is not perfect. But the sheer aesthetics and its performance is really great for me.

    • Jarrod

      Thanks! Yeah makes sense, I think MSI are one of the few that put the battery at the back with the cooling, that’s why I used one of their laptops for the picture examples 🙂 good to hear it’s going well otherwise!

  • Marinello S

    Indeed Sir! Very well thought out. I would further argue that it is something all laptop manufacturing companies should aspire to design and create. In addition to better weight distribution, it also shows that companies care about the how their customer experiences their product. The add-on cost too is minimal if not completely negligible just from a hinge-calibration standpoint.

    • Jarrod

      I agree, I guess just depends, I can understand some not wanting to add extra weight just to counter this if it is only otherwise boosting the total weight.

  • Nenad

    Hi, I need some help with buying a laptop. If you were in my place you’d have decided before and why.

    Asus TUF Gaming FX505DU-BQ016,AMD Ryzen R7-3750H,16GB DDR4,512G M.2 SSD ,NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB GDDR6.

    Acer Nitro AN515-54-55NZ ,Intel® Core™ i5-9300H,16GB DDR4 ,512GB SSD , NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5

    Greetings and thanks

    • Jarrod

      If it’s for gaming, the FX505 with 1660 Ti will do better despite the CPU not being as good. There is a much larger difference between those GPUs than the CPUs, but depends what you’re using it for.

  • al13326

    To be honest, I prefer the laptop designs more than a decade ago with the lid had a locking mechanism (i.e. latch) to secure it while carrying the laptop anywhere.

  • Hany

    Hi
    I was googling ONE HAND LID UP LAP and i found ur site. Actually it’s so important for me and another feeling when u open the lap with one hand.
    I have thinkpad l490 that i can lid up with one hand , recently i decided to buy 2 in 1 lap I’m thinking in thinkpad x1 yoga , i don’t know if it one hand lid up !
    Can u advice me !!
    Tnx 😉

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