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!


  • 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

    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 😉

  • Karlen

    I cannot agree more! I have an MSI GV62 8rd and that is the only complain I have from this laptop. I even thought about putting some weight in the front so I can distribute the weight. Have you ever tried something like that?

    • Jarrod

      Hmm it’s not something I’ve considered, but usually those MSI laptops have a lot of space at the front as it’s just empty and some speakers, so some well placed weights / glued in could do the trick if you’re fine with increasing total overall weight.

  • Håkan Rodin

    On a top 100 list of the most important features of a laptop being able to open it with one hand would find itself at like position 97. I would much rather prefer an overly stiff hinge even if it takes me another second to open it and it demand two hands. I also do not believe your reasoning for including the test is valid. My current laptop (Dell Latitude) demands two hands when opening. It’s also very sturdy, very well balance and the screen can be opened >180 degree with no tendency for the bottom part to lose it’s natural balance or tip over.

  • Jules

    I read your story with interest. But didn’t really help my problem. My husband has only one arm and for the sake of convenience leaves his laptop open to the elements . Dust and the odd cat. Because he struggles to open it for the simple reason it moves all over the place. I was hoping to find something that didn’t involve sticking the whole thing to the table. Thanks anyway.

  • Hany

    Most of thinkpads you can open it by one hand. I have lenovo thinkpad L 490 . And i open it easily using one finger.

  • Jon

    I run a small computer services business and not only is the one hand open important on laptops, its a longevity issue for nearly every Dell laptop from their entry level Best Buy models to the XPS line.

    Because the hinges are so tight on all of them, after about a year, depending on use, their chassis start to crack at one hinge or the other, the screens separate, the screws holding the hinges internally break away from their holes, etc. All from the unevening wrenching action my clients have to apply to open them with both hands.

    I’ve taken to opening up any new Dell laptop they buy, and adjusting the tension nuts until I get an easy but solid one finger open. There’s a good walkthrough on the Techstore Youtube channel that demonstrates this on a Dell Inspiron 15 3511… if anyone sees this post. 😀

  • angela schneider

    I was brought to this link when I googled ” easy open laptops”. I was looking for laptop features for a client that has had a spinal cord injury and does not have hand strength. On a top 100 list, for her, this feature would probably rank top 5.

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