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Many people who use laptops daily also like to have a tablet handy. Tablets are somewhat smaller than laptops, but many of them are powerful enough to perform similar functions. One of the main differences between laptops and tablets is the use of a touchscreen to get things done.
Although you can add peripherals like a small keyboard to some tablets, the touchscreen allows you to access the full functionality of the device without any need for either the board or a mouse. However, some laptops try to give you the best of both worlds by offering a tablet mode.
When this mode is on, some functions of the laptop change, but the keyboard could still be an issue. Some users may wonder how to protect their keyboards when their laptops enter tablet mode. We’ll take you through some of the basic ways that you might be able to do this, and we’ll cover how the keyboard may or may not work while tablet mode is active on the laptop.
How Can I Protect My Laptop Keyboard in Tablet Mode?
Before we get into the finer details, it is important to get a grasp of just what tablet mode is. With tablet mode, your laptop is optimized for touching, just like you might expect from a standard Apple or Android tablet.
Once you activate it, apps will open in full-screen mode. Certain icons and taskbars will also reduce in size, and the whole display will look much more like you might expect from a tablet.
Once done, you should be able to use touch capabilities to access features on the laptop.
However, not all laptops support this mode. Our article will be starting from the premise that your laptop does. If you want to check, you can go to the ‘Start’ location on your taskbar and type in ‘Tablet’. This will allow ‘Tablet setting’ to appear in the window. Once it does, you can click on it to be taken to the appropriate window.
There will be settings to ask you before switching modes, or you can set it to use the appropriate mode for the hardware that is present on your system. If your computer is not able to use tablet mode, it will tell you this in red letters at the top of this screen once you navigate to ‘Change additional tablet settings’.
In tablet mode, your keyboard can fold back to make the whole form factor look and feel more like the kind of traditional tablet you might be used to using. Because of this, it is important to protect the keyboard from anything that could press on it. The key functions of the board should be disabled in tablet mode, but you will still want to make sure the keyboard is kept safe when entering this mode.
Tablet mode may work best when the laptop is on a completely flat surface. This can keep you from accidentally depressing the keys unnecessarily.
To protect this part of the laptop fully, a cover can go over the keys. Covers can keep the keyboards safe from debris, minor moisture, or anything else that you don’t want getting on or inside the keys while you’re not using them.
Do Keyboard Covers Cause Overheating?
Some users might be reluctant to get keyboard covers for their laptops because of a concern that the accessories might overheat the laptops themselves.
This should not be a major concern for most models. You should not notice any significant overheating problems when a keyboard cover is on the laptop.
However, it is possible that you’ll notice or hear the fans running a bit louder or a bit more frequently than normal from time to time. Whether this happens with your laptop can depend on where its vents are located, but there may be enough extra heat buildup to cause the fans to run a bit more than they usually would.
In some laptops, air can be taken from the keyboard if the fans are on the bottom and they are drawing air inside the unit.
However, some of the computers you will find that support this 2-in-1 laptop mode will have vents on the hinges of the screen rather than anything near the keyboard itself. This means that a keyboard cover should not have any noticeable effect on the heat buildup within the laptop.
There are also a couple of main kinds of keyboard covers that you can purchase. If you want to protect the keyboard while using tablet mode alone, you may want to go with a hard cover. Hard covers are ideal for protecting the keyboard from debris or minor spills.
Furthermore, because you don’t need to type on the keyboard, they don’t need to offer you a way to do this. Conversely, something like a silicone keyboard cover is something you could use when the laptop is in either mode. It provides some protection for the keys, but it allows you to use the board itself at the same time.
Can I Use My Keyboard in Tablet Mode?
Mostly, it is not possible to use the keyboard in tablet mode. This may depend on the specific make and model of laptop that you are using. However, most of them are going to disable the keyboard by default when the unit enters tablet mode.
This is because there is an expectation that you simply won’t need to be using the keyboard when the laptop is set up this way. There may be some apps, mods, or specific models that do allow you to use the keyboard when the computer is in tablet mode, but it is not the norm.
However, there are some possible workarounds that you can use in order to get your keyboard functioning in tablet mode.
One of the main reasons that you might want to keep the keyboard active in tablet mode is to hook the laptop up to an external monitor. In this case, you want to move the display to a different monitor but still use the keyboard and mouse.
This gives you a much bigger display, but it also allows you to use the keyboard on your own laptop to access its functions. However, you need the inverse of tablet mode here, and you want the ability to use the keyboard without the screen. While this is not going to be a native feature of most laptops that can enter tablet mode, there might be a way to do it. We will discuss this in a later section.
Does Tablet Mode Disable Keyboard?
If all of your settings are in default mode, the keyboard should be disabled once tablet mode is active.
This is based on the assumption that the user wishes to access the laptop’s functions via the enabled touchscreen mode at this point.
If it is not disabled, you can check the tablet settings that we mentioned earlier. There are a number of things you can change here, and it is possible that you need to toggle a particular setting to get the keyboard to turn off. This should not be necessary on most models, and the option shouldn’t even be present, but it is a possibility.
How Do I Make My Keyboard Work in Tablet Mode?
We touched on how there are situations in which you might want to have your keyboard work in tablet mode rather than not. Although there isn’t a native way to do this, there might be some things you can do in order to enable it.
We will try to go through some of the most common steps that may have worked for some users.
1. Go to your ‘Start’ menu and search for ‘Device Manager’. Click on this option once it appears.
2. After you get into Device Manager, scroll down and search for ‘System Devices’. Once you find it, expand it to form a list of things you can see.
3. Within this list, search for something called the ‘Integrated Sensor Solution’. Your laptop may use slightly different wording here, but it should be something similar.
4. Select this feature and disable its driver in Device Manager.
5. Doing this should stop the laptop from recognizing that it needs to disable the keyboard when the device is in tablet mode.
How Do I Disable My Keyboard in Tablet Mode?
As we mentioned, your keyboard should disable itself automatically when the laptop switches to tablet mode. If it does not, you should check the tablet mode settings that we directed you to earlier.
If that still does not help, you can go into the Device Manager and try to uninstall and reinstall the sensor driver there.
Mostly, this should fix the issue. If it does not, check any automatic settings listed in the ‘Keyboard’ app of your laptop to see if anything is out of place.
Tablet mode can be a great way to give you two portable devices in one. However, there are some things to be mindful of, and it is important to keep the keyboard safe and protected when you are not using it. Further, there might be ways to enable the keyboard in this mode anyway, and this can be useful to those who want to use the keyboard without the touchscreen instead of the reverse option.