A popular way to use slate- and convertible-style computers is to rotate their screens into portrait mode for reading ebooks and other long documents. These devices are designed with such usage in mind, so switching between screen orientations is generally quick and easy. Some make use of an accelerometer, some automatically rotate along with a convertible's display, and others are controlled by a shortcut key.
Standard laptop users don't often feel left out, as the size/weight of the device generally prohibits comfortable portrait use, but what about those of us who use a Sony Vaio P, a mini version of the traditional notebook computer? Weighing in at just 1.4 pounds with the standard battery and boasting an 8-inch screen with 1600 x 768 resolution, the Vaio P is actually very well suited as an ebook reader.
There are already tablet PC functions preinstalled in Vista that allow screen orientation but because the Vaio P doesn't have a touchscreen and therefore isn't a tablet, quick access to rotation isn't included in Windows Mobility Center (notice the empty block in the screenshot).
You could always go into Tablet PC Settings in the Control Panel to rotate the screen, but having to call it up, select your desired orientation from the drop-down menu, click "Apply," and then repeat the process when you want to revert to the primary landscape orientation is too tedious.
So do this instead:
Press Ctrl + Alt + one of the arrow keys (right arrow to rotate right, left arrow to rotate left, etc.).
Simple as that! When you want to go back to the original orientation, just press Ctrl + Alt + the up arrow.
The downside to this method is that the hardware controls obviously don't rotate along with the screen, but you can easily fix this with Sakasa Mouse (thanks, Pete).
Using the Vaio P in this manner may seem impractical if you haven't tried it yourself, but it's smaller than a magazine and light enough to make the usage feel pretty natural.
Note: The Ctrl + Alt + arrow key combination is not exclusive to the P; it works with other computers as well (not sure about the criteria). The P is just an ideal candidate because of its size and weight. Most UMPCs/MIDs smaller than the P already explicitly support the feature.
See more Sony Vaio P features and reviews.
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