#889: Bellowsbelow

When you drop your laptop on the floor, there is now some chance that it may sense the acceleration and switch off its hard disk before heads and platters weld themselves together forever.

What about the cumulative effects of less extreme impacts, though? I’m aware that I pick up my smallish laptop very frequently and set it down on a desk whilst it’s still running. Each time, even when exercising some care and despite the rubber feet it is fitted with, there is a significant bump…this has to be shortening the life of a pretty fragile instrument.


Today’s invention is a thin, plastic envelope which can be attached to the base of one’s laptop. Each of these is made in the shape of a simple, 1-pleat bellows whose default state is with one edge lightly sprung open to the extent of say 0.5 mm. Each laptop would have two such envelopes fitted each with an open edge aligned with one side of the machine.

When setting the machine down on a hard surface, the first edge to make contact would be naturally cushioned by the envelope material, acting as a pad on that side. Letting the other laptop edge go would result in the envelope on that side being compressed so that the evacuating air provides effective viscous damping during descent -and avoids the uncontrolled second clunk that normally happens.

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