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Computers

Solve the problem of a poorly placed laptop power button

Are you constantly putting your PC to sleep because the power button is embedded in the keyboard? Here's an easy fix.

Dear Asus ZenBook UX305 Design Team,

Love the laptop. Really. It's thin, light, powerful and packed with features. Killer price, too. But there's a problem with it that makes me want to cry.

It's the power button. You know, the one in the corner of the keyboard. The one right next to the Delete key and above the Backspace key. The one that looks like a keyboard key.

keyboard-power-button.jpg

What is THAT...doing THERE?

Rick Broida/CNET

That's a stark change from my last laptop, and in fact from just about every other laptop on the planet. The place you put the power button is exactly where the Delete key resides on most other machines. So guess what happens? I'm typing along, I reach for the Delete key, and suddenly my ZenBook goes into sleep mode.

Nerd rage! My brain faces enough challenges without having to remember not to tap the same key I've tapped a thousand times per day for the last infinity years.

Luckily for you, Asus, I'm not returning to the ZenBook to the store. Instead, I'm taking advantage of a Windows setting designed to overcome insanely terrible design decisions like this one. Here's what I did:

Step 1: Open the Control Panel.

Step 2: In the Control Panel search field, type power, then click Change what the power buttons do.

powre-button-do-nothing.jpg
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 3: Alongside When I press the power button, click the two pull-down menus and choose Do nothing.

Step 4: Click Save changes.

And that's it! Now I can hit that power button all day without accidentally hibernating, shutting down or sleep-moding my laptop. (I also tried messing with free utility SharpKeys in hopes of remapping the power button to the Delete key, but it didn't work.)

Oh, by the way, I don't mean to single you out, Asus -- this note is for any laptop maker that makes the power button part of the keyboard. Don't do that. Put it up above the keyboard, near the center, where it belongs.

Hugs,

Rick