The idea of Christmas can often be much better than the reality. By 2pm on Christmas day you can already be stuffed, fed-up and and ready to have a pop at racist old Auntie June.
This is where tech comes in. Few devices are better than distracting you from the festive trudge than a tablet-laptop hybrid.
We’ve come up with 10 great ways to use your hybrid to escape from Christmas boredom and, where necessary, the incessant nattering of your family members. There are even a couple of tips here to bring you all closer, if you’re not already sick enough of your genetic burden.
1. Write out your New Year's Resolutions
If you’re stuck in a rut on the 26th with nowhere to go and nothing to do, plug your tablet into the keyboard dock and start tapping our those resolutions. There’s nothing quite like looking forward to the next year to help shake you out of your triptofan-laced Christmas depression.
Our pro tip is to cement it onto a cloud note-taking app like Evernote to make sure your resolutions don’t evaporate as quickly as your Christmas cheer. We say use the keyboard for this one. Not only does it feel better, it keeps prying eyes away from your 2016 plans.
2. Play board games in tent mode
Think present-opening is the real Christmas crescendo? Wrong. It’s all about the Monopoly game that ends up causing a colossal row, threatening to make sure you don’t see your family again until next Christmas. Playing on a hybrid might not dim the competition, but it will make sure game pieces don’t get flung across the room.
And if you’re worried about slightly inebriated Uncle Dave flinging your hybrid into the wall, you can always play against an AI opponent too. Much more fun that playing against yourself, eh?
3. Play SNES games in your browser
Don’t have any great games installed on your tablet? No problem. You can play hundreds of classic games in your browser, including loads of SNES titles. No, you won’t find Mario there as Nintendo keeps pretty tight reins on him, but plenty of 90s classics are available at snesfun.com.
Get the keyboard involved, as it makes recreating those gamepad controls way easier. Don’t have any warm SNES memories? Archive.org has also made thousands of classic PC games available to play in your browser. Good for countless hours… although watch out, or you might burst a few nostalgia bubbles. Time hasn’t been kind to all of them.
4. Find recipes for that leftover turkey
Turkey sandwiches. Turkey curry. Some people say Christmas isn’t complete without them, but why not suggest a few different options for all that leftover bird? The tent orientation is definitely the best option for checking out recipes.
It holds itself up, means you don’t have to touch much of it with your doughy, egg yolk-y fingers. There’s no mystery to finding good turkey recipes. There are squillions of them online. Just Google ‘em. Or Bing them, which is what you’ll get if you type “turkey recipes” in the Start menu bar of Windows 10.
5. Take it in turns to play Candy Crush Saga
There’s a good chance you’ve played Candy Crush Saga before on your phone. But you can play it on your hybrid too. That’s right, Candy Crush Saga is available for Windows 10.
We think tablet mode is best if you want to a bit of touchscreen gaming fun with your hybrid. Once you get past the first bunch of dead easy levels, Candy Crush Saga is a surprisingly good multiplayer jobbie too. Just pass it around the room when someone runs out of moves and everyone will be happy. Candy Crush bringing people together? Who’d have thought it? Bonding over a devilish level is a real thing, y’know.
6. Play 'Guess the B-movie actor'
“Isn’t that the guy from that movie? Y’know, the one with the bats.” One of the few good things about the rubbish TV at Christmas is seeing those actors you never normally see, in films you’d never normally lower yourself to watch.
Embracing the slob factor? Enrich your slobbiness by getting your hybrid into tent mode and propping it up on your lap or, if you’re really letting it all hang out, your tummy. Then open up the IMDb, fire up the page for the film that’s on and get ready to feel smug as the next B-grade classic rolls up. You are trivia king.
7. Watch Netflix in tent mode
Had enough of Scrooged, A Christmas Carol and The Great Escape? Make your own escape from the dullard box by propping up your hybrid in front of your face and firing up Netflix instead. There are around 3000 movies and TV shows on Netflix UK, and around 6000 in the US.
The beauty of tent mode is that you can pitch up your hybrid just about anywhere. Fancy watching a bit of Breaking Bad while everyone else is stewing away to the interminable Christmas episode of Eastenders? No problem. That’s a ripe UK soap, for all our US readers.
8. Ask Cortana for places you can escape to on the 27th
Here’s a great one for the tablet side of your hybrid’s personality. You can ask Cortana about things you can do when the world starts waking up from its post-Christmas slumber on the 27th.
As a digital assistant with access to the whole internet, she knows an awful lot more than you do. And she’s easier to access than ever. Windows 10 plonks Cortana right on the front page. She powers the search bar that lives down at the bottom of the home screen.
9. Check out some digital comics in tablet mode
If you want to spend time with the family without really spending time with them, you need something that won’t make noise, and won’t make it seem like you’re just playing a game. The solution? Comics.
Or graphic novels, if you want to get serious.
The now-Amazon-owned Comixology lets you snag thousands of comics, and there’s a ‘Comics’ app for it available on Windows 10 to let you download content directly. Right now the platform offers more than 100 free issues too. Sure, they’re hoping to get you hooked, but it’s a great way to keep your brain stimulated when it’s in danger of turning into pink bread sauce.
10. Stream movies to your TV
Your Windows 10 hybrid can almost certainly be used to stream movies from your TV, unless your TV is absolutely ancient. That’s because DLNA streaming is an inbuilt part of the OS. All you have to do is load any of your favourite movie downloads into a shared folder, make sure it’s connected to the same network as your TV then head to the DLNA section on your TV.
It’s a pretty good way to escape the TV schedule when you realise that most of the channels have basically copy-pasted what they put on last year. Sigh. We recommend laptop mode for this one.