A laptop combines the components, inputs, outputs and capabilities of a desktop computer, including the display screen, speakers, a keyboard, pointing devices (such as a touchpad or trackpad), a processor and memory into a single unit.The primary feature that attracts users to laptops over desktops is their portability.It is mostly for specialized field applications, such as in the military, for accountancy, or for travelling sales representatives.

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Detailed Description for Laptop

A laptop combines the components, inputs, outputs and capabilities of a desktop computer, including the display screen,speakers, a keyboard, and pointing devices (such as a touchpad or trackpad) into a single unit. 


Basic Components

Hard Drives

Laptop hard drives are smaller and more expensive than their desktop counterparts. While a desktop computer often comes with a hard drive with between 500 gigabytes and 2 terabytes of capacity, most laptops get by with a standard-issue drive with only 100 to 500 gigabytes. That’s still enough for thousands of songs and pictures or dozens of movies. 

laptop external hard drive


When a computer loads a program, it takes the information from the comparatively slow hard drive and temporarily stores it in its much faster Random Access Memory (RAM) drive. Having more RAM will allow you to open up more programs simultaneously without slowing down the computer.

RAM means a faster machine. Most laptops come with a minimum of one gigabyte of RAM. It’s worth paying for two or even four gigabytes of RAM if you can afford it. If higher RAM isn’t in your current budget, at least make sure that you’ll have the ability to upgrade. 


installing laptop ram memory


Processor Speed

Today, most new computers feature processors that are more than sufficient for most everyday tasks including the use of office applications and Internet browsing.

If you’re going to use your laptop for major gaming, data processing, or video or graphic design, you’ll need to take a harder look at processor speed.

Laptops marketed as netbooks come with low-voltage processors that will extend your battery life, while traditional laptops will have standard processors. If you are looking for speed, look for the higher speeds in Gigahertz (Ghz) or multi-core options.

Screen Size


The smallest netbooks have screen sizes of eight or nine inches, while laptops built for presentations and large-scale viewing can have screens up to 17 inches. Eight or nine inches will be plenty for surfing and reading emails, but if you’re working with larger documents, photos, or movies, you’ll need at least 11 inches.

Screen Resolution

Resolution is the other critical factor determining how much information you will be able to see on your laptop’s screen. Selecting a higher resolution will allow you to see more text on your screen but it will be smaller. The limiting factor is the maximum resolution that your laptop’s screen can display.

The smallest available resolution is 640×480, which is barely adequate for most tasks. The majority of websites are optimized for a screen at 1024×768. A popular resolution for wide screens is 1280×800, and larger laptops can even feature an incredible 1600×1200.

laptop sizes

Graphics Cards

The graphics card you can expect from most portable computers will have a fraction of the power that a desktop will have. Unless you purchase a laptop for gamers, the video card will likely only be sufficient for using office productivity applications and viewing media files. However, if you are planning on utilizing one or more external monitors, you should ensure that the video system in your laptop is capable of supporting that configuration.

Key Components


Trackpads, which provide the functionality that mice provide for desktops, are made of various materials and have a wide spectrum of capabilities depending on the manufacturer and model.

laptop trackpad


The size of your laptop’s keyboard will depend on the screen size you choose. If you seek the portability of a small screen, you probably won’t have a full-sized keyboard. Small keyboards are tough to begin with if you have big hands or big fingers, but they’ll also be missing some of the shortcut keys you might be used to.

Lastly, the largest laptops now even come with a number pad on the right side, just like a standard keyboard. Keep in mind that if you’d prefer to carry a smaller laptop but work with a bigger keyboard at home, you can attach a full-sized external keyboard.

laptop keyboard

Battery Life

One of the limiting factors of any laptop is its battery life.

You need to consider your lifestyle and decide how important battery life is to you and how much extra you’re willing to pay for a computer with a long-lasting battery. Factors that can increase battery life include LED lit screens, solid state drives, and low-power processors.

These newer technologies consume less power, which is a far more convenient way to extend battery life than including a larger and heavier battery.

This can enable students to use their laptop throughout the day without ever having to plug it in. A longer battery life can also be very useful to work at coffee shops, or watch movies on long car rides and plane trips. With most laptops, you can also purchase a second battery to extend your computer’s battery life.

laptop battery

Connecting and Accessorizing

Wireless Capability

These days, wireless cards aren’t really an accessory. Nearly every laptop will come with wireless capability standard. Most come with Bluetooth as well. Wi-Fi will allow you to connect to the Internet, while Bluetooth enables you to use devices like headsets, wireless mice, and telephones, without wires.

You’ll likely find that the card in your machine conforms to the 802.11g standard, which should provide all the speed and bandwith you’ll need. If you want to invest in cutting-edge technology, the next standard on the way will be 802.11n, but it’s not worth spending extra to get this emerging technology at this time.


As teleconferencing, uploading photos, and recording videos become more popular, more and more laptops come with a small camera above the screen. It’s a cheap upgrade, but it’s easy to end up with a low-quality camera that won’t be of much value to you.

laptop camera


Your laptop is meant for portability, and you’ll probably want to carry with you plenty of peripherals, like that camera, when you travel. You’ll need an adequate number of USB ports, or else you’ll need to buy an additional hub. While some laptops come with only two USB ports, if you have a lot of devices to attach, upgrade to four ports.

The current USB standard is 2.0, but 3.0 is quickly becoming more popular. Finding a laptop with USB 3.0 will enable faster communication with external hard drives, cameras, and other devices. Other ports that you may need include Firewire and HDMI, both of which are used to transmit digital video.

Finally, some laptops come with memory card readers that you can use to access the popular formats used by digital cameras.





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