Back Light - Back lighting is a way of
illuminating the LCD display so that it can be seen in various
lighting conditions. The brighter the display, the better
it can be seen, even in daylight.
Bays - (see "Modular Bay")
Bluetooth - Bluetooth is a wireless short
range connection technology that works in laptops, cell
phones, mice, keyboards, printers, cameras, and a variety
more of tech devices. It allows devices equipped with Bluetooth
to connect and share data with each other within a 300 foot
Broadband - Broadband is a high speed
network where many data streams can run at the same time.
Broadband also encompasses DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines)
and cable modem connections.
Buffer - A set aside amount of memory
that keeps data temporarily to offset for different transfer
rates of data from one device to another.
Cache Memory - Cache memory is situated between
the CPU and the main supply of memory and holds the most
recently accessed data. Data stored in the cache memory
helps to bump up the computer's operation speed by
keeping in reserve the data most frequently called upon
by the user. So, instead of running all the way to the hard
drive, it grabs the data first form the internal cache on
the CPU, then looks to the memory cache on the motherboard.
This cache memory is typically called the L1 or L2 Cache.
Card Slot - Laptops have two types of
card slots. There's the PCMCIA and the ExpressCard
slot. They allow you to connect card readers for flash memory
cards and Wireless LAN Cards.
CD - Compact Disc. CDs can hold up to
80 minutes of audio or up to 700 MB of data.
CD-ROM, CD-R/RW - Compact Disc Drives
(see also "Optical Drive")
Centrino Mobile Technology - Intel's
suite of mobile technologies that give laptops longer battery
life, better overall performance and wireless capabilities,
and they do not heat up like older P4 Intel CPUs. The better
cooling capabilities also allow the laptop to be thinner
and lighter because the need of a cooling system is nullified
with a Centrino system.
CPU - Central Processing Unit. (see also
DDR SDRAM / DDR II SDRAM - Double
Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. This
type of memory can nearly doubles the transfer rate of memory
without bumping up the frequency of the front side bus.
Display - Laptop displays are all LCDs.
TFT, or active displays, are faster and brighter than older
LCD displays. Display sizes are measured diagonally from
one corner to the other. Display go from 8.9" to 20".
Display Resolution - Display resolution
is how detailed an image can appear measured in a pixel
by pixel count. Here's a list of currently used laptop LCD
Docking Station - An expansion device
that connects your laptop to an external monitor, keyboard,
printer, and other peripherals through expansion slots,
effectively turning the laptop into a desktop.
Driver - Drivers allow peripherals such
as printers to communicate with your laptop.
DVD - Digital Versatile Disc. DVDs hold
4.7 GB of data. Dual Layer DVDs can hold up to 8.5 GB of
DVD-R/RW - Digital Versatile Disc Drive
(see also "Optical Drives").
DVI - Digital Visual Interface. A video
connection port designed to bring out the best in LCD displays
Ethernet - A network standard used to connect computers
and laptops to a LAN. A cable runs from an interface card
with a RJ-45 connection in the computer to the network to
gain access to the internet or servers. Ethernet comes in
three Mbps (mega-bits per sec.) speeds: Basic Ethernet 10/Base-T,
Fast Ethernet 100/Base-T, and Gigabit Ethernet 1000/Base-T.
Expansion Slot - A socket or slot where
memory or an expansion board can be connected a laptop.
GB (Gigabyte) - A term for 1,023,741,824
bytes; simplified to 1024 megabytes.
GHz (Gigahertz) - This describes the processing
speed of a laptop's main processor. A single GHz is
one billion cycles per second of processing. The more one
billion cycles per second you have, the better.
Graphics Controller - A graphics controller
acts as the main device to process all the images that run
across your display. Depending on the setup, it may share
memory with the onboard memory of the laptop or supply its
own. If it is fully integrated into the motherboard, it
will share memory, say, 128 MB of the installed 512 MB of
RAM. Some graphics controllers have their own video memory,
currently up to 512MB, and do not pull from the laptop's
Hard Drive - This is the place where all your information
and data are stored. Hard drives are measured Gigabytes
(GB). The RPM of a hard drive is the speed at which the
hard drive spins. Laptop hard drives operate at speeds of
4200, 5400, or 7200 RPM. You get better performance out
of a hard drive with faster RPMs.
Hardware - Devices such as hard drives
and optical drives.
IEEE 802.11 - A printer that uses the
force of an impact through an ink ribbon to create a printed
character on a page. This impact is delivered by a rotating
ball or wheel or through a grid of pins. This type of printer
is generally slow and noisy.
IrDA - Infrared Data Association. For
use with other devices that are IrDA enabled. It allows
you to transfer data through infrared ports from the laptop
to, say, an IrDA enabled cell phone. The connection is similar
to that of a TV remote to a TV.
LAN - A LAN is a Local Area Network. It's
a group of computers linked together and sharing connections
to the internet, printers, and other devices. These networks
can be Ethernet wired with RJ-45 cables or a wireless Wi-Fi
Laptop - Laptops are mobile PCs with a
built in flat LCD screen and interface devices such as keyboards
and touch screens. They are small enough to be transported
around without much hassle for the user. Laptops are powered
by rechargeable batteries or a pluggable power adapter.
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display (see "Display").
Lithium Ion - Lithium ion batteries are
the main source of mobile power for laptops. They give longer
battery life than other rechargeable technologies.
MB (Megabyte) - A megabyte is
about 1,000 kilo bytes. 1,024 megabytes is a gigabyte. RAM
is typically measured in MB.
Memory - The system RAM (Random Access Memory) stores data to be recalled and read in any order, randomly. This is considered the main memory storage of the laptop. It is used for working with all applications you are currently or have recently accessed. Memory can be upgradeable depending on the laptop setup.
Modem - The "Modulator / Demodulator"
allows the laptop to send and receive data through an RJ-11
port that connects to a telephone line. Laptops can use
this connection to connect to the internet at a maximum
speed of 56kbps (kilobytes per second).
Operating System - The software that allows you
to navigate and operate your laptop. Using a Graphical User
Interface (GUI), the software is the go between connecting
you and the laptop. The most common operating systems are
the Microsoft Windows family, Linux, and MAC OS.
Optical Drive - The optical drive is a
read and store device. It uses lasers to read from CD-ROMs
and DVD-ROMs. CD-RW and DVD-RW drives are able to write,
or "burn"; data onto writeable CDs and DVDs.
Some DVD burners allow you to write onto Dual Layer DVDs.
The newest optical drives feature HD-DVD drives or Blu-Ray