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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 1001:  Notebooks

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I  Introduction to Chapter 1001
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III  Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
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II  Notebooks

Lucky You. This is an amazingly small chapter. Which is appropriate because we have an amazingly small subject. That is the notebook computer.

Here you will discover the specifics of PC Card Types, and learn why some batteries have a ‘'memory effect'. In addition, the pros and cons of different types of batteries are explained.

The details of active matrix and passive matrix along with the give and take of each choice become clear.

While the notebook computer comes in wide variety of form factors, for the most part they share a common feature set. That feature set includes:

  • Running on batteries

  • Low power and sensitive display screens

  • PC Card (PCMCIA)

  • Cost more; get less

  • Limited expandability

The largest notebooks are virtually replacements to the desktop PC. All components are built-in to the unit; they include everything you would expect to find in a desktop, well, almost everything.

While they don't usually offer multiple monitors, everything else is there. This includes network connection, CD-ROM and a display as big as the viewable display on a standard CRT.

[spacer]Bought it? Haul it!

There are sub-notebooks that are lightweight and wonderful for the traveler.

Figure 94: A Mini-Laptop from Sony.


Lightweight machines are smaller and designed to be portable, however they may require a cable connection for a floppy or CD-ROM.

In many cases, the floppy and CD-ROM have to be swapped out of an expansion bay. This means that there is only one bay available to use either the CD-Rom or a floppy drive, unlike the PC where both are integral to the machine. Therefore, you choose either device depending on what you are doing.

Planning the installation of a program is key here. It is not fun to have to power off a machine halfway through a program installation because you find you now need to use a floppy drive when you had the CD-ROM drive connected.

Some laptops have a software utility used for Hot Swapping.

Hot swapping refers to the ability to change devices "on the fly" without powering down the machine. The key here is also having the machine recognize the new device, as in you switched from a CR-ROM drive to a floppy drive even though it is being used in the same expansion bay.

With the wonderful world of USB available, most all devices used by the big brother PCs can be added to a laptop. The need for powering down and swapping devices in the expansion bays is eliminated.

The new USB hubs are small and portable making this a feasible travel or desktop option. Often the USB capability is referred to as hot plugging or hot swapping.

Sub-Notebooks are the smallest units that still have some sort of keyboard large enough to be able to use your fingers (as opposed to a stylus or pencil) to type. The hard drive is internal, and a cable or other external connector (USB port) is used to connect any other type of drive. Typically, this would be any USB device for portability. The network card and modem are generally built in.

Previous Topic/Section
I  Introduction to Chapter 1001
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
Next Page
III  Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
Next Topic/Section

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CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware) ( on
Version 1.0 - Version Date: December 6, 2004

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