A laptop or netbook computer is basically a miniature, portable personal computer with an almost-immediate-access clamshell form factor, usually having an alphanumeric keypad and a thin, flat LCD or LED monitor screen attached to the interior of the front lid of the unit and an external keyboard to the inside of the rear lid. The clamshell is then opened to use the machine. In some configurations, the external keyboard serves as a pointing device, so that the user can click on objects on the desktop to pointer them. A laptop or netbook computer may be used as a desktop computer for word processing, viewing, listening to audio, video conferencing, or games. Netbooks are ideal for use in kiosks and public computers.
Best for office use
Laptops are also referred to as notebooks, or notebooks are smaller than desktops. While some people confuse the two, a notebook is generally a desktop-like personal computer that has been miniaturized for ease of transport and storage. Notebooks are very popular among students, freelancers, and people working from home because the lack of room inside a conventional notebook makes it impractical to have large documents or work files.
Laptops are commonly purchased for use in the office and for use while traveling. They are very popular in business settings as well, because they are light, compact, and usually have hard drives capable of storing large volumes of data. Although laptops are inexpensive and easy to repair, they are not indestructible. Laptops can be broken by a dropped hard disk, for example, or damaged by an impact. Thus, it is important to maintain a regular supply of spare parts in order to avoid costly repairs.
Similar to PC
Laptops are similar to desktop computers in many ways, including basic functions such as booting up, switching between windows, and managing files. However, laptops are generally smaller than desktop computers and have different key features. Laptops do not have a desktop display screen and keyboard and cannot be used as a desktop computer when connected to a monitor. They can be used as a mobile phone, however. Because of their small size, laptops are generally inexpensive compared with desktop computers, especially if purchased refurbished.
Laptops do not have memory card slots like desktops, meaning that they have to rely on internal memory in order to complete tasks. Laptops can be stored in places where they will be accessible most of the time, such as in a briefcase or in the trunk of a car. However, if the computer is stored in a locker or other secure location, it may become damaged due to theft or fire. In this case, laptops need to be repaired or replaced.
Laptops are connected through a connection cable rather than a USB port, so additional peripherals, such as printers, scanners, keyboards, and monitors are not installed with the computer itself. Connecting a mouse to the laptop requires an external device that supports the click wheel. In some cases, the external peripheral device is required to take full advantage of the built-in optical tracking system. For those who use wireless internet, Bluetooth technology allows laptops to connect wirelessly to wireless network devices such as mobile phones, cordless phones, and wireless internet routers.
In addition to the lack of built-in peripherals, laptops are affected by the characteristics of their screens. Laptops can be manufactured with various types of touch-screens, including resistive or capacitive-touch technology. Some models have screens that have grown increasingly touch-sensitive, and some require the user to install special software. Touch-screens can be less sensitive than resistive or capacitive-touch screens, but many experts prefer resistive touch-screens for normal day-to-day computing.
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Laptops are susceptible to overheating. A regular computer is designed to maintain its optimal operating temperature, which ensures minimal heat build-up. But laptops contain several components, and many of them may be performing other functions. This can result in increased heat build-up, even when the computer is not in use. A liquid cooling system is often recommended for running laptops under these conditions.