Laptop Introduction A laptop is no doubt a computer but it is small and light enough to sit on a person’s lap. It is specially designed for mobile use. It can be easily carried from one place to another. It includes a display, a key board and a touch pad. It also includes speakers and a battery. Laptop’s rechargeable battery is charged from an AC adapter. This battery pack stores enough energy to run the laptop for several hours. Laptops are usually 0.7 – 1.5 inches thick and dimensions ranges from 10 x 8 inches to 15 x 11 inches and weighs 1.4 to 5.4 kg. Older laptops were heavier. In modern tablet laptops, the display panels can swivel and then lie flat on the keyboard housing. Originally, laptops were used in the specialized fields like military, internal Revenue Services etc. But these days, laptops are getting popularity among the students and for general purposes. It is portable and makes our work easier, efficient and also accurate. That can be one of the reasons for its purpose of gaining popularity. History The idea of a portable computer followed after the feasibility of personal computers in 1970s. Alam Kay imagined a personal portable information manipulator. IBM 5100 was the first commercially available portable computer based on SCAMP (Special Computer APL Machine Project). It was released in September 1975. It was then in early 1980s when the first laptops using the flip form factor was released. The ‘Gavilan SC’ was released in 1983. It was the first notebook to be marketed using the term ‘laptop’. The following year onwards several input techniques like touch pad, pointing stick and handwriting recognition. By 1988, displays of laptops reached VGA resolution. It reached 256- color by 1993. Soon after, High-capacity hard drives and optical storage like CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD-ROM became available in laptops. Classifications of Laptops The term ‘laptop’ is used to refer a number of classes of small portable computer. Notebook is the first type which measures 11 inches across with the minimum width to allow for a full-size keyboard (a key board with min. QWERTY keys lay out). The first Notebook PCs were as equal as the size of a standard US “A” size note book piece of paper, (8 – ½ x 11 inches). But later “A-4 size” Notebook was brought into practice. Sub notebook or Net book is another type which is less than 11 inches wide. It means that it doesn’t have a full-size keyboard but less than it. Compared to Notebook PC it has less display screen. It is light and costs less and features less than a Notebook PC. Ultra-thin laptops are newer class of laptop that is very thin and weighs light. Tablet PC is another laptop which is a touch screen laptop. It has a small “calculator type keyboard”. Rugged are the laptops which are made to operate in extreme conditions like high temperature, wet and dusty environment etc. Desktop replacement computer This laptop provides most of the capabilities of a desktop computer. It contains powerful components and has a 15” or larger display. Because they are larger and heavier then other, it is not as portable as other laptops do. Sub notebook This laptop is designed with an emphasis on portability. So it is also called ultra portable laptop. It weighs about 2 to 5 pounds. The large battery’s life can exceed 10 hrs. It uses the high resolution 13” and smaller screens. The very term ‘sub notebook’ is usually reserved to laptops that run WINDOWS, LINUX or Macro OSX. Net book It is mostly the portable and web based laptop. It is light in weight, economical and web based that allows the internet access. So it is named as Net book. Net books use light-weight operating systems like LINUX, WINDOWS XP and WINDOWS 7. It weighs about 2-3 pounds. Components Motherboards of laptops are highly specific and are not similar to that of desktop form factor. USB expansion slots, storage controls, networking, sound card and external ports are kept on the motherboard. CPU though is not as powerful but has advanced power- saving features and produces less heat than desktop processors. Intel, AMD, VIS Technology, Transmeta and others design CPU for laptops. Some laptops have removable CPU while some have soldered CPU on the motherboard that can’t be replaced. SO-DIMM memory is used in the laptops that are half the size of desktop DIMMS. We can find RAM in the bottom of the laptop or in between the key board and the motherboard. Most laptops are equipped with 3-4 GB of DDR2RAM.The expansion cards (PC cards) allow adding and removing functionality when the laptop is still on. Laptops are supplied with an internal rechargeable battery. Battery is charged through power supply. The laptop of today use lithium ion battery. But the recent models use the lithium polymer technology. The video controller is usually included into the chipset to conserve power. The display of the laptops has been featured with the 12 inch or larger color active matrix displays based on a CCFL lamp. Many of the laptops have DVD/CD writer/reader nowadays. Blue ray is common in Notebooks but CD drives are becoming rare. Internal storage of 250 to 500 GB sizes is common for laptop hard disks. An integrated keyboard is used for typing while pointing sticks or ouch pad is used to control the position of the cursor of the screen as an input. However external mouse and a keyboard may be connected as per choice. Almost all the laptops contain the ports for USB, external monitor port and in/out port and Ethernet network port and legacy port.