Notebook and laptop computers are portable computers that usually feature integral keyboards and monitors. There are two basic types of devices: personal computers (PCs) and Macintosh® computers. Personal computers run Microsoft® Windows® operating systems such as Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows XP. Macintosh computers run versions of MacOS®, the operating system for Apple® Macintosh computers. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Apple, Macintosh, and MacOS are registered trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. Notebook and laptop computers that run UNIX® and Linux® are also available. UNIX, a family of multi-user operating systems, is a registered trademark of The Open Group. Linux, an open-source implementation of UNIX, is a registered trademark of Linus Torvlads.
Selecting Notebook and Laptop Computers
Selecting notebook and laptop computers requires an analysis of memory and storage specifications. Most devices include random access memory (RAM) or Flash memory. Some computers include integrated drive electronics (IDE) or proprietary technologies such as CompactFlash®, a registered trademark of SanDisk Corp. Other computers include a tape drive, a 1.44 MB 3.5” floppy drive, or removable magneto-optic (MO) storage technology. Notebook and laptop computers with drives that can read or record compact disks (CDs) are commonly available. Compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM) drives can read but not record information. By contrast, compact disk recordable (CD-R) drives can write once and read many times while compact disk rewritable (CD-RW) drives can read, write, erase, and rewrite disks. Disk drives that can read or record digital versatile disks (DVDs) are also available.
Features and Variations
Notebook and laptop computers feature a variety of display, resolution, and user interface options. Cathode-ray tube (CRT) devices use an electron beam to illuminate phosphor dots and are suitable for users who require relatively high screen resolutions. Flat panel displays (FPD), which are often very thin, are used with many notebook and laptop computers and include technologies such as liquid crystal display (LCD) and gas plasma. In terms of resolution, notebook and laptop computers meet standards such as video graphics array (VGA), super video graphics array (SVGA), extended graphics array (XGA), and super extended graphics array (SXGA). Interface options include built-in speakers, headset jacks, color displays, voice recorders, and MP3 players.
Notebook and laptop computers vary in terms of slots and expansion bays. Most use accelerated graphics port (AGP) cards, PC cards, or peripheral component interconnect (PCI) technology. Input/output (I/O) ports can be serial, parallel, infrared, wireless, or networked. Universal serial bus (USB) is the standard serial bus for low-to-medium speed peripheral devices. Ethernet is a common protocol for local area networks (LAN). Some notebook and laptop computers incorporate wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) or wireless local area network (WLAN) technology. Others use Bluetooth® technology. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a trade association of electronics manufacturers that promotes Bluetooth technology and ensures compliance.
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