PC Hardware

Lesson Summary: Connectivity and Portability

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • Portable computers are classified as laptops, notebooks, or palmtops.

  • PCMCIA cards provide expandability to portable computers.

  • Type I PCMCIA cards are used for memory; they are 3.3 mm thick.

  • Type II PCMCIA cards are used for expansion devices; they are 5.0 mm thick.

  • Type III PCMCIA cards are used for hard drives; they are 10.5 mm thick.

  • Display screens for portable computers are either dual-scan or active-matrix.

  • Tape Carrier Packaging is used to make processors consume less energy and put out less heat.

  • Good power management is the key to long battery life in a portable computer.

Tutorial Summary

The following points summarize the key concepts in this tutorial:


  • The benefits provided by a network are connections, communications, and services.

  • There are two types of networks: server networks and peer-to-peer networks.

  • A network topology describes the physical layout of the network. There are three basic topologies: bus, star, and ring.

  • In order to function on a network, each computer must have a network interface card (NIC) and a network operating system (NOS).

  • The three types of network cabling are twisted-pair, coaxial, and fiber-optic.

Portable Computers

  • Early "portable" computers were heavy, and usually more worthy of the term "luggable."

  • Today's laptops and notebooks have most of the features of a desktop machine in a very compact package-but at a much higher cost.

  • A computer technician should know the four types of PCMCIA cards and their uses.

  • Batteries and power management are key factors to consider when maintaining portable computers.