Portable PCs vary in size and features. One type of portable PC is the laptop that is comparable to a briefcase in size and structure. Notebooks and subnotebook are smaller versions of laptops. The palmtop is small enough to be held in the palm of the hand.


A laptop is a portable computer that can perform all of the tasks carried out by a desktop system. This type of computer is small enough to fit on the lap of a person, hence the name. You can use a laptop to create programs, multimedia applications, word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. A laptop is like a briefcase in structure and you can carry it around wherever you go.


A notebook is an extremely small and lightweight version of a portable computer. They can fit into a briefcase and be carried around. Currently, notebooks and laptops are virtually the same in most respects. Notebooks use flat panel technologies to produce a lightweight display screen.


Subnotebook are a smaller and lighter version of the notebook. They generally have smaller keyboards and screens as compared to notebooks. Subnotebook usually have external drives and may have the serial and parallel ports on an external device


As the name suggests, palmtops are computers that you can carry around in the palm of your hand. These computers use a pen for input and not the keyboard. Most palmtops do not have disk drives because of their size limitations. Palmtops are also called Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), handheld computers or pocket computers. A palmtop and the pen appear.

Features of Laptop

The features of laptops vary based on the model of the laptop. Its features determine the usage and convenience of a laptop. The different characteristics of a laptop that determine its usage are:

Weight – Is an important feature of the laptop, since its key function is to allow easy carriage and use. The weight of laptops range from 2 to 5 Kgs. A laptop must be light enough to carry around with ease.

Size – Must fit into the user’s bag or case with ease. A smaller laptop can be handled with ease. As a result, smaller laptops are considered more viable.

Case material – Is a key feature of laptops. The case cover must be strong enough to withstand pressure in the case of a fall. You must find out the composite material of a laptop case cover.

Cost – Differs widely based on the features of a particular model. Laptops are considerably costlier than desktop systems, due to their portability.

Interface – Must be comfortable to the user. The screen display must be clear. The keyboard and other input devices must also be easy to use. The keyboard of a laptop is slightly different from that of desktop systems. Also, laptops are provided with input devices like a trackpoint or touchpad in order to move the cursor on the screen. These mechanisms can be used in place of the mouse.

Laptop Design

The design of a laptop depends on the applications it will be used for. The design of a laptop is implemented based on various points. The most important point to be considered while designing a laptop is its portability. The design characteristics of a laptop are:

Size and weight – Kept to a minimum to ensure ease of transportation.

Screen size – Restricted between ranges of 12 inches to 17 inches. The screen is designed using Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display. TFT is a type of Liquid Crystal Display Technology that ensures superior screen display.

Performance –Is a key point to be considered in the design of the laptop. The level of usage and performance expected from a particular model is very important to consider while designing it.

Battery life – Must help in elevation of the life span of a battery. The laptop CPU is a key component that decides the lifetime of a battery.

Onboard Components – Must be placed so as to limit the size of the laptop. However, the number of components in modern laptops is no longer limited. The components must be arranged in a manner that enables good connectivity between users.

Ports and sockets – Enable connection to various devices. The different ports like firewall, USB and parallel port connect to different devices. The power socket, modem socket and network socket are some other important ports that must be considered while designing a laptop. The ports on the laptop must be designed to allow easy connection to devices like a phone or camera. These must also enable the user to have network access.


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