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This was introduced by Intel with the Core i-series of mobile processors in , and similar accelerated processing unit APU processors by AMD later that year.
Prior to that, lower-end machines tended to use graphics processors integrated into the system chipset , while higher end machines had a separate graphics processor. In the past, laptops lacking a separate graphics processor were limited in their utility for gaming and professional applications involving 3D graphics, but the capabilities of CPU-integrated graphics have converged with the low-end of dedicated graphics processors in the past few years.
Higher-end laptops intended for gaming or professional 3D work still come with dedicated, and in some cases even dual, graphics processors on the motherboard or as an internal expansion card.
Since , these almost always involve switchable graphics so that when there is no demand for the higher performance dedicated graphics processor, the more power-efficient integrated graphics processor will be used. Most laptops have two memory slots, although some of the lowest-end models will have only one, and some high end models usually mobile engineering workstations and a few high-end models intended for gaming have four slots.
Laptops may have memory soldered to the motherboard to conserve space, which allows the laptop to have a thinner chassis design. Soldered memory cannot be easily upgraded. Internal storage[ edit ] Traditionally, laptops had a hard disk drive HDD as a main non-volatile storage , but these proved inefficient for use in mobile devices due to high power consumption, heat production, and a presence of moving parts, which can cause damage to both the drive itself and the data stored when a laptop is unstable physically, e.
With the advent of flash memory technology, most mid- to high-end laptops opted for more compact, power efficient, and fast solid-state drives SSD , which eliminated the hazard of drive and data corruption caused by a laptop's physical impacts.
Some very compact laptops support even smaller 1. For SSDs, however, these miniaturization-related trade-offs are nonexistent, because SSDs were designed to have a very small footprint. SSDs feature a traditional 2. SSDs have a higher data transfer rate, lower power consumption, lower failure rate, and a larger capacity     compared to HDDs.
However, HDDs have a significantly lower cost. Most laptops can contain a single 2. Some laptops support a hybrid mode, combining a 2. Some laptops may have very limited drive upgradeability when the SSD used has a non-standard shape or requires a proprietary daughter card.
Many laptops also incorporate a card reader which allows for use of memory cards , such as those used for digital cameras , which are typically SD or microSD cards. This enables users to download digital pictures from an SD card onto a laptop, thus enabling them to delete the SD card's contents to free up space for taking new pictures.
Laptop optical drives tend to follow a standard form factor, and usually have a standard mSATA connector.
It is often possible to replace an optical drive with a newer model. In certain laptop models there is a possibility to replace an optical drive with a second hard drive, using a caddy that fills the extra space the optical drive would have occupied.
Closeup of a touchpad on an Acer laptop Closeup of a TrackPoint cursor and UltraNav buttons on a ThinkPad laptop An alphanumeric keyboard is used to enter text and data and make other commands e. A touchpad also called a trackpad , a pointing stick , or both, are used to control the position of the cursor on the screen, and an integrated keyboard  is used for typing.
An external keyboard and mouse may be connected using a USB port or wirelessly, via Bluetooth or similar technology. With the advent of ultrabooks and support of touch input on screens by era operating systems, such as Windows 8. Some models have webcams and microphones , which can be used to communicate with other people with both moving images and sound, via Skype , Google Chat and similar software.
Laptops typically have USB ports and a microphone jack, for use with an external mic. Some laptops have a card reader for reading digital camera SD cards. It is possible to connect up to three external displays to a era laptop via a single Mini DisplayPort, utilizing multi-stream transport technology. Laptops typically have a headphone jack, so that the user can connect external headphones or amplified speaker systems for listening to music or other audio.
Expansion cards[ edit ] In the past, a PC Card formerly PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot for expansion was often present on laptops to allow adding and removing functionality, even when the laptop is powered on; these are becoming increasingly rare since the introduction of USB 3. Some internal subsystems such as: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or a wireless cellular modem can be implemented as replaceable internal expansion cards, usually accessible under an access cover on the bottom of the laptop.
These two technologies have largely replaced the older nickel metal-hydride batteries. Battery life is highly variable by model and workload and can range from one hour to nearly a day. A battery's performance gradually decreases over time; substantial reduction in capacity is typically evident after one to three years of regular use, depending on the charging and discharging pattern and the design of the battery. Innovations in laptops and batteries have seen situations in which the battery can provide up to 24 hours of continued operation, assuming average power consumption levels.
An example is the HP EliteBook p when used with its ultra-capacity battery. The power supply outputs a DC voltage typically in the range of 7. The power supply is usually external and connected to the laptop through a DC connector cable.
In most cases, it can charge the battery and power the laptop simultaneously.
When the battery is fully charged, the laptop continues to run on power supplied by the external power supply, avoiding battery use. The battery charges in a shorter period of time if laptop is turned off or sleeping.
The charger typically adds about grams 0. Most era laptops use a smart battery , a rechargeable battery pack with a built-in battery management system BMS.
The smart battery can internally measure voltage and current, and deduce charge level and SoH State of Health parameters, indicating the state of the cells. Early laptops used heat sinks placed directly on the components to be cooled, but when these hot components are deep inside the device, a large space-wasting air duct is needed to exhaust the heat.
Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. First published: Print ISBN: About this reference work Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering includes over A to Z articles addressing the latest advances and findings in computer science and engineering, in addition to important topics of interest to computer scientists and engineers, including standards, electronic commerce, financial engineering, and computer education.
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