Laptop Features | CompTIA A+ 220-1001 | 1.3

In this video you will learn about laptop features such as:  special function keys, docking stations, port replicators, laptop cable locks, & rotating/removable screens.

Special Function Keys

Modern laptop computers have special function (Fn) keys built into the keyboard along with special controls for displays, wireless functions, volume, screen brightness, Bluetooth networking, and (in some cases) keyboard backlighting.  These keys provide all the functions of a desktop but in significantly less space.  Most laptop keyboards combine 2 functions on 1 key, and the user presses the Fn key on the keyboard to toggle between functions.  Function keys are usually printed below or beside the normal key legend and sometimes in a contrasting color.

Laptop Function Keys

Here are some typical Fn key or other special function key features that you can find on most laptops:

  • Dual displays (secondary monitor or projector)
  • Wireless (on/off)
  • Cellular (on/off)
  • Volume settings
  • Screen brightness
  • Bluetooth (on/off)
  • Keyboard backlight (on/off)
  • Touch pad (on/off)
  • Screen orientation
  • Media options (fast forward/rewind)
  • GPS (on/off)
  • Airplane mode (on/off)

Your laptop’s documentation will provide a complete listing of all of the functions available for your device.

Docking Station

Laptops are portable computers for when you are not in the vicinity of a desktop computer.  Docking stations for laptops are meant to bridge the gap between portability and having a stationary place to work & play.  Most docking stations are produced by portable computer vendors.  Business-class laptops that support docking stations might feature a proprietary expansion bus on the rear or bottom of the computer. Docking stations expand the capabilities of a portable laptop by adding features such as:

  • One or more expansion slots
  • Additional I/O ports, such as Ethernet, display output ports (for HDMI or DisplayPort), Thunderbolt ports, USB ports (USB 2.0, 3.0, USB 3.1 Type C), & others
  • Power connector
  • Connectors for a standard keyboard & mouse
Laptop Docking Station

Docking stations made for tablets or thin and light laptops might connect via a high-speed bus such as Thunderbolt or USB 3.0/3.1 or via a proprietary charging/data cable.

Tablet Docking Station

Mobile devices running 5th-generation or Intel Core vPro (business-class) processors with the Intel Tri-Band Wireless-AC 17265 adapter now have wireless docking stations for mobile devices to connect to.

Wireless Docking Station

Regardless of how a portable computer connects to a docking station, users can leave desktop-type peripherals connected to the docking station and can access them easily by simply connecting the portable computer to the docking station.

Port Replicator

A port replicator is a device used to quickly connect multiple peripherals to a laptop.  A monitor, printer, network cable, keyboard and mouse are permanently plugged into the port replicator, which connects to the laptop via the USB port.  A port replicator provides some or all of the functionality of a docking station, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.  However, a docking station uses a proprietary connector to the computer, whereas a port replicator typically provides a universal solution for all laptops via USB.

Laptop Port Replicator

Laptop Cable Locks

Most laptops in addition to mobile devices such as projectors & docking stations feature security slots.  The slot is normally located near the rear corner of a laptop.  This slot is used with a laptop cable lock.  These locks work just as a bicycle chain lock works.  You find a large, immovable object such as your desk and wrap the metal cable around it.  Insert the lock into your laptop’s lock slot, and your computer becomes virtually theft-proof.  Laptop locks come as either combination locks or keyed locks.

Laptop Cable Lock

Rotating/Removable Screens

Mobile devices with rotating/removable screens bridge the gap between tablet and laptop. Devices with removable keyboards typically function as a large tablet.  Many models have additional ports built into the keyboard.

Detachable Laptop

Laptops with rotating screens usually have larger displays, more ports, and typically have more powerful processors.  The display size and port availability of these devices rival those of conventional laptops, yet these devices are not intended to be easily upgradable.

Laptop with Rotating Screen