Bluetooth Technology for wirelessly transferring data short distances (up to 30 feet) among notebooks, cell phones, Palm or Pocket PC handhelds, and printers. It is available on many notebooks. Bluetooth is not a competitor to wireless Ethernet. Most often you'll find notebooks with Bluetooth built-in.
DVD-Rom/CDRW Combo Drives Slowly being phased out but you'll still find it in some budget and business notebooks. It reads DVDs and CDs and writes CDs. Dropping back to a read-only DVD or CD drive saves, at most, $50 to $75.
Dual Layer, Dual Format DVD RW Drives Adding writeable DVD is extremely cost effective these days. Virtually all consumer laptops will have some kind of DVD writing capability. Dual format writes both mi-nus(DVD RW) and plus(DVD+RW) discs at a maximum capacity of 4.7GB. Dual Layer adds another layer on top of the disc to give it a total capacity of 8.5GB.
Docking station A cradle for your notebook that provides space for extra drives and attachment ports for all your cables. Docking stations are popular in business, but are losing favor to port replicators among individuals. Replicators typically don't have any expansion bays.
EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) A 3G wireless standard that offers broadband internet speeds using the GSM network. It competes with EVDO, another 3G service provider, providing high speed connections via a cellular modem in your laptop, PC Card and ExpressCard standards. In the United States, Cingular and T-Mobile are the primary providers of the service. Connection speeds are not as fast as EVDO, ranging from 100-160Kbps.
EVDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) A 3G wireless standard that offers broadband internet speeds via a cellu-lar modem in your laptop, PC Card and ExpressCard standards. In the United States, Verizon and Sprint are the primary providers of the service. Wherever there's a cell phone signal, you can access the internet at speeds ranging from 200-800 Kbps. A new EVDO standard (Revision A) promises faster download and up-load speeds (1.1Mbps-3.1Mbps).
ExpressCard Slot Already replacing PC Card slots as a feature for expandability. ExpressCard supports two form factors: ExpressCard/34 (34 mm wide) and ExpressCard/54 (54 mm wide, in an L-shape). Currently, there are very few ExpressCard devices out there that can take advantage of the faster bus speeds.
FireWire A high-speed connector (capable of 400 Mbps). Universal on Macs, common on media-oriented PCs for transfers from digital video (DV) cameras. USB is used for virtually all other high-speed data transfers on PC notebooks.
Fingerprint Reader Integrated reader that allows you to log on by recognition of your fingerprint.
Kensington slot A universal connector for a physical security lock, named after the company that invented the feature. Regardless of the brand, virtually every notebook security lock you can buy fits the Kensington-style slot.
Key pitch Distance from the center of one key to the next. Desktop keyboards have a 19mm (0.75 inches) pitch. Full size notebook keyboards have a 97 percent (18.5mm) pitch. To check key pitch, measure across 10 keys (from the left side of the Q key to the left side of the left bracket ([) key).
Media Card Reader These are integrated multi-function readers that allow you to read smart cards, memory sticks, compact flash cards and other types of media.
Modular Bay A cavity in a notebook used primarily for removable drives, but also for accessories. A two-bay notebook has an internal bay for the hard drive and a second bay for a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, floppy disk drive, or a spare battery.
PC Card slot A space in a notebook where you can insert credit card-size accessories such as modems, network adapters, wireless network adapters, security cards, and memory cards, as well as connection points for some external disk drives. PC Cards are slowly becoming legacy ports as they are being replaced by ExpressCards.
Pointing device A built-in substitute for the mouse,”either a touch pad or a pointing stick that looks like a pencil eraser stuck below the G and H keys. Some notebooks have both types. Many users still prefer plugging in a traditional mouse.
Port replicator A hardware device that attaches to a notebook and connects all the cables (modem, printer, power, and mouse) that you would otherwise attach one by one to your notebook's ports. It is simpler than a docking station and cheaper. Most replicators include a security locking slot.
TPM (Trusted Platform Module) A microchip designed to provide certain basic security-related functions such as data encryption on for files and e-mail and secure identification of your PC on other PCs, whether it’s across your local area network or the Internet.
Travel weight The total weight of a notebook package for computing on the road, including the notebook, transformer, battery, and possibly an adapter module for connecting accessories. Marketing literature usually quotes system weight (computer, battery, and usually the internal optical drive). Add 0.75 pounds for the transformer and 0.5 pounds for the optical drive if it wasn't quoted by the manufacturer.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) An all-purpose input/output connector that lets you attach a digital camera, audio player, memory key, mouse, external drive, or printer. A notebook has one to four USB ports (two are adequate for most users). All notebooks sold today use USB 2.0, capable of 480 Mbps.
WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) Uses a cellular network instead of a local-area network(WLAN). Cellular technology covers a wider area in the globe and are usually provided by a service provider such as Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and Cingular, in the United States.
Widescreen An LCD display with a width-to-height ratio of 16 to 10 (sometimes 16:9) instead of the more common 4:3. They're better for watching movies, but total size (square inches) is about the same.
Wi-Fi Short for wireless fidelity, an umbrella term for wireless Ethernet. 802.11b, capable of 11 Mbps theoretical speed (about 5 Mbps actual), is most common. 802.11g, capable of 54 Mbps, is succeeding (and in-corporates) 802.11b. Some corporations prefer 802.11a, also 54 Mbps. It is possible for a wireless card to in-tegrate both g (with b) and a. Virtually every notebook incorporates wired Ethernet; many include wireless, too.
XGA (Extended Graphics Array) One of the two most common screen resolutions for notebooks and desktops: 1,024 pixels horizontally by 768 vertically. Equally common is SXGA+ (1,400 by 1,050). Other resolutions are SXGA (1,280 by 1,024, used more on desktops than notebooks), and UXGA (1,600 by 1,200). The higher resolutions make for crisp graphics and small text. Widescreen displays typically use WXGA (1280 by 768), WSXGA+ (1680 by 1050), and WUXGA (1920 by 1200).