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Special considerations when using a laptop

From: Computer Literacy for Windows

Video: Special considerations when using a laptop

If you've decided to use a laptop or a notebook computer or if you really didn't have any say in the matter and had one issued to you, there are some things unique to the use of laptops that you should be familiar with. First of all, the laptop is an all-in-one device. All of the necessary components are built-in and for the most part, you can carry it around and have everything you need to get your work done. Now since it's a portable device, it runs off an internal battery. Most laptop batteries range anywhere from two to six hours of usage time on a single charge, but your results will vary greatly depending on how hard you're taxing the laptop. So you always want to make sure to carry the laptop's power supply cable along with you, whenever possible.

Special considerations when using a laptop

If you've decided to use a laptop or a notebook computer or if you really didn't have any say in the matter and had one issued to you, there are some things unique to the use of laptops that you should be familiar with. First of all, the laptop is an all-in-one device. All of the necessary components are built-in and for the most part, you can carry it around and have everything you need to get your work done. Now since it's a portable device, it runs off an internal battery. Most laptop batteries range anywhere from two to six hours of usage time on a single charge, but your results will vary greatly depending on how hard you're taxing the laptop. So you always want to make sure to carry the laptop's power supply cable along with you, whenever possible.

Now when it comes to actually using the laptop, probably the most important thing to get used to is the mouse or more accurately, the lack of a mouse. This is a mouse and all computers need one to operate. Now you can always plug a mouse like this into your laptop if you prefer, but laptops generally don't come with them. Instead, there's a variety of different built-in devices to act as the mouse or a pointing device as it is sometimes called. Probably the most common pointing device is the trackpad. This is a touch-sensitive device, which you operate by sliding your finger around on it.

The mouse pointer on the screen moves as you move your finger. The trackpad usually has two buttons below it for left and right-clicking. Some laptops also have this little nub in the keyboard, which you generally apply pressure to in one direction or another to move the pointer, and these are also accompanied by left and right buttons for clicking. As you can see, this laptop I am using has both types of pointing devices, so I can choose to use either one. And again, you can plug an external mouse into your laptop's USB port if you prefer to use a real mouse or use a wireless Bluetooth mouse, which I'll show you how to set up in a later chapter.

Another feature you might have to get used to is your laptop's keyboard. Most laptops these days have keyboards in which the keys are the same size as their desktop counterparts, but the key is might be closer together or they might not press down as far as you're used to, or they may in fact be a little smaller than a standard keyboard. So typing might be a more challenging at first, until you get used to the built-in keyboard. Also to save space, certain keys might be combined together. For instance, the F keys, which are used for a variety of purposes, may require you to hold down the F or Function button in order to use them.

You might find your F keys have been combined with the buttons for controlling the volume of your speakers or the brightness of your screen. The layout of keys can really vary from laptop to laptop, so your best bet is to take some time to examine your keyboard and read through the portion of your manual that discusses the keyboard. And as with the mouse, you can usually plug an external keyboard into your laptop if you prefer, although that's not as common, since most people can't fit a full-size keyboard into their laptop bag. Now depending on your laptop, there may also be additional buttons and switches to be aware of. I can't really run through every possible button, key, or switch that you might have, so again, be sure to give your laptop a thorough inspection and check out your user manual for details.

Once you familiarize yourself with your laptop though, you will probably be able to use it almost as efficiently as you do at desktop computer. I do recommend carrying an external mouse if you have to do a lot of work with your laptop. It's just easier to work with the real mouse than any other pointing device, at least for me. You might also want to invest in a second power cable for you laptop, so you don't have to constantly plug and unplug your power cable from your main work area. I personally have a power cable, external monitor, keyboard, and mouse that I keep at my desk for when I'm using my laptop at the office, and when I need to travel, I just unplug everything, pack up the laptop and then I can continue working wherever I happen be, using the power cable and mouse I keep in my laptop bag.

So those are just some things to be aware of and keep in mind if you have a laptop.

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This video is part of

Image for Computer Literacy for Windows
Computer Literacy for Windows

55 video lessons · 19349 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 2s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 53s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 48s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 52s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 27s
  3. 17m 29s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 38s
    3. Understanding your Home (User) folder
      3m 9s
    4. Using your desktop
      2m 46s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      1m 45s
    6. The right click
      2m 8s
  4. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 36s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 3s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 37s
    4. How to learn any application
      4m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      7m 29s
  5. 35m 26s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 33s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 36s
    3. Printing your documents
      3m 52s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 8s
    5. Scanning a document
      5m 59s
    6. Setting up a projector or a second monitor
      6m 17s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 55s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 23s
  6. 20m 46s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired networks
      2m 47s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      5m 0s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      5m 49s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      4m 12s
  7. 23m 24s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      3m 50s
    4. Composing new email messages
      7m 4s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 12s
    6. Dealing with spam
      3m 52s
  8. 8m 22s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 44s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 14s
  9. 27m 15s
    1. Introduction to word processors
      4m 46s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 57s
    3. Introduction to spreadsheets
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      8m 13s
    5. Formatting a data table
      2m 19s
  10. 28m 52s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      7m 57s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      4m 28s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      9m 17s
    4. Tagging images
      4m 56s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 12m 46s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      6m 4s
    3. Compressing files
      5m 5s
  12. 1m 4s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 4s

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