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Chapter 5

Notebook Computers

What is a notebook?
A notebook is a portable computer that allows easy transportation and enables you to
work on any place. It has the same features of a desktop computer but small in size, lightweight.

LCD Screen Keyboard

Touch pad

Figure 1(Note Book Computer)

Processor Intel Centrino Mobile Technology Intel Pentium M 1.4 GHz
- Intel Pentium M Processor 1.5 GHz
- Intel Pro/Wireless Network Connection 802.11b
- Intel 855 Chipset Family
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Memory 256 MB Memory
Hard Drive 40 GB Hard Drive
Optical CD-RW / DVE-ROM Combo Drive
Communications Wireless, Ethernet & Modern integrated
Display 15 TFT Display
Graphic 32 MB ATI Mobility Radeon 7500
Expansion IEEE 1294
Battery Life 4.7 Hours Battery Life
Warranty 3 Years International Carry-In Warranty Service (Parts & Labour)

A typical notebook processor or mobile processor is made to reduce power consumption
and heat dissipation. Mobile processor often run at a lower voltage and has multiple sleep or
speed modes to improve the battery life.

Figure2 (Notebook Processors)

Intel Pentium M 1.70 GHz, 1.60 GHz, 1.50 GHz, 1 MB 400 MHz
Processor 1.40 GHz, 1.30 GHz, 1.20 GHz,
1.10 GHz, 1.0 GHz, 900 MHz
Mobile Intel 3.20 GHz, 3.06 GHz, 2.80 GHz, 512 KB 533 MHz
Pentium 4 2.66 GHz
Mobile Intel Up to 2.6 GHz 512 KB 400 MHz
Pentium 4-M
Mobile Intel 1.33 GHz, 1.26 GHz, 1.2 GHz, 1.13 512 KB 133 MHz
Pentium III-M GHz, 1.06 GHz, 1 GHz, 933 MHz,
866 MHz
Power PC G4 PowerBook PowerBook G4
G4 1.33 GHz, 1.25 GHz, 512 KB
ibook ibook G4
G4 1 GHz, 800 MHz, 933 MHz 256 KB

The mainboard used on a notebook is usually proprietary to the notebook manufacturer.
Thus mainboard are smaller in form factor and possess similar features used on a desktop
mainboard. Notebook mainboard normally integrated with onboard video, sound, modern,
PCMCIA slots and various I/O ports such as USB, Parallel, Video and PS/2 ports.

Figure 3 (Notebook's Main board)

Notebook comes with system memory such as ROM and RAM. The ROM chip is used to
store system BIOS and the RAM module to store application software and data files. Due to the
portable size of the notebook. RAM modules are made in a smaller from factor. Some of the
notebook uses a standard Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (SODIMM) while other
manufacturer uses own proprietary memory module. Usually notebook comes with extra memory
slot for upgrading your notebook computer.

Figure 4 (SODIMM & Memory Module)

Hard Disk Drive

Internal 2.5 hard disk drive is normally used by notebook. The hard disk drive function the same
as normal 3.5 hard disk drive use in the desktop. The notebook hard disk drive is usually small in
capacity and the data and power connector are slightly different from that of the desktop hard

Figure 5 (Hard Disk Drive)

Most of the note book 2.5 hard disk is replaceable. Before you replace the notebook
hard drive, you may like to backup your existing data. It is recommended that the AC adapter and
the battery is removed from the notebook to prevent any damages to the hard drive.
To replace the notebook hard drive:
a. Locate and remove the screws that secure the hard drive assembly.
b. Carefully put the hard drive assembly out of the hard drive compartment and replace
the existing hard drive with a new one.
Slide of the hard drive assembly back into the hard drive compartment and secure it with
the screw.

Optical Drive

Figure 6 (CD-ROM Drive)

Most of the notebooks come with a build in CD-ROM drive for accessing of data and
installation of operating system and application. Some notebook come with a interchangeable bay
that that enable you to swap between a CD-ROM drive with other storage devices such as CD-
Writer or Floppy drive. These bays allow either cold-swappable or hot-swappable drive. Cold-
swappable drive must turn off the notebook before the swapping where as hot-swappable drive
allows you to change the drive without turning off the computer.
Floppy Disk Drive
Floppy drive has been a standard item in many notebooks for data storage and trouble
shooting. Most of the floppy drive used in the notebook usually slimmer in size. To reduce weight
and size of the notebook, some notebooks come with external floppy disk drive.

Figure 7( Floppy Disk Drive)

Figure7 (Floppy Drive)

Input Devices
a. Keyboard
Unlike normal keyboard used in a desktop computer, notebook keyboard is smaller and
compact to save space. The notebook keyboard usually comes with a special function key (Fn)
that enable you to control the video output, screen brightness etc. The functions that tie to this Fn
key is usually indicated by different color. To activate these functions, press the Fn key and select
the function key.

Figure8 (Keyboard)

b. Touchpad
A touchpad is a pointing device that has surface, which is sensitive to motion and
pressure. The movement of the pointer on the screen can be controlled by moving you finger tip
across the pad. A lightly tap on the pad will perform a execution function similar to that of a left
mouse click. The touchpad also come with two buttons, which is similar, that of a left and right
buttons of a mouse.

Figure 9 (Touchpad)
c. Trackpoint
Trackpoint is another type of pointing device used in notebook. The trackpoint consist of
a small directional button located on the keyboard. Pushing the button in different directions will
move the pointer on the screen.
Trackpoint also come with two or three button that perform the same function as the
buttons used in a mouse.

Figure 10 (Trackpoint)

d. Trackball
A trackball is a pointing device that looks like a upside down mouse. It consists of a ball
that housed in a socket facing up with two or three mouse buttons placed near to the ball.
Trackball is normally installed on the right side of the keyboard stationary. To move the pointer on
the screen, you need to roll the ball with your fingers.

PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) slot is developed
for portable computer with hot-swappable capability. A PCMCIA card, also known as the PC card,
can provide various expansion function such as network, modern and memory capabilities to the
There are three types of PCMCIA card, which come with the same rectangular size of
85.6mm x 54mm, but different widths.

PCMCIA Card Thickness Compatibility

Type I 3.4 mm -
Type II 5 mm Support Type I
Type III 10.5 mm Support Type I&II

Table ( PCMCIA Types)

Figure 11( PCMCIA Card)

LCD Display
All notebook are integrated with a LCD display for easy transportation. The LCD display
come with screen size ranging from 12 to 15 and can display a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels to
1024 x 768 pixels up to 32 bits of color. The LCD displays are made to consume very little power
to extend the life of the notebook battery.

a. Type of LCD Screen

Passive Matrix Screen: Passive matrix screen is less expensive
manufacture, but is slow in display and provide very narrow viewing angle.
Images display by passive matrix screen are not bright and rich in color.
Sometime ghost image of the cursor occur when you move the cursor across the
Active Matrix Screen: Active matrix screen can display sharper images at
wider viewing angles. It is suitable for delivering presentations to people sitting
beside you. Active matrix screen is usually more expensive than passive matrix
b. Components of a LCD Display
LCD panel: For display of the images.
Fluorescent Tube (CCFL): Provide back light for the LCD panel by redirects and
scatters the light evenly to ensure a uniform display of images. The CCFL can
last for 3 to 4 years of usage before they dim or burn out.
Fluorescent (FL) Inverter Board: Provide power to the Fluorescent Tube.

Figure 12( LCD Screen)

A dim LCD can be the result of defective CCFL, Fl inverter, bad cable (from notebook to FL
inverter or defective system board. The CCFL inverter and CCFL can be repair without replacing
the whole LCD panel.

Docking Station and Port Replicator

A docking station is an expansion unit that allows you to connect many devices to the
notebook. It provide additional features such as CD-RW, floppy drive, network capabilities, a full-
sized monitor and keyboard. Port Replicator on the other hand provide extra I/O ports for
peripherals connection.
As notebook are getting slimmer and light weight, it is impossible to integrate extra I/O
port or devices. Docking station and port Replicator provide extra I/O ports and peripherals for
these notebook.

Figure 13( Port Replicator)

Battery and AC Adapter

Rechargeable battery is used to power all notebook when no electrical outlets is
available. Type of battery used in notebook are either Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium-on.
Lithium-ion is lighter and last longer compare to NiMH but is more expensive.

Figure 14( Lithium- ion Battery)

The battery life normally can last form two to four hours depend on type of batteries used
and how you used your notebook. Frequency use of CD-ROM or Floppy drives will consume a lot
of battery power.
Most of the notebooks come with power management software to extend the battery life.
This software can conserve battery power by turning the brightness of the screen down, step
down the processor speed or suspend the notebook to standby mode, while you operate the
notebook on battery. Some power management software even provide alert and auto-shutdown
feature when the battery is running low to prevent damaging to the operating system.

Figure 15 (AC Adapter)

Unlike the desktop computer, AC adapter is used for powering the notebook as well as
charging the battery. The AC adapter convert 115V or 230V AC to a lower DC voltage.