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Uses for Your Laptop’s USB Port

Your laptop’s USB port can expand its capabilities to include much more than external storage and printers. You can also connect a mouse and keyboard, game controller, speakers, Bluetooth devices, and many other things that you might not expect.

Device Unusual Thing It Does
Legacy adapter Allows you to connect ancient (legacy) serial, parallel, joystick, and other devices to your laptop. This adapter saves you from buying a port replicator and allows you to continue to use older hardware with your newer laptop.
Mouse and keyboard connector Lets you connect an external mouse or keyboard, or both, to a laptop lacking a specific mouse or keyboard port (assuming that the mouse and keyboard don't have USB-specific connections).
Numeric keypad Causes you to forget, when numbers are your game, about using the laptop's silly numeric-keypad thing. Instead, buy an external numeric keypad and let your fingers fly.
Sound hardware Laptops lack internal expansion options to add high-quality sound hardware, so the next-best thing is to get external sound hardware provided by the USB port.
Speakers Lets you hear sound. To go along with the USB sound expansion, you can get some mini-USB-powered speakers for your laptop.
Video camera Takes care of all your on-the-road videoconferencing needs.
Little light Plugs in and is powered by the USB port.
Game controller Control your little man, pilot your space ship, or wield that sword of magic. Most of the hot new game controllers are USB-based.
Laptop cooler Acts like a fancy pad on which to sit your laptop. It contains a tiny, quiet fan that helps keep your laptop cool, and it runs from the power supplied by the USB port.
Mobile phone recharger Lets you transfer some of the laptop's power to your mobile phone.
Security device Uses the USB port to power an alarm on a cable lock or plugs in to the USB port and unlocks (or unscrambles) the laptop's data.
Bluetooth communications device Allows your computer system to chat with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
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