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What Are All Those Hardware Pieces on Your Android Tablet?

In order to best use your Android tablet, you should be able to locate the hardware pieces that enable its functionality. On the front of the Android tablet, find the following goodies:

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Touchscreen display: The biggest part of the tablet is the touchscreen display, which occupies almost all the territory on the front of the device. The touchscreen display is a look-touch gizmo. You look at it, but also touch it with your fingers to control the tablet.

Front camera: The Android tablet’s front-facing camera is found above the touchscreen on the device’s center line. For larger tablets, the camera is on top when the tablet is oriented horizontally. For small format tablets, the camera is on top when the tablet is oriented vertically.

Light sensor: It’s difficult to see, but a teensy light sensor is just to the left of the front camera. It is used to help adjust the brightness level for the touchscreen and probably serves other functions as well, none of which has to do with mind-reading.

Dock/USB power connector: A slot on the bottom of the tablet is where you connect the USB cable, which is used to both charge the battery and connect your Android tablet to a computer. The slot is also where the tablet connects to the dock, should you have one of those.

Around the Android tablet you’ll find a variety of buttons, holes, connectors, and other doodads. Try to find all these items on your tablet, making a note of their location:

Power/Lock: The Power/Lock button is labeled with the universal power icon, shown in the margin. Press this button to turn on the tablet, to lock it (put it to sleep), to wake it up, and to turn off the tablet.

Volume up/volume down: The tablet’s volume control adjusts the noise the thing makes. One of the buttons turns the volume up, the other one turns the volume down. (Well, actually, it’s a rocker switch, so volume up and volume down are the same button.)

Memory slot: The memory slot is where you’ll find the Android tablet’s microSD card, a media card on which information is stored. Not every tablet sports a microSD card slot.

Headphone jack: This hole is where you can connect standard headphones.

Speaker(s): Stereo speakers are found left and right on the tablet, sometimes on the front, mostly on the sides, occasionally on the back.

Microphone: A miniscule circular opening found on the tablet’s edge is used as the device’s microphone. Some tablets may feature two microphone holes. Don’t worry if you can’t find them; they’re there.

The typical Android also has a back side. On it you may find the tablet’s main camera and LED flash. That’s it.

  • Some tablets lack a rear-facing camera. If your tablet is one of those, you should consider getting a painting program for your tablet and using it to paint the images you would otherwise photograph.

  • Not every rear-facing camera features a flash.

  • Some tablets use NFC, or Near Field Communications, so that you can send and receive information by touching your tablet with another NFC device. The NFC technology is internal, which means you don’t really see it on your tablet, although it’s typically found on the back of the device.

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