Laptops For Dummies, 6th Edition
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Nothing is more liberating than having a computer you can take with you. A laptop offers you full computer power, a decently sized keyboard, a nice-looking display, and the ability to go wireless — not to mention how cool you look checking email and Facebook at Starbucks.

laptop © Undrey / Shutterstock.com

My laptop info

Whether you’re talking to tech support or buying a new toy for your laptop, you should have the following details about your laptop on hand.  Print this page and fill in the information.

Laptop Name: _______________________________________________
(The name given in Windows, the Network name, or a pet name)

Brand name:_________________________________________________
(The manufacturer, such as Asus or Lenovo)

Make:_________________________________________________
(The model name or number)

Serial number:_______________________________________________
(Look on the bottom of the laptop, or on the box)

My laptop battery’s make and model: _______________________________
(Look on the battery, providing it’s removable.)

RAM: ____________ MB

Storage (drive) capacity: ___________ GB

Important laptop info

Print this page, fill in the blanks, and keep this information near your computer for those dire moments when things go wrong.

My laptop computer dealer:______________________________________

Dealer’s phone number:_________________________________________

Dealer’s e-mail:_______________________________________________

Tech support phone line:________________________________________

Tech support e-mail:___________________________________________

Internet provider name:_________________________________________

Internet provider tech support line:_________________________________

Internet provider web page:______________________________________

Internet provider e-mail:________________________________________

Internet provider’s domain name:__________________________________

Internet provider POP3 e-mail server name:__________________________

Internet provider SMTP e-mail name:_______________________________

My Internet login name:________________________________________

(Save Internet password elsewhere.)

My e-mail address:____________________________________________

(Save e-mail password elsewhere.)

Keyboard fun with your laptop's Fn key combinations

Look on your laptop’s keyboard to match the Fn key with its various functions. Those other keys are color-coded with the Fn key. Their function may be marked with text or an icon. Write down the appropriate Fn key combination in this list:

To activate Num Lock: Fn + ________________

Volume Up: Fn +_________________

Volume Down: Fn +_________________

Mute: Fn +_________________

Activate external monitor: Fn +_________________

Hibernate: Fn +_________________

Standby: Fn +_________________

Monitor brightness: Fn +_________________

Monitor contrast: Fn +_________________

Enter airplane mode (disable Wi-Fi):________________ Fn + _____

Laptop bag checklist

Here’s a smattering of items you might want to stuff into your laptop case or backpack. Beware: the more you pack, the heavier the bag!

  • Laptop
  • Power cord and adapter
  • Extra battery
  • External mouse
  • External storage
  • Ethernet cable
  • Pens, paper, sticky notes
  • Screen wipes
  • Headphones
  • A copy of your presentation
  • Media cards and flash drive(s)
  • Lock or cable
  • Tiny toolkit
  • Cooling fan
  • Business cards
  • Snacks
  • Laptops For Dummies

Tips and suggestions

Nothing beats tips and suggestions, especially when you’re starting out with something new and different, like a laptop computer. Here are some things I highly recommend:

  • Restart Windows. This fixes many common problems.
  • Ensure that the power cable is properly connected and the battery fully charged.
  • Changes cause problems. Upgrading software or hardware or changing the settings in Windows usually causes whatever new problems your laptop encounters.
  • Activate and use antivirus software.
  • Put a personal label or asset-tracking sticker on your laptop.
  • Hunt down those AC power outlets when you’re out on the road!
  • Keep Windows 10 up to date.

Battery-saving tips

Perhaps the most vital tips I can offer concern your laptop battery. Here are some suggestions to make your battery last as long as possible:

  • Dim the screen.
  • Mute the speaker.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Run only necessary programs.
  • Set a solid-color desktop.
  • Enable low-battery warnings.
  • Use a spare battery.
  • Close unused programs.
  • Customize the power management scheme.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dan Gookin has been an author, editor, ghostwriter, and a public official. He's written more than a dozen Dummies books on technology, with a special focus on PCs, the Android operating system, and Microsoft products. And in 1991, he was the author of the very first Dummies book, DOS For Dummies, which started the whole enterprise.

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