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
|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
|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
|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
|Bluetooth communications device||Allows your computer system to chat with other