What Are All Those Hardware Pieces on Your Android Tablet? - dummies

What Are All Those Hardware Pieces on Your Android Tablet?

You will need to be able to identify the hardware on your Tablet. Check out this generic Android tablet’s hardware features. Use this as a guide to locate some key features on your own tablet.


Important items you’ll find on the front of the tablet include:

Touchscreen display: The biggest part of the tablet is its 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 larger tablets, the camera is on top when the tablet is oriented horizontally. On 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 found near the front camera. The sensor is used to help adjust the brightness level of the touchscreen and probably serves other functions as well, none of which has to do with mind-reading.

Buttons or keys: Some Android tablets feature physical buttons or touch-activated buttons just below the touchscreen. These buttons are labeled with various icons. You use the buttons for navigation purposes, to control various apps that run on the tablet. (Other tablets display the same or similar buttons as part of the touchscreen display.)

Important items found on the tablet’s edges include:


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

Volume key: The tablet’s volume control is two buttons in one. Press one side of the key to set the volume higher or the other side to set the volume lower. This key is often found next to the Power/Lock key. It’s the larger of the two.

USB/Power connector: This slot is where you connect the USB cable, which is used both to charge the battery and to connect your Android tablet to a computer. The slot is also where the tablet connects to the dock, should one of those be available.

External storage slot: The tablet’s external storage is added by inserting a memory card into the external storage slot.

SIM card cover: This spot is used to access the cellular tablet’s SIM card, which is inserted into a slot beneath the cover.

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

HDMI connector: Use this hole to plug in an HDMI cable. The other end of the cable fits into an HDMI TV or monitor, which you can use to view the tablet’s content on a larger screen. Not every Android tablet features an HDMI connector.

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 serves 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.

  • Samsung tablets feature a Home button or Home key directly below the touchscreen. This physical button serves the same purpose as the Home icon on other Android tablets.

  • Samsung tablets also feature Recent, Menu, and Back buttons. The Menu button is found only on older tablets; the Recent button is found on current Samsung tablets.

  • Some tablets lack a rear-facing camera. To those tablet owners, you might 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 that you don’t really see it on your tablet, although it’s typically found on the back of the device.

  • Be careful not to confuse the SIM card slot with the external storage slot. They’re not the same thing. You’ll rarely, if ever, access the SIM card.

  • SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module. The SIM card is used by your cellular provider to identify your tablet and keep track of the amount of data transmitted over the mobile data network. The SIM also gives your cellular tablet a phone number, though that number is merely an account and not something you can dial into or use for sending a text message.

  • Don’t stick anything into the microphone hole. Yes, it’s tempting, but don’t. Only stick things into your tablet that you’re supposed to, such as the USB cable, headphones, memory card, or SIM card.