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2.0 Laptop and Portable Devices

2.1 Identify the fundamental principles of using laptops and portable devices

  • Input devices (e.g. stylus / digitizer, function (Fn) keys and pointing devices such as touch pad, point stick / track point) 

Function (Fn) keys: 

Fn key is commonly found in notebook computers. The primary reason for providing an Fn key in notebooks is to ensure a compact keyboard. Fn is a modifier key on notebook keyboards and used to combine keys which are otherwise kept separate.

Unlike other modifier keys such as Shift , the control circuit inside the keyboard sends out a different key code depending on whether the Fn key is depressed. This allows the compact keyboard to provide functionality of a full sized keyboard.

The Fn key combinations may also be mapped to control system interfaces to change the LCD brightness and contrast, display output, eject a CD, or adjust speaker volume on laptop computers.


Touchpad is an input device widely used in laptop computers. It is used to position or move the the curser according to the finger movement on the touchpad.  A touchpad is similar to that of a mouse on a desktop computer. A typical touchpad is shown below:

When you move your finger on the touchpad, the pointer (arrow) on the screen moves in the same direction.

The touchpad (A) also has a right button (B) and a left button (C). Use the left and right buttons below the touchpad to select objects, cut, paste, or drag objects.


 Stylus is a pointing and drawing device shaped like a pen, and used with with a digitizing tablet or touch screen. The stylus point is made of a  non scratching


 plastic to "write" on Personal Digital Assitants (PDAs) or any similar device screen. 

A Dell Axim stylus pen is shown in the figure above.

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