Most laptop computer buyers could almost certainly recognize a USB port that can be located on virtually all present day laptops, however USB 1, USB 2 and USB 3 are commonly available. The USB 1 and USB 2 ports look similar having 4 pins within a rectangular slot. The USB 3 is the most up to date addition having 9 pins within a rectangle slot. Basically, the slowest is the USB 1 and the fastest is the USB 3, however, USB 1 and USB 2 are pin compatible such that devices may be interchanged. USB 3 is the latest design, but is not pin compatible with the USB 1 and USB 2 connections. The USB ports are the most flexible connectors on a laptop computer, allowing connection to the highest number of input devices from a RAM drive to a WI-FI dongle etc. Typically, connection can be made successfully with the the least effort, just installing the software driver and connecting the device.
Most but not all laptop computers have a VGA or HDMI output connector. A VGA connector is identified as an oblong connector with curved corners having three rows of five pin holes. The HDMI connector is identified as an oblong connector with both ends triangle shaped and having one row of 9 connectors and one row of 10 connectors. It is slimmer and longer compared to the VGA connector. The VGA output allows the laptop to be connected to a monitor and some models of Television. The HDMI connector enables the majority of the modern TVs to be connected to the most up to date laptop computers to give a hires TV picture.
Sound connectors are identified as small spherical holes. The simplest is a phono or jack connector either mono or stereo. There might be a variety of added sound connectors related to microphone input or line input or line output connectors; these are usually clearly labeled next to the connector.
Most laptops have a network connector best known as a RJ45 connector. This is often identified as a square connector with 8 brass pins; there is a catch that holds the cable into the connector. This is usually used to connect the laptop directly to a network or to a router box to permit internet connection. You will find there's slightly smaller version of the connector with just 4 pins that is sometimes found on older laptop computers to connect them to the internet via a telephone line.
Whenever inserting an cable great care should be taken to ensure that the plug is not inverted as damage to a laptop connector is expensive to correct and may even leave the laptop completely useless.