How to Use a HP Laptop

By Michael Hinckley

Rather than buying an HP desktop PC, if you prize mobility, flexibility and convenience, an HP laptop might be the right choice for you. Getting an idea on how to use an HP laptop might be the critical factor you need to make your decision.

Step 1

Charge the battery. When you first get your HP laptop, it may have a minimum charge that was used to to test your machine. To extend your battery life, you will need to completely deplete that charge (don't plug your laptop in at all) and then fully recharge it. Once you do that, you will be able to run your laptop for several hours on battery power alone. This allows you to take your computer with your for presentations, to take notes at meetings or classes, and work on projects or homework away from your home.To discharge your battery, simply run your computer until it turns itself off for lack of battery power. Once it is off, plug in the power cord that came with your HP laptop and allow the battery to charge for several hours before using the laptop.

Step 2

Load productivity software. Usually, Hewlett-Packard laptops come with pre-loaded software that includes Microsoft Word or similar word processing programs. In some cases, you may need to load spreadsheet, presentation, image manipulation and sound processing software. These programs increase your HP laptop's performance and versatility, allowing you to take your presentations, documents, music and photographs on the road with you. Simply insert the appropriate software disk into the CD/DVD drive on your HP laptop and allow it to "Autorun" (that is, to run automatically). If it does not auto-run, simply click on "Start," "My Computer," and "Drives with Removable Media" to start the loading.

Step 3

Go wireless. HP laptops come equipped with a wireless Internet connectivity capability. This means that whenever you are in range of a wireless Internet connection, the HP laptop will automatically detect it and allow you to surf the Internet. To connect to the Internet manually, click on the computer monitor icon on your task bar (located in the lower right hand corner, next to the time display). Select "View Available Wireless Networks" and a list of networks should appear. If there is more than one, select the one with the strongest signal (the one with the most bars, usually green in color) and the computer will automatically set up your connection.

Step 4

Connect to another computer. You can also connect directly to another computer via an ethernet connection. An ethernet connection allows one computer to talk to another and share files or programs, such as a computer game. To connect via an ethernet connection, you will need to purchase an ethernet cable (usually for $20). Look on the back of your HP laptop; there should be a port that looks like a large phone cord port--that is your ethernet cable connection. Place one end of the ethernet cable into your HP laptop and the other into a similar port on another laptop or desktop computer. In most cases, software such as computer games automatically recognizes the other computer via a "LAN" setting (Local Area Network) or option and nothing more need be done.

Step 5

Share your presentations and documents. On the reverse of your HP laptop, there is a blue monitor port. This allows you to connect to a digital television, a computer monitor or an overhead LCD projector with a similar port installed on it via a monitor cable (usually less than $20 at any computer parts store). This is useful for presentations, reports and multi-media displays. Connect one end of the cable on your laptop and the other onto the TV, projector or monitor. Select the "CRT/LCD" key on your laptop--wait a couple of seconds after each key stroke for the display to catch up. No special commands are needed to disconnect the external display.

References & Resources