What are the 10 pieces of laptop?

A laptop consists of various internal and external parts that work together to make it function. While there are many small components inside a laptop, the main pieces can be divided into 10 key parts:

The 10 Main Pieces of a Laptop Are:

  1. Display Screen
  2. Keyboard
  3. Touchpad
  4. Battery
  5. Hard Drive
  6. Motherboard
  7. CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  8. RAM (Random Access Memory)
  9. Graphics Card
  10. Cooling Fan

Let’s look at each of these 10 laptop pieces in more detail:

1. Display Screen

The display screen, also known as the monitor, is the main visual interface of a laptop. It displays all the text, images, video, and graphics that you interact with. Modern laptop screens use LCD (liquid crystal display) or LED (light emitting diode) technology. The most common sizes for laptop screens are 13 inches, 14 inches, and 15.6 inches measured diagonally. Some key factors to consider for a laptop display include:

  • Screen size – Common options are 11″ to 17”
  • Resolution – 1920×1080 and 3840×2160 are popular today
  • Aspect ratio – Widescreen 16:9 is most common
  • Touchscreen – Some laptops have touch enabled screens
  • Refresh rate – Standard is 60Hz, gaming laptops may have 144Hz screens
  • Glass/matte display – Glass is glossier, matte reduces glare

Higher resolutions, touchscreens, and faster refresh rates will enhance the visual experience but also raise the price of the laptop.

2. Keyboard

The keyboard is the primary input device on a laptop and allows you to type text and interface with the operating system. A typical laptop keyboard has “QWERTY” letter keys, function keys, navigation keys, a numeric keypad and special keys like Ctrl, Alt, and Shift. Some features to consider when looking at laptop keyboards include:

  • Key travel – Amount of depth when keys are pressed
  • Key spacing – Room between each key
  • Backlighting – Illuminated keys for low light use
  • Multimedia keys – dedicated keys for media controls
  • Tenkey numeric pad – Useful for data entry
  • Mechanical switch keys – Springy tactile feedback

Keyboard comfort and feedback varies between different laptops. Try testing keyboards in person when choosing a laptop to find one that suits your preferences.

3. Touchpad

The touchpad is a flat, touch-sensitive surface below the keyboard that allows you to navigate the cursor and make selections. It acts similarly to a mouse. Touchpads register one, two, three and four-finger taps and gestures to enable clicking, dragging, scrolling, zooming and other functions. Key features of a laptop touchpad include:

  • Size – Larger is easier to use
  • Multi-touch – Supports various finger gestures
  • Physical clicks vs. tapping – Some have physical click corners
  • Scrolling – May support vertical, horizontal and circular scrolling
  • Gesture customization – Configure preferred gestures

Touchpads have advanced over time and many newer ones are highly accurate and responsive. Precision drivers from the touchpad manufacturer also affect the overall experience.

4. Battery

The battery provides power to allow using the laptop away from an outlet. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is the most common chemistry used in modern laptop batteries. Key factors around a laptop battery include:

  • Capacity – Measured in milliamp hours (mAh), higher capacities run longer
  • Cells – More battery cells also increase run time
  • Life span – Number of charge cycles before capacity fades
  • Replacement – Some batteries are removable, others internal
  • Charge time – How quickly a drained battery recharges

Battery life has improved over the years with capacities over 90Wh now common on high-end laptops. But in general battery runtime remains one of the major limitations of laptops compared to desktops.

5. Hard Drive

The hard drive, also referred to as hard disk drive (HDD) or storage drive, contains the operating system, software programs, files and data on the laptop. The two main options are:

  • HDD (Hard Disk Drive) – Classical spinning disk, lower cost per GB
  • SSD (Solid State Drive) – Newer technology without spinning disks, faster read/write speeds

Key factors around the hard drive include:

  • Capacity – 250GB to 2TB for HDDs, 128GB to 2TB for SSDs
  • Cache – Memory buffer improves read/write speeds, more is better
  • Form factor – 2.5 inch drives are most common in laptops
  • Connections – SATA III for best performance
  • RPM (HDD only) – Faster rotational speeds improve performance

SSDs greatly improve laptop performance and are now standard for most new laptops except some budget models.

6. Motherboard

The motherboard is the main printed circuit board inside the laptop that connects all the hardware together so that the components can communicate. It provides ports for attaching additional devices and peripherals. Key elements include:

  • CPU socket – Connects to the processor
  • RAM slots – Memory module connections
  • Expansion slots – For adding graphics, Wi-Fi and other cards
  • Chipset – Supports the CPU with managing tasks
  • BIOS/UEFI – Low-level software

The motherboard model and chipset impacts overall laptop performance and what processors and RAM can be installed.

7. CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The CPU, often referred to as the processor, is the primary component that executes instructions and processes data. It’s considered the “brains” of the laptop. Common laptop CPUs include:

  • Intel Core i3, i5, i7, i9
  • AMD Ryzen 3, 5, 7, 9

Factors to consider for laptop processors include:

  • Cores – More CPU cores allow parallel processing
  • Threads – Virtual cores that improve multitasking
  • Clock speed – Given in gigahertz (GHz), higher is better for performance
  • Power efficiency – Improves battery life, lower TDP is better
  • Overclocking – Boosts clock speeds beyond default specs

The CPU often works closely with the graphics card to deliver performance, especially for gaming and video workloads.

8. RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM provides short-term storage the system uses while powered on and running programs. It’s much faster than the long-term storage of the hard drive. Key factors include:

  • Amount – Typically 4GB to 16GB for today’s laptops
  • Type – DDR4 is standard, DDR5 is newer
  • Speed – Given in MHz, higher is better but not always noticeable
  • Upgradability – Some RAM is soldered, other can be replaced
  • Dual channel – Pairs RAM sticks for better performance

Having more RAM allows you to smoothly run more programs at once and speeds up many processing tasks.

9. Graphics Card

The graphics card, also referred to as video card or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), processes and outputs the visual elements of what you see on the laptop screen. Laptop GPUs include:

  • Integrated – Basic graphics included with the CPU
  • Discrete – Dedicated GPU chip, important for gaming

Key graphics card specs:

  • Stream processors – More results in better performance
  • Video memory – From 2GB to 8GB typically for laptops
  • API support – DirectX, OpenGL, CUDA, etc.
  • Benchmarks – FPS, 3DMark scores indicate real-world ability

discrete graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD provide much better visuals, especially for PC gaming.

10. Cooling Fan

Laptops have internal cooling fans to dissipate heat generated from components like the CPU and GPU. Important characteristics include:

  • Number of fans – More enable better cooling
  • Fan speed – Given in RPM, higher speeds remove heat faster
  • Noise level – Amount of audible fan sound
  • Vents – Allow airflow for cooling, keep them clear
  • Heat pipes – Transfers heat away from components
  • Filters – Prevents dust buildup inside the laptop

More powerful laptops need better cooling systems to sustain performance and prevent overheating during demanding tasks like gaming or video editing. Proper airflow is key for cooling.


While laptops contain numerous small electronics and components under the hood, the 10 pieces covered here represent the core parts and hardware of a notebook computer. Understanding the display, keyboard, touchpad, battery, storage drive, motherboard, CPU, RAM, graphics card and cooling system will give you a good overview of the total package when choosing a laptop. Factors like powerful processors and discrete graphics have the largest impact for intensive applications like gaming, while portability preferences lead to differences in the screen size, keyboard layout, battery capacity and overall weight. Once you identify the performance, portability and features you want from a laptop, you can dive deeper into the specific component specifications to find the best model that fits your computing needs and budget.