General Question

Perchik's avatar

What is the weird slot on the side of my laptop?

Asked by Perchik (4982points) August 8th, 2007

Ok I consider myself a tech savvy guy, but at the same time I have no clue what this is. The side of my laptop has button that you push that pops out a piece of plastic. What goes in that slot?

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14 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

What kind of laptop? Make and model would help us answer this question.

extolsmith's avatar

PC Card Slot.

Perchik's avatar

Dell inspiron e1505/6400.

But I've seen this on a lot of laptops.

@extol, what goes in a pc card slot?

extolsmith's avatar

PC Cards are made for wireless cards, both over cellular networks and 802.11 networks, FireWire and USB 2.0 add-ons, and ethernet cards. The are others, but the aforementioned are the most common.

extolsmith's avatar

I have never used my PC Card Slot in my PowerBook G4, but generally people would use the slot to upgrade the notebook, with plugs, ports, and wireless network connections, not otherwise available.

glial's avatar

PCMCIA, if you're nasty.

Evan's avatar

As glial said (while i was typing! that's so cool!), they're technically PCMCIA cards.. but in the vernacular, people just call them pc cards. But PC Cards, and especially PC Card slots, are sort of a hold over from earlier days of laptops (as in, they were around before USB, i'm pretty sure), as a general way of expanding upon the laptop's functionality / features, etc. As extol hinted at, the ability to add an Ethernet port to the computer was what really kept PC cards viable, as they became very widely used for that purpose. After that, they became very widely used again when wireless was first coming out, and thus laptop manufacturers decided to keep making them, since they continued to prove useful for helping move computers into the next stage of internet readiness.. per se. :)

that said, however, there are a number of other things that you can get pc cards for, although they haven't been as widely produced. these include things like USB hubs, or USB 2.0 cards.. if you're computer only had 1.0 ports.. or even hard drives, which have been a little bit more widely produced. although i do remember looking for sometime once trying to find a pc card hard drive that would add a significant amount of gigs to my memory, but never really found something where the price/storage space ratio was really worth it.

all the same, i might get something just to fill the card slot, instead of having the little plastic piece. :) ..hope that's helpful, but if you have questions, post 'em as always! :)

(oh and p.s. perchik - i'm pretty sure that as our highest rated user, you should really be think about getting a custom avatar.. :) even if you're hot on the jellyfish thing.. you should create a custom jellyfish avatar that is perchik-unique. ;)

gooch's avatar

it for you modem...but I have seen this cool box that will hold cash or credit cards which is build to fit in that modem slot.its an awesome hidden storage spot

mirza's avatar

its definitely a PC CARD slot (originally PCMCIA) - long ago you would have to put your wireless card in this slot (when laptops didnt have built in wifi). With the Type 2 PC card slot you have , you can put modem, network and TV cards.

Nowadays most dell laptops have an express card which is a smaller,faster version of PCMIA

mdy's avatar

I've got a PCMCIA card slot on my laptop as well. I use it mainly to plug in a wireless network card (since my laptop is old and it doesn't have a wireless LAN card already built in).

A friend of mine uses a PCMCIA-based card reader (to read SD cards or CF cards) on his laptop. He doesn't like carrying around external USB-based card readers, so having a PCMCIA-based card reader just sitting in his card slot works for him.

The button that you mentioned pushing, Perchik, is the button that you use to eject a PCMCIA card once it's put in. Sounds like you currently have a "dummy" card, since you get a piece of plastic when you eject the contents of the slot. 8-)

joebo's avatar

once you press the button and the dummy card ejects, how do you get the dummy card to go back in and the button to go back to its orginal postion.

Somehow mine ejected in the laptop bag

amblin's avatar

I don’t understand, and my toshiba manual to get a breakdown of features was lost in a fire. The thing that pops out on the side of my laptop is a tiny cylindrical piece of plastic which does not come out other than to pop out and pop back in. How does a card go in there, or are the pc cards tiny round cylinders too? The pc card I put in my desktop tower is flat and rectangular and attaches to the motherboard so I am very confused.

DaleTuck31's avatar

It’s probably the SD Card Slot

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