Page 2 901 Mobile Devices Study Guide for the CompTIA® A+ exam

Laptop Features

You should be familiar with the following laptop features and be able to use the appropriate feature in a specific scenario.

Special Function Keys

There are several special keys related to a laptop. For example, there is one to quickly turn your wireless adapter on or off and one to adjust screen brightness. Other special functions that you should be aware of for this exam include: dual displays, cellular (on/off), volume settings, Bluetooth (on/off), keyboard backlight, touchpad (on/off), screen orientation, media options (fast forward/rewind), GPS (on/off), and Airplane mode.

Docking station

This is a device to which you can connect a laptop. It will handle the external functions needed, like displays, power and USB ports. It is normally seen in a business environment setup. All of your connections are plugged into the docking station. To access it, slide the laptop down on the docking connectors.

Physical Laptop Lock and Cable Lock

This is a special lock that locks into place when pushed inside a special port on your laptop, locking it onto the system board. Wrap the cable loop around a stable physical object and it cannot be stolen easily.

Rotating/Removable Screens

These screen types allow you to turn your laptop into a tablet-like device. When locked into position, you will be able to use the laptop as if it were a tablet, including the use of a touch screen and stylus pen.

Other Mobile Devices

For this exam, you should be able to explain the different types of other mobile devices available, as well as any particular characteristics unique to these devices.


This is a popular touch screen device, usually 7 to 10 inches in size, that usually runs an Android or Apple operating system.


A smartphone is a cell phone that offers advanced communication abilities, such as email, video messaging, and document viewing.

Wearable Technology Devices

You should be familiar with the following types of technology devices that can be worn.

Smart watches—These watches are typically connected to your smart phone and provide similar communication abilities, such as text messaging or phone calls.

Fitness monitor—This device is able to calculate certain fitness information for you, such as your heart rate or distance travelled.

Glasses and headsets—This is newer technology that allows you see a virtualized environment, such as a news update or current weather and temperature, while you are wearing them.


This is a cross between a phone and a tablet in size. Usually between a 5 and 7 inch display size. The iPhone 6 Plus is considered a phablet.


These devices provide you the ability to read eBooks, or books in electronic format. Reading material can be downloaded directly to the e-Reader and you may start reading instantly.

Smart Camera

This type of camera produces a high-quality picture and does video capturing and processing. Some of them also have built-in wireless adapters to allow for ease of upload to social media and location tracking.


These are small devices used solely to provide GPS functionality. Typically can be used anytime you want navigation ability to a destination, or want to look at surrounding places in a certain area.

Accessories and Ports

You should be familiar with the accessories and ports of other popular mobile devices as well.

Connection Types

You should know these connection types before you take the CompTIA A+ exam.

NFC—short range technology; speeds of 106, 212, or 424 kbps; distance around 10 centimeters.

Proprietary vendor-specific ports (communication/power)—Apple uses a proprietary power connection, known as Lightning. This allows faster charging, and the connector can be inserted in any way, unlike USB connectors, which have a top and a bottom.

MicroUSB/miniUSB—Mini and micro USB connect to smaller mobile devices, such as cell phones or tablets. They can be used for data transfer or charging the battery.

Lightning—proprietary connector for Apple devices; more durable and simpler than USB standard.

Bluetooth—Class 1 is for industrial use, with a maximum distance of 100 meters. Class 2 is for mobile use, with a maximum distance of 10 meters. Class 3 is for special usage, with a maximum distance of 1 meter.

IR—infrared technology, using up to 4mbps; line of sight needed; maximum distance is 3 feet.

Hotspot/tethering—Tethering uses your phone’s cellular network to provide service to another device. A mobile hotspot allows wireless connections to your phone for the purpose of tethering.


You should be familiar with these accessories for mobile devices and be comfortable identifying them.

headsets—These come in wired and wireless versions and allow you to use your cell phone for voice calls or audio. The advantage is that you can be hands-free when using a headset.

speakers—Speakers are often wireless and are used for playing sound while on a mobile device. They are usually powered by batteries.

game pads—These are often wireless and allow you to play games on your mobile device by using a separate, dedicated controller.

docking stations—A docking station provides functionality that is similar to a laptop docking station. You can connect your phone and have it charged or synchronized with your computer.

extra battery packs/battery chargers—Extra batteries allow you to keep power on your phone throughout the day, even when there is no charger accessible. Mobile battery chargers allow you to pre-charge a small device, then connect it to your phone later as a mobile charging source.

protective covers/water-proofing—Protective covers typically stick on the display of your screen to avoid scratching. You can also use cases that cover your entire phone, that may help prevent further damage, such as cracks or water damage.

credit card readers—These readers can connect to the audio port on your mobile device and allow you to accept credit cards through the reader in real time.

memory/microSD—This is a common feature found on most Android devices. It allows you to add an extra memory card to increase the storage space of your device.