VGA (Video Graphics Array) is the most commonly used display port and is considered to be the computer display standard. It will display your computer's screen to a television, projector, or monitor provided they also have a VGA port. It will display content from your computer at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480, also known as Standard Resolution (SD).As screen resolution has improved VGA ports in computers have as well and today a computer's VGA ports have improved to support playback in full screen to High Definition displays but image quality degradation becomes present. If the aim is to watch or display images with the highest quality possible, it is recommended to look for a computer with a HDMI port. However, the popularity of VGA continues and should be a serious consideration when purchasing a computer . Most projectors still only accept VGA connections and even as televisions become higher quality most continue to support VGA.
(High Definition Multimedia Interface) is another type of display port for your laptop and offers the best quality display from your computer screen. They come in two main sizes on laptops known as HDMI and mini HDMI. There is no difference between the information they send, just the size of the connection is different.
Holding the resolution quality of your monitor, projector, or television constant, HDMI will share and reproduce your computer's screen quality better than VGA. Most know HDMI for being able to support HD or Full HD display. Most HDMI cables also send the audio to the external screen as well, this means with one connection port you can reproduce your screen and send sound to something like a television making it a convenient and good quality choice for most customers.
As screen resolution continues to improve, HDMI is becoming the industry standard in display technology. 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) is now the latest and best in image quality, with 4K being four times the resolution of Full High Definition (3840 x 2160 compared to 1920 x 1080). What's interesting is that there are different types of HDMI cables varying in terms of quality, and the best HDMI cables will support 4K content playback.
USB 2.0 is technically called High Speed USB and is the type of USB you see most commonly. They transfer information faster than USB 1.0 but not as fast as USB 3.0. As we see more use of external hard drives and file sizes for things like documents, photos, and videos increase, file transfer speed is becoming an important purchase point for customers and why modern laptops are now typically built with at least one USB 3.0 port.
USB 3.0 is technically called Super Speed USB and is the future for USB. It reduces the time required for data transmission and has claimed speeds about 18x faster than USB 2.0. For those that are looking for faster file transfers, it is highly recommended to consider USB 3.0. Please note that connecting electronics into a USB 3.0 port with a USB 2.0 cable does not lead to better performance; both the cable and device need to have USB 3.0 support.
A USB port that has a lightning bolt symbol above or next to it also signifiesy that it is a quick charge USB port. This allows you to charge your electronic devices from the USB port even when your computer is turned off and disconnected from power.
There are many forms of wireless communication that are being built into computers so it is important to understand the difference between each.
Purchasing a computer without an Ethernet port means when Wi-Fi is not available and internet is necessary, you will need a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor. Keep in mind the speeds from these types of adaptors typically are not as fast as a true Ethernet port on a computer.Mini HDMI to HDMI
When choosing a computer with display ports, HDMI is a common concern. Some computers opt for a mini HDMI rather than a full size HDMI port. Although there is no difference in quality between the two, it is worth noting that external displays have HDMI connections rather than a mini HDMI connection. A mini HDMI to HDMI cable or a mini HDMI to HDMI adaptor, will be necessary.HDMI to VGA
Although HDMI offers superior display quality over VGA and is becoming more popular, VGA is still the most commonly used display connection port among computers to external displays. Any computer with HDMI but without a VGA port may have instances where it won't be possible to connect the laptop to a display without first purchasing a HDMI to VGA adaptor.