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View Full Version : Are most USB ports on laptops upside-down?


Lobsang
10-28-2004, 04:33 AM
And if so, why?


My step-dad's laptop is made by packard bell. His 4 usb ports are upside-down.

My laptop is an alienware. It's 3 ports are upside-down.

We know they are upside down because all the devices we plug into them end up being upside-down (usb wi-fi adaptor, card reader etc..)

garius
10-28-2004, 08:10 AM
I think on My Alienware jobby has 2 upside down and 2 right way up if i remember correctly.

I'm guessing its to do with the positioning of the guts inside laptops.

El Zagna
10-28-2004, 08:17 AM
On my Dell, not only are the ports upside down, they are set at an upward angle. To get to them there is a door that swings upward. To plug anything in to my USB ports I pretty much have to get on my knees on the floor.

MrFantsyPants
10-28-2004, 08:39 AM
Acer, averatec, and Apple all have usb the right way up.

UrbanChic
10-28-2004, 08:45 AM
On my Dell, not only are the ports upside down, they are set at an upward angle. To get to them there is a door that swings upward. To plug anything in to my USB ports I pretty much have to get on my knees on the floor.GX150, 260, 270?

Mine, too. It's so annoying I'm tempted to remove the access panel.

pasunejen
10-28-2004, 09:25 AM
I have an HP and mine are also right-side-up.

micco
10-28-2004, 09:35 AM
On my Dell laptop, the USB ports are mounted vertically. Who gives a flip; use a cable.

mhendo
10-28-2004, 09:39 AM
On my Dell, not only are the ports upside down, they are set at an upward angle. To get to them there is a door that swings upward. To plug anything in to my USB ports I pretty much have to get on my knees on the floor.Same for me.

Whoever designed the front USB ports on Dell desktops needs a good clubbing.

El Zagna
10-28-2004, 10:55 AM
On my Dell laptop, the USB ports are mounted vertically. Who gives a flip; use a cable.Huh?

SmackFu
10-28-2004, 11:25 AM
If you're looking at the port, what does an upside down one look like?

micco
10-28-2004, 11:34 AM
Huh?Just saying that I don't think I'd ever notice if my USB ports were rightside up, upside down, or sideways. I almost always use a USB cable between the port on the computer and the device so I can put the device somewhere convenient. The only thing I've ever plugged directly into the port is a USB hardware key or a RAM drive, neither of which have an "up" to make me care about the orientation.

garius
10-28-2004, 12:32 PM
Just saying that I don't think I'd ever notice if my USB ports were rightside up, upside down, or sideways. I almost always use a USB cable between the port on the computer and the device so I can put the device somewhere convenient. The only thing I've ever plugged directly into the port is a USB hardware key or a RAM drive, neither of which have an "up" to make me care about the orientation

Fair enough - but when you've got a machine with 2 one way up and 2 the other up right next to each other it does get you thinking...

Munch
10-28-2004, 12:36 PM
Fair enough - but when you've got a machine with 2 one way up and 2 the other up right next to each other it does get you thinking...
Actually, that makes a lot of sense. If you have an oddly shaped device you need to plug in, there's a chance that you don't have room - by switching the up and down, you double your chances of being able to plug it in (or you could just get a cord...).

Misnomer
10-28-2004, 02:16 PM
To plug anything in to my USB ports I pretty much have to get on my knees on the floor.

Whoever designed the front USB ports on Dell desktops needs a good clubbing.
I have Dell desktops at home and work, and both CPUs are kept next to their respective monitors on their respective desks. I find it much easier to access everything -- including the front USB ports -- that way. I don't remember the last time I kept a CPU on the floor. :)

El Zagna
10-28-2004, 02:25 PM
There are many of us who choose to keep our CPUs on the floor for any number of reasons. Surely Dell knows that. Even if I kept it on my desk, the USB ports would be awkward to get to. Even after you lift up the access panel and look straight on, the ports are not visible. They are at the bottom of a rectangular bulge. It is such an idiotic placement I have to believe there is a reason for it. Dell isn't stupid.

Munch
10-28-2004, 02:47 PM
It is such an idiotic placement I have to believe there is a reason for it. Dell isn't stupid.
Dust settlement maybe?

Lobsang
10-28-2004, 06:09 PM
If you're looking at the port, what does an upside down one look like?

It's hard to tell unless you plug something into it.

My step-dad's wireless adapter has an access light on 'top' and a barcode sticker underneath. When it's plugged in the light is facing down.

When I plug my card reader in the whole thing is upside down (unless I twist the wire)

Lobsang
10-28-2004, 06:10 PM
Actually, I think I'm talking out of my ass, because my wireless mouse reciever is the right way up.

Roches
10-28-2004, 06:28 PM
PCI cards are inherently upside-down; the circuitry on the card always faces down. This may well be to prevent dust from settling on the components, but it may also be because older computers often had combined PCI and ISA slots (and a few still do). An ISA card would be inserted components-up, with the connector at the bottom edge of the slot; a PCI card would be inserted components-down with the connector at the top edge of the slot.

Because of this, connectors on PCI cards are usually upside-down. It's often difficult to tell, but compare the way your modem/network ports are configured (usually prong-up on a PCI modem or Ethernet card) with a wall jack (usually prong-down). Also, the narrow side of D-shaped connectors (serial ports, parallel ports, analog monitor connectors, game ports) is usually at the top of a PCI card. If you look at the connectors for these (look for a symbol or pin numbers on the female connector), this is upside-down.

Some connectors on PCI cards aren't upside-down, but most are. On a notebook, the connectors may or may not be upside-down depending on how the notebook is constructed internally. For USB ports, the part with the plastic tab with pins on it is the top (connectors go in this way symbol-side-up). USB ports on a PCI card are usually arranged to be right-side-up but they may not be in a notebook.

SpaceDog
10-28-2004, 06:31 PM
If you're looking at the port, what does an upside down one look like?

Let's see if this works ...


Right Way Up Upside Down
+------+ +------+
| ==== | | |
| | | ==== |
+------+ +------+

Where the ==== is, on my machine anyway, the white solid bit (with contacts on it's underside). Of course I could have it the wrong way roung, but my cables plug in with the USB logo on the upside which normally implies that that side is up.

As to why, I guess it's to do with how the plugs are cabled. I have and have seen various desktops and laptops that have badly designed/placed USB ports. I think they expected people to be plugging cables into them rather than the various USB gizmos we get nowadays ... I'd imagine newer machines will have more spread out and differently organised USB ports.

SD

galt
10-28-2004, 07:31 PM
Whoever designed the front USB ports on Dell desktops needs a good clubbing.Agreed. I have one Dell with normal front USB ports, but my other Dell box has the idiotic downward-angled ports that you can't see, and which are mounted upside down.

And I seriously doubt it's for dust protection, because the whole assembly has a big plastic lid (which, incidentally, is also badly designed, since it doesn't open far enough to actually get completely out of the frickin' way).

For the OP: the USB ports on my laptop (a Toshiba) are sideways. And any orientation besides right side up (USB logo on top) is annoying, because you want to be able to predict which direction the plug is going to go in, so you can do it without having to get your face back there and see the port.

GorillaMan
10-28-2004, 07:39 PM
I know the Dells you're speaking of, and OMFG I HATE THEM. My MP3 player (which I regularly use to transfer bulk lots of images) doesn't fit in any of these sleek angled front ports :mad: .....and even plugging in a set of headphones involves crawling on the floor.

And how the hell did they decide that a fancy 'looks flat' front panel was necessary once people had half-a-dozen cables trailing out from it? :rolleyes:

GorillaMan
10-28-2004, 07:42 PM
Oh, and some of the low-profile Dell desktop units have a USB slot so close to a slope in the case that even a small flash drive won't go in.