What is this thing??? - Plastic piece on Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

What is this thing??? - Plastic piece on Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop


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What is this thing??? - Plastic piece on Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop

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I bought a Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop last summer and it has been great! I love the screen, the power the size. But I have one question....On the left side of my laptop right behind the wireless switch there is a tab that presses to release a piece of plastic. It has the "DELL" and "PR296" on it. What is this thing??????? Is it for an optional remote? If it is where can I order the part?

Just seems odd that it is there. I went back and checked the box it came in and found nothing. I searched the Dell Website using the PR numbers and found nothing. The only thing I haven't done is checked my owners manual....or course wouldn't you know I can't find it HAHA.

Anyway if you can help I would really appreciate it ... THANK YOU!!




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  • Is it the slot for the memory card? Like a SD or MicroSD card? They use plastic pieces to fill those slots until you put in a real card.

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  • Actually.....looking down inside the hole there are a punch of pins and such....very well maybe for an SD card. Its not for MicroSD the slot is about two inches wide and several deep.


    Thanks :)



  • Hadowas
    The only thing I haven't done is checked my owners manual....or course wouldn't you know I can't find it

    Isn't that usually how it works?  Anywho, Dell is so kind to provide an electronic copy of the manual.  Just go to http://support.dell.com, type in your service tag (you'll find it on the bottom of your laptop), and find where it says manuals under product support in the browse by category section.

    Onto the topic at hand.  I've been trying to figure what that was for too, but I couldn't find my manual either.  I finally decided to search the Dell website, and found this post and also found out about the electronic manuals.  That slot is called an ExpressCard reader.  The plastic piece that has PR296 is called an ExpressCard Blank.  ExpressCards are used to expand memory, kind of like a USB Flash Drive, but it can do a little bit more.  You can read everything else it does in your manual, or you could just Google it.

    Hope This Helps!


  • I have the same laptop, and on mine there is a remote control for the dvd plaver in that slot.

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  • Okay i have the same little piece of plastic and was wondering the same thing.. well i found out in my little setup guide that it is a piece to keep the hole there clean until you want to use it for.. "drum roll" an ExpressCard .. provides support for additional memory, wired and wireless communications, multimedia, and security features. Supports both 54 mm and 34 mm ExpressCards. The peice you refer to is a called a blank that is installed to protect the slot from dust and other particles.

  • The slot is for an Express Card and is also a good place to store the remote if you have one. Older laptops had a slot for a PC-Card (PCMCIA) and the newer laptops use an Express card. Here is a link explaining what an Express card is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExpressCard

    You can buy the remote from Dell or from Ebay. I bought mine from Ebay for about $15 and use it when I am playing movies from the 1720 to my TV so I can control it from across the room.

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  • IT is an ExpressCard reader. they have tons on ebay... one end of the express card fits into the comp and the other end can have an sd slot more usb ports headphone jack, u name it, its a really cool idea. and if u have a remote sensor on ur laptop u can get a remote and store it there and it fits good so tere u go man.

  • many thanks for the wiki link now i know why my blank was an l shape (i all ready knew what the slot was for) just didn't know if it was a dell brand only type slot (bit like they did a while back with the desktops where by if you wanted to upgrade the graphics card it had to be a dell branded card due to the reduced height required)