Is there some sort of standard for expansion slots in laptops? I know in PCs there is the PCIe standard used for pretty much all expansion cards. But in a laptop, if I took out my 802.11ac NIC, would I be able to use the same slot for a Bluetooth module, for example?

tl;dr is there a standard for laptop expansion card slots?

  • Please rephrase the question to ask us to recommend something to you. As the question is right now it is off-topic and somebody will probably close it as a "tech support" question.
    – Romen
    Apr 4, 2022 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


You should tell us your laptop model number and ask for a recommendation for specifically what you want to add to the laptop. As of right now the question isn't really on topic but it can be if you provide that info.

I will edit my answer with a recommendation if you update the question.

There are a few standard expansion slots inside laptops. They are usually limited to a few specific kinds of components and almost all of the components in a laptop are built in to its motherboard in the first place.

This list isn't comprehensive but it covers most of the slots that have been common enough to have aftermarket components available to buy for them.

Old laptops had an external slot on the side for adding PCIe hardware.
Could be used for anything from extra USB ports to external GPUs.

Mini PCIe
Mostly for WiFi and Bluetooth modules in older laptops.

For older solid state drives.

For newer SSDs, WiFi/Bluetooth, maybe even more. (Very common in new laptops)

For replaceable graphics cards. (Very rare in high end older laptops like Alienware)

Thunderbolt 3 and USB4
This isn't necessarily inside the laptop, but these ports support PCIe connections and allow you to add basically any desktop PCIe card to a laptop by using an external adapter.


No, except if you count USB.

Laptop manufacturers like Dell, HP and Apple try to make their laptops thinner, lighter, and faster. To make them thinner and lighter, they do not include bulky expantion like PCI-e.

  • There are standard expansion slots inside laptops. It's not the correct answer to say "No" to this.
    – Romen
    Apr 4, 2022 at 19:56
  • Okay, maybe they exist, but they are really rare
    – Irsu85
    Apr 5, 2022 at 12:49
  • M.2 is not rare at all. Most modern laptops have them, and this expansion card format can support anything over PCIe. Even graphics cards!!
    – Romen
    Apr 5, 2022 at 17:09

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