Mobile PC - Tablet Form Factors & Terminology

Mobile computers (laptops/notebooks) have traditionally been computers with integrated displays and keyboards (and touchpad for simulated mouse input) in a "clamshell style" that are small and light enough to carry in one hand, and can run on an internal rechargeable battery. They use desktop computer software and are designed for creating, processing and consuming digital information. Laptops are typically classified according to form factor (hardware design) and screen size. 

Tablets on the other hand have been designed as one-piece, small screen, light weight, mobile media consumption devices that run on an internal battery and can connect wirelessly to the Internet. Consumer tablets typically run enhanced Smartphone software with specialized applications, and use touch (human finger, stylus or graphical pen) as their primary input mode. They also may have virtual (rather than physical) keyboards. Business tablets typically run slightly modified desktop computer operating systems and programs, and support (attachable or dockable) physical keyboards. While consumer tablets are designed primarily for consuming information over the Internet, business tablets are designed to also create and save digital information. Tablets are typically classified by screen size and operating system architecture. 

Compared to laptop/notebook computers, tablets typically sacrifice processing power, computing speed, local storage capacity, and some sacrifice ease of data input (physical keyboard and/or optical disc drive) to achieve a small, thin, light-weight, energy efficient, easy to handle form. However, as computer chip technology progresses, providing ever greater processing power while requiring less electrical energy, these categories and form factors are rapidly converging and overlapping. Already quite a few mobile devices (especially hybrids) can fit in multiple categories. Many tablets using Intel's latest processors are able to provide fully featured computer performance in a mobile device that can run a full work day.

Following is an overview of Mobile PC and Tablet categories and form factors. You can click on any item in the INDEX below to go directly to that topic. 


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Note that the examples provided are for illustration of the form factor only and are not necessarily recommended or capable of running CTI Navigator. For information on  running CTI Navigator on mobile devices, see CTI Navigator for Mobile Devices.


Notebook or Laptop: a full powered mobile personal computer with an internal battery, attached keyboard, and attached clamshell display lid that runs a desktop operating system (such as Windows, Apple, or Linux) and desktop computer programs. This is the broadest category of modern mobile computers and represents the largest physical size. Unlike tablets, most Laptop/Notebooks can be upgraded (both software and hardware components) to extend their useful life. Almost all mobile computer manufacturers offer a series of models of Laptop/Notebooks. For example: Apple MacBook ("Pro" and "Air"), Dell Inspiron series, Toshiba Satellite series, Samsung Series (5, 7, & 9), ASUS VivoBook, HP Pavillion, Lenovo ThinkPad series; Asus Zenbook UX305 series (with Intel Broadwell Core M processor). 

Subnotebook (or mini notebook): a small laptop/notebook with display screen less than 14 inches, weighs less than 4.4 pounds, at least 30 GB local storage (HDD or SSD), uses a computer processor (such as Intel Atom or Celeron CPU, or AMD equivalent), and runs full desktop operating systems (such as Windows or Linux). Subnotebooks typically omit ports, removable media or optical disc drives to reduce weight. Many offer optional docking stations to compensate. Example subnotebooks: Asus EEE PC 1225B, Acer Aspire One 725, Lenovo X131e

Netbook: a small, low cost subnotebook with display screen less than 10 inches, a reduced power processor (such as Intel's older "Atom"), no more than 2 GB of RAM, and optimized for portable access to the Internet. Designed to sacrifice performance for smaller size, battery and affordability. Example netbooks: Acer Aspire series, Asus X101, HP Mini, Toshiba NB505

Smartbook: an ARM based mobile device combining smartphone and netbook features such as always on, all-day battery life, 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS in a laptop or tablet-style body with a screen size of 5 to 10 inches and a physical or touchscreen keyboard. Promoted as "a truly pocketable computer" in 2009 and 2010 but marginalized by trademark disputes, difficulties adapting Adobe's Flash to ARM architecture, and the overwhelming success of tablets such as the iPad. Example smartbooks: Toshiba AC100, Sharp PC-Z1 "Netwalker", Genesi Efika MX, and Smart Book by Always Innovating Company

Ultra-mobile PC (or UMPC): the smallest form of subnotebook with a 5 to 7 inch touchscreen (and may include a stylus), weighs less than 2 pounds, keyboard (virtual, slider, or thumb-board), using a computer processor (such as Intel, VIA, or Transmeta) and running an adapted version of Linux, Microsoft's XP tablet PC operating system or Windows 7. The OQO model O2 earned Guinness World Record in 2005 as the world's smallest full-powered, full featured computer (running Windows). Due to the popularity of larger but slimmer tablets in America, tiny UMPC's are far more popular in Asia than in America. Example UMPCs: Samsung Q1B, Asus EEE PC (model 701), Sony Vaio UX Micro PC, and HTC Shift X9500

Ultrabook: a very thin and light-weight laptop that incorporates some tablet features (such as touch screen and extended  battery life), uses an Intel Core processor, and meets Intel's specifications for the Ultrabook™ trademark. These specifications change with each release of new Intel processor architecture. (Click here for a sampling of Windows 8.1 Ultrabooks from the world's top manufacturers.)   

Intel Core Processors:

Intel's Processor Coding

Intel's "Bay Trail-M" Series of Processors for Budget Mobile Devices

In July 2014 Intel released a new "Bay Trail-M" line of Celeron and Pentium processors for use in budget-level mobile devices. These Intel Pentium N3000 and Intel Celeron N2000 series processors are manufactured using the 22nm small foot-print, low-power, high-performance "Silvermont" microarchitecture. (The same architecture is used in Intel's "Bay Trail-T" line of Adam processors for Tablets). This technology supports thin, light weight, fanless designs for notebooks that can run on battery power up to 8 hours a day at budget price points (starting from $199 for clamshell devices, $250 for touch-enabled notebooks, and $349 for  2-in-1 Laptop-tablets). While not as fast or powerful as "Haswell" or "Broadwell" processors, these processors are up to two times faster with up to three times improvement in graphics compared to previous Celeron and Pentium processors while requiring significantly less electrical power. For example mobile devices using Bay Trail-M processors, see Microsoft's "PCs to fit your budget" and  HP's Stream line of laptops.

For a guide for choosing between Ultrabooks and Laptops, see's Buying Guide in the related articles at the end of this webpage. 

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Convertible (Laptop-Tablet): According to Microsoft, "A convertible form factor is defined as a standalone device that combines the PC, display and rechargeable power source with a mechanically attached keyboard and pointing device in a single chassis. A convertible can be transformed into a tablet where the attached input devices are hidden or removed leaving the display as the only input mechanism."   

Hybrid Ultramobile/Ultraportable (Laptop-Tablet): a convertible laptop computer with a removable ("detachable") screen that becomes a tablet when separated from the keyboard. The attachable keyboard may also serve as a dock to provide additional power and connectivity. Example Hybrids: Acer Iconia W7 series (Windows 8), Asus VivoTab (Windows 8) , Asus Transformer Book T-100 and Book T-300 (Windows 8.1),  Asus Transformer Pads (Android),  Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q702 (Windows 8),  HP Envy x2 and HP Split x2 (both Windows 8),  Lenovo Idea Tab Lynx (Windows 8), Lenovo Thinkpad Helix (Windows 8), and Dell XPS 10 hybrid (Windows RT).  Microsoft's Surface Pro (Windows 8),  Surface Pro 2 (Windows 8.1), and  Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 are a new style of "laptop in tablet form" hybrid. Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 2 and pro 3 using Intel's Core i5 Haswell processor are "now faster than 95% of laptops on the market". 

Note: The distinction between Convertible Tablets with (optional) attachable/detachable physical keyboards, and Convertible Laptops with integrated but detachable screens that become standalone Tablets when the screen is detached is rapidly disappearing. The term Hybrid or "Detachable" is being used to indicate any convertible laptop-tablet with a detachable keyboard. For example: the Acer Aspire P3 "Ultrabook convertible" comes with a detachable keyboard dock that also serves as its carrying case; the Asus VivoTab Smart offers an optional "TranSleeve Keyboard" foldable cover that can be used as a tablet stand; and Microsoft's Surface tablets offer optional type, touch or power covers that serve both as keyboard and screen protectors.

Two-in-One" (Laptop-Tablet): Intel categorizes computing devices that can be used both as a laptop or tablet as "two-in-one" devices. This includes all convertibles (with attached keyboard) and hybrid devices (with detachable keyboard). For example, the Dell Venue 11 Pro and new XPS 11.  Dell claimed that the new XPS was the "World's thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 Ultrabook" when launched in October 2013. HP offers an "x2" series (Spectre, Split, Pavilion, and SlateBook) and Envy x360 model of "2-in-1" notebooks with detachable tablets. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 with 12-inch touch screen and digital writing pen is thinner and lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air laptop available in June 2014. Intel expects the number of 2-in-1 devices to increase dramatically during late 2014 and early 2015. This is due largely to the significantly improved power efficiency and graphics while retaining high performance of its new 4th generation ("Haswell") core processors and 5th generation ("Broadwell") core processors. Example detachables that have been announced to use Intel's Broadwell Core M processors are Acer Aspire Switch 12, Dell Latitude 13 7000 series,  Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2, and HP Envy X2 13. 

Three-in-One (Notebook-Tablet-Desktop): Asus announced its "Transformer Book Trio" as the world's first three-in-one Notebook-Tablet-Desktop PC.  In Tablet mode, the standalone display runs Android on an Intel Atom chip and uses SSD for storage. In Desktop mode with the tablet detached, the trio's "PC Station Dock" can be connected to an external monitor. The Dock contains a full keyboard, battery, hard drive, ports, and Intel Haswell PC chip running Windows 8. In Notebook mode, the tablet is attached to the PC Station Dock and can switch between running Android or Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft also promotes its Surface Pro 3 as a three-in-one (tablet, laptop and desktop) when its optional docking station is added.  

For a guide on choosing between Laptops and Tablets, see's Buying Guide in the related articles at the end of this webpage. 

Slate (Tablet-computer): a small one-piece tablet computer without a dedicated keyboard, and using a display screen (typically 8 to 14 inches) on which users input information (with fingertip, stylus or handwriting digitizer). Slates have been popular for years in vertical markets such as health care, education, hospitality, aviation (pilot documentation and maps), and field work. For a current general usage example, see Fujitsu's ARROWS Tab series of water- and dust-resistant tablets with built-in splash- resistant stylus. Many consumer tablets use a slate-like unibody form, but lack the high precision handwriting and graphics digitizer traditionally used in slates.  

Rugged (or Industrial): a notebook or slate style computer that is designed to withstand rough handling and extreme conditions (dust, liquid immersion, and extreme temperature). Rugged tablets are usually encased in a protective shell and have shock-protected hard drives. Example rugged tablets are the Panasonic Toughbook and Toughpad series. Example semi-rugged but very thin tablets are the Fujitsu Stylistic Q584 (Windows 8.1), and  Sony Xperia Tablet Z (Android).  

For the Rugged Industry's "thinnest and lightest rugged convertible" as of October 2013 see the Getec V110 which features an 11.6-inch display, full-size, water-proof membrane keyboard, two batteries one of which can be removed and replaced while the other keeps the laptop running, Intel Haswell chips, measures 12 x 9 x 1.3 inches, and weighs just over 4 pounds. Getech also manufactures the F110 tablet which it describes as the Rugged Industry's "thinnest and lightest fully rugged large-screen tablet" which features an 11.6-inch display, removable storage drive, Intel Haswell ships, measures 12 by 8 inches, is less than an inch thick, and weighs 3 pounds.

Sleekbook: thin and lightweight laptop, very similar to an Ultrabook form but built on an AMD rather than Intel computing platform. May come with or without a touchscreen, and tend to be more affordable than Ultrabooks. Example Sleekbooks are Asus VivoBook U38N; and HP Pavilion and HP Envy series. 

Chromebook (or Cloudbook): a thin, lightweight cloud-based notebook computer or mobile device that runs Google's "Chrome OS" operating system and browser. Because the only software application that Chrome OS can run locally is a special version of Google's Chrome browser, a Chromebook is often described as a browser-in-a-box. User files and applications (including printer controls) are stored remotely on Google's virtual servers (in the cloud), and can be accessed through a Chrome browser on any computing device (including Android 4.0+ phones and tablets). Chromebooks cannot run client (legacy) software (used in standalone computers), cannot run any browser other than its own version of Chrome, and does not support any browser plug-ins (such as Silverlight or Java). Chromebooks tend to be relatively inexpensive, with most selling between $199 to $299. Example Chromebooks are Acer C7, C720 and C720P; Asus C200 and C300, Google Chromebook Pixel; Dell Chromebook 11; HP Chromebook 11 and 14; Lenovo N20 and N20P, Samsung Chromebook (Series 5 and Series 3), and Samsung Chromebook 2; and Toshiba Chromebook (CB30-A3120).

Note: There are Windows laptops in the same price range as Chromebooks (see Microsoft's "PCs to fit your budget",  HP's Stream line of laptops, and the ASUS EeeBook X205TA). For more information and comparisons of Chromebooks to Windows Laptops, see "Chromebooks vs Windows Laptops" in the related articles at the bottom of this webpage.

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"Tablet PC" (Business Tablet or Computer Tablet): a one-piece general purpose mobile computer running a slightly modified personal computer operating system, and supporting a physical keyboard and touch screen. Business tablets (computer tablets) can run most of the same programs as desktop computers and are useful for creating, saving and viewing content. Example Business Tablets: Acer Iconia W series HP ElitePad, HP Split x2 and HP Envy x2 , Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2Lenovo Thinkpad 10Samsung ATIV Smart PC series tablets (Windows 8). Also, Microsoft refers to its  Surface Pro Surface Pro 2 (10.6" screen), Surface 3 (10.8" screen), and Surface Pro 3 (ultrathin, ultralight with 12' screen) Tablet PC, which offer optional keyboard covers, as a "laptop in tablet form". Samsung describes its 12.2" screen, 1.65 pound Galaxy NotePRO tablet as an "Android Workstation".

Tablet (Consumer Tablet): any one-piece, wireless, Internet enabled portable personal computing device with a touch screen (larger than 7 inches diagonally) as its primary interface, and mainly used to view published content. Consumer Tablets support multi-touch fingertip input and largely depend on Internet connectivity for data access and storage (in "the Cloud"). Consumer Tablets typically run computing architecture derived from Smartphones (such as Apple iOS and Android) and apps (specialized programs) that must be downloaded and must be certified by the operating system provider. Popular full-size (10"+) consumer tablets are the Apple iPadAsus Transformer Pad Infinity, Google Nexus 9, Google Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

    Ultrathin Consumer tablets: see Samsung Galaxy Tab S series (6.6 mm = 0.26 in) and Apple iPad Air (7.5 mm = 0.30 in).

Mini-tablet: a small screen (8 inches or less diagonally) one-piece tablet designed for one-hand operation and to more readily slip into users' pocket or purse. Manufacturers differ in which features have been reduced to accommodate smaller size and reduced purchase price. Examples are smaller consumer tablets such as the android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 , Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, Galaxy Tab 4.7.0 and Galaxy Tab 4.8.0; Amazon's Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, and Google Nexus 6 and Nexus 7(discontinued); and the iOS based  Apple iPad Mini,. See below for Windows 8 mini-tablets.    

Windows 8 Mini-Tablet. In March 2013 Microsoft relaxed the minimum screen resolution specifications for the "Windows 8 certified" logo to allow manufacturers to produce smaller, less expensive mini-tablets running Windows 8. The first 8-inch Windows 8 mini-tablet to market was the Intel "Clover Trail" Atom powered Acer Iconia W3-810 (available June 2013). The W3 also includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 preinstalled. 

Windows 8.1 Mini-Tablets. Following the release of Windows 8.1 (October 17, 2013) and a significant discount for Windows licensing fees for sub-$200 devices early in 2014, numerous manufacturers are offering more affordable (starting around $199) 8-inch and smaller Windows tablets. Early examples are the Intel "Bay Trail" Atom powered Acer Iconia W4, Asus Vivo tab Note 8, Dell Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo Miix2 and ThinkPad 8, Toshiba Encore and Encore Mini. All Windows Mini-Tablets include either Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 preinstalled or a 1-year free subscription to Office 365 Personal

Phablet (Phone-Tablet): a crossover phone-tablet with screen size (5 to 7 inches) larger than Smartphone but smaller and thinner than typical tablets, and designed to combine or straddle the functionalities of a Smartphone and tablet. Examples: Google Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Mega , LG Optimus Vu, LG Optimus G Pro, Sony Xperia Z, Huawei Ascend Mate, and Asus Fonepad. Hewlett-Packard entered the phablet market in 2014 by launching its Android-based HP Slate VoiceTab series (in India).

Booklet: a dual-touchscreen tablet that folds like a book and can be used as a notebook by displaying a virtual keyboard on one of the screens. Examples: Acer Iconia 6120 Dual Touchscreen, Toshiba Libretto W100 series

Tablet Processors Note: Most Consumer tablets use ARM-based processors due to their simplicity, small size, low cost and low power consumption. To compete with ARM designed chips, Intel (see Legacy Atom note below) offers a "Clover Trail" Atom Z2760 (released in fall of 2012), and a new, faster "Bay Trail -T" Atom Z3000 series (released in Oct. 2013) System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processor. These new Atom SoC processors are designed specifically to met the small size and reduced power requirements in tablets and "2-in1" laptop-tablets, and still be able to run full Windows and Windows legacy programs. Both Atom processor series are more cost and power competitive to ARM processors than Intel's "core" processors, and are targeted for less expensive, entry-level to mainstream mobile devices. (See also Intel Bay Trail M Processors for laptops.) The "Bay Trail" Atom is nearly twice as fast as the "Clover Trail" series, but both are still slower and less powerful than Intel's more expensive 4th generation "Haswell" processors. Haswell processors are targeted for higher performance devices (such as Ultrabooks). See also Intel's newest, equally powerful but more energy efficient 5th generation "Broadwell" Core M SoC processors.

Intel Legacy Atom note: Newer Atom SoC chips use a far more efficient "Silvermont" architecture in a smaller footprint than Intel's original low-power Atom chips. The original Atom's were released from 2008 to 2011, are much slower, and were used largely in Netbooks.

For more information on Intel's "Bay Trail" Atom dual-core Z3600 and quad-core Z3700 series, see "Intel Bay Trail specs and features unveiled" in the related articles at the end of this webpage.

For more information on Intel's "Clover Trail" Atom Z2670, see "Intel Z2670 porcessor for smartphones and consumer tablets" in the related articles at the end of this webpage.

For a list of mobile devices utilizing Intel's lower cost Atom processors, see "Intel Atom System on Chip Availability and Utilizing Devices" in the related articles at the end of this webpage.

Tablet Terminology Note: The terms Tablet Computer, Tablet PC and Tablet are commonly used interchangeably, especially when referring to a tablet form running Windows 8.

For a guide on choosing between Tablets, see's Buying Guide in the related articles at the end of this webpage.

For a chart comparing Windows 8 tablets, see "Windows 8 "Best" Tablet Comparison Chart" in the related articles at the end of this webpage.

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Accelerated processing unit (APU): a processing system or device with special capability designed to accelerate computations outside of a CPU, such as a graphics processing unit (GPU). 

All-in-One Computer (AIO): a space saving desktop (not laptop) computer with every component except keyboard and mouse inside the same case as the monitor. Often there is limited or no internal expansion available. For example, Dell's AIO desktop line: Optiplex 3011 and 9020; Inspiron 20 3000 Series and Inspiron One; and XPS 27. Dell also offers its XPS 18 as "the world's thinnest and lightest portable AIO desktop".

ARM architecture: a family of RISC-based computer processors designed and licensed by ARM Holdings of Cambridge, England. ARM is an acronym for Advanced RISC Machines. By utilizing a RISC microarchitecture to minimize the number and complexity of instructions permanently stored in the microprocessor core (and relying on software and co-processors to provide specialized instructions when needed), ARM processors are smaller, easier to customize, and require significantly fewer transistors and less electrical power to operate than x86 processors (such as by Intel and AMD) which utilize full complex instruction set computing (CISC).

Chromebase: an all-in-one Chromebox desktop that runs the Chrome OS and browser, is designed to support Web applications, and includes an integrated display monitor with  matching keyboard and mouse.

Chromebox: a small, cloud-based (Internet dependent), relatively inexpensive, desktop variant of a Chromebook that runs Google's Chrome OS and browser, and is designed to support Web applications and services. It includes ports for connecting external peripherals such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, audio, and Ethernet. The Chrome OS can sync with your Android 4.0+ phone or tablet running the Chrome browser. Chromeboxes are sometimes referred to as web terminals or "NetTop" devices.

Computer Architecture: A specification for how software and hardware interact to function as a computer system. The architecture refers to how a computer system is designed and what technologies it is compatible with. There are 3 main categories of computer architecture:

  1. System Design: includes all hardware components in a computing system.
  2. Instruction Set Architecture (ISA): The embedded programming codes that determine what a CPU reads and what it  can do. It is the machine language that translates programming code into machine actions. The most ubiquitous instruction set has been Intel's "x86" (click here to see wikipedia description of x86).
  3. Micro architecture (or Computer Organization): describes the data paths, data processing and storage elements, and describes how they should implement the ISA. The main difference between Intel and AMD chips is their microarchitecture. 

eMMC Memory System: "embedded Multi-Media Controller" is an embedded non-volatile memory system that is comprised of both flash memory and a flash memory controller integrated on the same compact size chip. An eMMC "plug-and-play" package frees the host processor from low-level memory management and simplifies application interface design. 

Flash Memory: non-volatile memory that can be erased and reprogrammed in blocks by a single electrical action or "flash". This makes flash memory faster and easier to update, but prevents random access that must be addressed at the byte (not block) level.

Form factor: the size, configuration, or physical arrangement of computer hardware including the chassis design. 

Graphics processing unit (GPU): a specialized electronic circuit designed to accelerate the creation of images in a video frame for output to a display.

Hard disk drive (HDD): a self-contained data storage device used for storing and retrieving digital information containing a read-write mechanism plus one or more rapidly rotating hard disks (or platters) coated with magnetic material, inside a sealed unit.

HHD: A hybrid hard drive (HHD) is a mass storage device that contains both a conventional hard drive and a flash memory module. The flash memory provides very fast access to  the data most frequently written to or retrieved from storage.

Internet of Things (IoT): a network in which intelligent appliances, systems and devices, as well as animals and humans, are assigned a unique identifier, are connected to the Internet and to each other, and data generated from these "things" can be easily collected, stored and analyzed without requiring human intervention.

Microcomputer: a microprocessor with the addition of memory, Input/Output (I/O) and other peripherals required to build a small but functional computer. 

Microprocessor: a digital Computing Processor Unit (CPU) only. It contains an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) for computing and comparing numbers, storage Registers, and a Control Unit (CU) to execute instructions. Additional components (such as RAM, ROM, GPU, USB controller, power management circuits, and wireless radios) are required to build a fully functional computer (such as a small tablet). Example microprocessors are Intel's 3rd generation "Ivy Bridge", 4th generation "Haswell", and 5th generation "Broadwell"

Nanometer (nm): is a unit of length equal to one billionth of a meter (1x10-9 m or 3.2808x10-9 ft). It is used to describe the smallest width of each conducting line in an integrated circuit that can be fabricated on a microchip. A normal human hair is about 90,000 nanometers thick. Intel's first Core processors in 2006 used 65 nm manufacturing technology. Today, Intel's 4th generation Haswell uses 22 nm and its 5th generation Broadwell uses 14 nm. Intel's future 6th generation "Skylake" chip will have a completely redesigned architecture and will also use 14 nm manufacturing; then its successor "Cannonlake" chip will shrink to 10 nm.  

Optical Disc Drive: an optical drive is any storage device that uses light to read and write information . Common optical disc drives include CD, DVD, and Blu-ray drives. 

RAM, or "Random Access Memory", is the main processing memory in a computing device that is used as a temporary workspace to hold data so it can be quickly accessed by program instructions. Unlike data stored on disk or in flash memory which must be accessed in blocks, each byte of data in RAM can be independently accessed in any order ("randomly"). Faster and higher capacity RAM allows program instructions to be completed quicker. Information in RAM is normally lost when the power is turned off. 

RISC (Reduced-Instruction-Set-Computing/Computer):  microarchitecture designed to simplify and streamline processing by using only small, simple, fixed length instructions that can be completed in one clock cycle or less.  As opposed to RISC, complex instruction set computing (CISC) architecture has a large number of instructions (that range from very simple to very complex and specialized) hard coded into the CPU chip.

ROM, or "Read-only Memory", is special memory which permanently stores device specific programs that boot the computer and perform diagnostics. ROM does not affect application programs. 

SSD: A solid-state drive that uses flash memory (integrated circuit assemblies) instead of electromechanical disks (used in Hard Disk Drives) to store data. Since they have no moving mechanical parts, SSDs typically are smaller, faster, cooler, quieter, use less electricity and are less susceptible to physical shock that hard disk drives (HDDs). However, SSDs have a more limited number of read/write sessions before failure, and are significantly more expensive that HDDs.

System-on-a-chip (SoC) or Computer on a chip: combines many of the essential components of a computer (CPU, RAM, ROM, GPU, USB controller, power management circuits, and wireless radios) on a single piece of silicon (chip). It is possible to build a complete computer (such as a small tablet) with a single SoC. Example: Intel's Clover Trail Atom Z2670 chip.

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