Device Types

From PC Jargon Dictionary
This page is ever changing depending on what devices are on the market (or not on the market anymore).

PC (Desktop)[edit | edit source]

Just describes a "Personal Computer" in itself, Apple historically tried to separate its Macs from the "PC", but by definition they are still just personal computers.

All computers used in an personal environment are personal computers by the definition we have today.

All-in-One[edit | edit source]

A computer with all its components in the same case as the display itself, for example the Apple iMac or Microsoft Surface Studio.

In most All-in-Ones you can't replace hardware except for the RAM and storage, but when you can replace more it is most of the time only the CPU you can change.

Opening the unit can also be really hard, if you want to fully clean it, sometimes going as far as risking to break the display of the machine.

Pre-built[edit | edit source]

The most common type of PC you can find, being sold pretty much everywhere, they come packaged with a mouse and keyboard most of the time. The components can be fairly high end, but how they are built ends up looking sloppy most of the time due to how they are manufactured. The cooling of many pre-builts also is lacking because of cost cutting for the most part.

Boutique[edit | edit source]

Most of the time freely configured computers being built by specialty companies, which focus on making PCs which are using off the shelf hardware. Though many of the larger companies have modified cases or even cases which are specifically made for them.

These PCs can be a lot more expensive than if you bought the hardware just off the shelf, due to the amount of manual labor, that can be put into these machines. Today we have a couple of those boutiques though which try to get customers by minimizing the cost for those PCs or the building of the PC, these companies almost build these computers like it is an assembly line and pre producing many commonly bought units, or even just selling computers which are basically just pre-builts with off the shelf hardware.

Custom built[edit | edit source]

Just a PC you have built yourself with hardware you got somewhere.

These give you the most options for how you want it, because you can just get the hardware you want. You can even get people to make you custom elements, for example you get a fully custom case, or a modified case, or even custom parts for water cooling.

You can basically just do what you want, but there are some best practices everyone should follow, for example getting a power supply, which doesn't risk your parts.

Notebook[edit | edit source]

Convertible[edit | edit source]

Barebone[edit | edit source]

Thin Client[edit | edit source]

Common in offices, thin client is low performance, low power device that has been optimized for establishing remote connection to a server. Server is used for storing data and does most of the calculations.