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Need a new computer?

September 2, 2010

It used to be simple! If you wanted a computer, you chose from one of the many desktop varieties available. With all the improvements in computing technology, it feels like you need to be an expert to figure out what type of computer you need. Do you need a laptop? Or maybe an all-in-one computer, that can be used as your TV as well? And what exactly are the differences between them?

Here’s a quick rundown:


This is a relatively new category of computers. Netbooks are small, light, reasonably priced, and have extra battery life. These typically have less processing power than full-sized laptops but are very suitable for word processing, surfing the web, and connecting wirelessly to the Internet. Their small size makes them ultra-portable and convenient for travel.


Also known as a notebook, a laptop is a portable computer that you can take with you and use in different environments—on an airplane, in the library, in a temporary office, and at a meeting. It includes a screen, a keyboard, and a trackpad or trackball, which serves as a mouse. It has a battery, which allows you to use it on the go, plus a power adapter, which lets you use power from an outlet. New laptops can provide the speed and power of desktop computers, although usually at a higher price.


A desktop computer is designed to stay in one place. These machines each consist of several components—a central processing unit (CPU), a monitor, a separate keyboard, and connecting cables Because they’re modular, each component can be replaced or upgraded separately. Desktop computers are usually cheaper than laptops and are the most common type of computer used by businesses, schools, households, and other organizations. 

All-in-one computer

All-in-one computers combine the PC and monitor into one component. Many, like the one in the video, come with a wireless mouse, keyboard, and remote control. The one in the video also features motion control, and can be used as an HDTV, a high definition TV. 

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