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Personal computer for mobile use / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A laptop computer or notebook computer, also known as a laptop or notebook for short, is a small, portable personal computer (PC). Laptops typically have a clamshell form factor with a flat panel screen (usually 11–17 in or 280–430 mm in diagonal size) on the inside of the upper lid and an alphanumeric keyboard (typically QWERTY) on the inside of the lower lid, although 2-in-1 PCs with a detachable keyboard are often marketed as laptops or as having a "laptop mode".[1][2] The internal hardware is fitted inside the lower lid enclosure under the keyboard, and it's not uncommon for laptops to have a pointing device such as a trackpad or trackpoint. Many modern laptops also have a built-in webcam and even a touch-screen display.

A 2020 MacBook Air by Apple Inc.
A 2019 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with detachable hinge (left) and a 2018 Dell XPS 15 9570 with 360 degree hinge (right)
A 2014 Acer Chromebook 11

Laptops run on both an AC power supply and a rechargeable battery pack and can be folded shut for convenient storage and transportation, making them suitable for mobile use.[3] Today, laptops are used in a variety of settings, such as at work (especially on business trips), in education, for playing games, web browsing, for personal multimedia, and for general home computer use.

The names "laptop" and "notebook" refer to the fact that the computer can be practically placed on (or on top of) the user's lap and can be used similarly to a notebook. As of 2022, in American English, the terms "laptop" and "notebook" are used interchangeably;[4] in other dialects of English, one or the other may be preferred. Although the term "notebook" originally referred to a specific size of laptop (originally smaller and lighter than mainstream laptops of the time),[5] the term has come to mean the same thing and no longer refers to any specific size.

Laptops combine many desktop components and capabilities into a single unit, including the central processing unit (CPU), random-access memory (RAM), hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD), and graphics processing unit (GPU). Most modern laptops include a built-in webcam and microphone, and many also have touchscreens. Laptops can be powered by an internal battery or an external power supply by using an AC adapter. Hardware specifications may vary significantly between different types, models, and price points.

Design elements, form factors, and construction can also vary significantly between models depending on the intended use. Examples of specialized models of laptops include rugged notebooks for use in construction or military applications, as well as low-production-cost laptops such as those from the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organization, which incorporate features like solar charging and semi-flexible components not found on most laptop computers. Portable computers, which later developed into modern laptops, were originally considered to be a small niche market, mostly for specialized field applications, such as in the military, for accountants, or traveling sales representatives. As portable computers evolved into modern laptops, they became widely used for a variety of purposes.[6]