When one thinks of a portable computer the first thing that comes to mind is that the device weighs less than 5 pounds and is easy to travel with. But, would that also mean that cellphones are considered to be portable computers. Since, they are able to mock outcomes like a laptop. According to, dictionary.com the term “computer” is defined as “programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations”. For the most part under those circumstances the electronic appliance would be considered a computer. But the definition does not end there, it continues on with “mainframes, desktop, and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are some of the different types of computers”. Therefore under the definition a cellphone is considered a portable computer.

In general, the term portable computer is a wide-ranging word but in-depth involves various technology devices. Some primary examples include: notebooks, netbook, tablets, smartphones and personal digital assistant (PDA).  From the list notebooks, netbook and tablets are similar while smartphones and PDA’s are alike in their handheld structure.



Notebooks consists of similar functions that of a laptop but are slim in design and compacted interior. Meaning, that hardware is sacrificed in order to make it lightweight. Some of the most recognizable differences would be less usb ports, no CD or DVD drive, no HDMI port, no internal fan and changes in battery and screen size.


Netbooks are like laptops but are smaller in size since they are mostly used for the internet and web based applications. An example of a netbook today would be Google’s Chromebook.ipad

Tablets are also light weighing from 1.5 – 3 pounds but do not have the features of a keyboard or ports. It is touch screen compared to other technology. Tablets are aim to be used towards the “run and gun” approach but lack the components of heavy computing to support operations like video and photo editing.



Smartphones are becoming more and more relevant as cell phone carriers are making customers use it’s latest technology. These phones should not be under estimated as they are able do the same tasks as computers. Maybe not to their full extent but are able to cover the common ground. Like: search the web, watch videos, take pictures, email, and calendar use. Some are now able to perform minimal photo and video editing tasks.




PDAs are used in a professional and business like setting to help around the office. Dealing with software ranging from: contacts, note pad, calendar, email, and powerpoint. But it does have software that makes it different from a smartphone like being able to communicate with other PDAs to the extent that “business card could be exchanged” with another person who has the a PDA device.




The evolution of portable computers and devices range on a scale but overall are mean’t to be used in the same way. Components are added and ejected depending on the brand but envisions of the next new technology can be exciting. How portable can tech get?