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Definition: desktop computer


A single-user computer. It typically refers to a Windows PC or Mac, but may also refer to a Linux PC. Also called a "client computer" or "client" or simply a "desktop."

Contrast With Mobile Device
A desktop computer implies stationary use, but it often includes laptops in order to contrast computers with mobile devices. The major difference is that mobile devices are generally not connected to mice or trackpads, and certain operations differ. For example, there is no right-click option on a smartphone or tablet. However, both desktop and mobile devices can generally perform the same operations. See mobile device, context menu and overflow menu.

Contrast With Servers
A desktop computer also refers to a client workstation in contrast to a server. See desktop PC, server and desktop application.