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Definition: palmtop


An earlier computer small enough to hold in one hand and operate with the other. Also called a "handtop," palmtops had small keyboards or specialized keypads tailored to specific industries. General-purpose palmtops were never widely used, but they were resurrected in the form of smartphones and tablets. See subnotebook, netbook, tablet and smartphone.




A General-Purpose Palmtop
This IBM palmtop harks back to the days of Intel 486 CPUs in the early 1990s. Weighing less than a pound and a half, the CompactFlash card used for storage is shown half out of the slot. (Image courtesy of SanDisk Corporation, www.sandisk.com)