What Does Handtop Mean?

A handtop PC is a specific type of personal computing device with its own niche in the IT industry. Essentially, the handtop is a personal computer small enough to fit into the palm of a user’s hand.


Engineering these types of devices provides unique challenges and requires a different perspective on new device development.

Techopedia Explains Handtop

One of the biggest issues with the handtop personal computer is that the consumer device market has expanded exponentially with new smart phone, tablet and mobile device offerings. In some ways, a handtop personal computer seems to belong more to the previous era of the PDA or PalmPilot, where consumers had fewer choices in mobile devices. However, some unique features can still make a handtop PC a viable part of the consumer electronics market.

Companies like Sony and others have produced handtop computers for the consumer business market. One essential feature of a handtop PC is its ability to run conventional Microsoft operating systems. Some may be able to alternately run mobile phone operating systems.

In addition, these devices should have competitive processor capacity and storage capacity commensurate with what buyers would expect from a laptop or desktop PC. The handtop PC is one of the more interesting consumer offerings because of its role within the general trend away from conventional computers and toward more ultraportable personal devices.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…