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A personal computer (PC) is a computer that is small: handheld, laptop, up to desktop size; relatively inexpensive: hundreds to couple thousand dollars; and designed for an individual user. Personal computers in the market today are based on the microprocessor technology that puts the entire central processing unit (CPU) on one chip. Common tasks for a personal computer include surfing Internet through a web browser program, checking emails, editing documents (word processing), and entertainments such as playing computer games, listening to music and watching videos. More complicated tasks for advanced users include desktop publishing, photograph enhancing, graphic drawing, running spreadsheet and database management applications.

There is no doubt that a personal computer equipped with Microsoft Windows and Intel based processor, so called Wintel, is the most dominating OS-CPU combo today. Other operation systems include Apple's Mac OS, several sub-versions of Linux, and the upcoming cloud orientated Google Chrome. Besides Intel, CPU manufactures for personal computers include AMD, VIA, and the GPU cross-over nVedia.
As the continuing development of mobile computing, the gap between a mobile device and a personal computer becomes more and more blurry. Today's smartphones are effective handheld computers. The most popular "tablet" device, iPad, although Apple has never marketed it as a tablet computer, indeed covers the low-end side of a personal computer very well. Another trend in developing is cloud computing. It is clear that more and more tasks will be done in the cloud (on server side). But the speed and coverage of wireless Internet signals as well as privacy concerns may affect its popularity.

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