Part of the Personal computing glossary:

A disposable PC is a relatively inexpensive but full-featured personal computer that is designed to be discarded rather than fixed when serious problems arise. Frequently, the case of a disposable computer cannot be opened, in which they are sometimes called sealed box computers. Proponents claim that disposable computers are a logical choice for business use, where it may cost less to replace an inexpensive computer than to repair it, when all the costs -- such as loss of productivity -- are taken into account. Detractors, on the other hand, claim that disposable computers are a prime example of built-in obsolescence and not a responsible choice for anyone who's concerned about the environment and that, furthermore, since the computers are not expected to be used indefinitely, they may be poorly designed.

A disposable PC is not necessarily the same thing as a disposable computer , which is a small data processing device with input/output and communication capabilities. Disposable computers are currently being used by some companies in shipping and pharmaceutical packaging.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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