Term: form factor

Form factor refers to the size, shape, and perhaps other physical characteristics of an object.

When applied to computers and related devices, it typically refers to a “class” of device, such as a tablet, a laptop, a desktop, and so on. You might see a device described as having a “tablet form-factor”, or having the “form-factor of a desktop”, in each case referring to its overall physical characteristics.

There are no absolute definitions of specific computer-related form factors, which can lead to some confusion. For example, the terms “notebook” and “laptop” might or might not refer to the same general overall size and shape, depending on who’s using the term and in what context.

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