Mobile Computer Definition

By Paul Cartmell

A mobile computing device is described as small, lightweight, portable and containing wireless Internet access by the Public Library Association. A computer without an Internet browser is not generally referred to as a mobile computing device.

Types

There are a number of devices classed as mobile computing devices, including laptop computers, notebook computers, personal digital assistants, smartphones and portable data terminals. Devices that are portable, but used while stationary, such as laptops and notebooks are sometimes removed from the group of mobile computing devices as they cannot be used while in motion.

Technology

Since 2005, mobile computing devices have largely been manufactured with embedded wireless networking chips, allowing Internet access wherever a wireless Internet connection is available. Cellular telephones not equipped with wireless Internet access are not defined as mobile computing devices.

Wi-Fi

Mobile computing is often available with three-way wireless capabilities of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth technology and global positioning systems. By 2008, the availability of mobile computing devices led to wireless Internet access being available in more than 3 million North American locations, including coffee shops and airports.