Understand the jargon when selecting a new computer

May 24, 2021

In the market for a new desktop computer, laptop, or tablet? Look no further — our tech specs translation guide is here to make your life easier.

Shopping for a new device can be both exciting and overwhelming. You want to get the right desktop computer, laptop, or tablet but you don’t fully understand the language used — what, for example, is the difference between CPU and GPU?

No idea? Never fear — the answer lies just below. By the end of this article you’ll be an expert in the field of tech specs, armed and ready to snaffle the latest in computer, laptop, and tablet rentals.


This is wireless technology that enables communication, data transfer or remote access/control between devices over short distances. For example, instead of having headphones connected by a cord to your computer, you could connect them via Bluetooth (so you’ll have no cord in the way).

Cloud storage

This refers to storing data (music, photos and other files) in a secure online location (internet connection is required). With access to cloud storage you are not limited by the built-in storage that comes with your computer. Both Apple and Microsoft have cloud storage available.


Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant. It aims to help you get things done. To access it you just select the Cortana icon in the taskbar and type in your command.

You can use Cortana to do things like set and give you reminders, send emails, create and manage lists, play music and podcasts, manage your calendar and look things up.


CPU = central processing unit.

This is the brains of the computer. It processes and executes all the instructions and data.

GPU = graphics processing unit.

This handles the computer’s visual output as it renders graphics and images to the screen.


GB = gigabyte.

This is a measure of data storage for computers, mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc. You may have heard the slang term before… gigs. When looking at the gig of a computer, keep in mind what programs you’ll be using and what you’ll be storing (photos, music, etc). A gigabyte is more precisely defined as 1,024 megabytes (MB)


HDD = Hard Disk Drive, or Hard Drive.

The HDD is the main data storage hardware on a computer and permanently stores and retrieves data (files, images, programs, etc). It uses spinning disks to read and write the data it stores.  The bigger the size of the HDD, the more it can store.

When looking at the specs of a computer, don’t confuse RAM size with HDD size.

Did you know? HDDs were introduced by IBM and have been around since 1956!


macOS is Apple’s own operating system, used on every Apple iMac computer. An operating system is like the engine, it’s the software that runs the computer.


RAM = Random access memory.

RAM is important. It allows your computer to perform everyday tasks. It’s the main memory used to temporarily store the data and files your computer is currently using, so it can all be accessed quickly. It also helps you move quickly between open programs and tasks. Therefore, the more programs you have open and running, the more memory is used. So, close all those internet browser tabs you don’t need open! 😉


ROM = Read-only memory.

ROM refers to the space on your computer that permanently stores the instructions, operating system and software for your computer.

Operating system

The operating system (OS) is software that powers and runs a computer. Examples include Microsoft, macOS and Windows.


This is the heart of your computer and is usually measured in gigahertz, or GHz. Usually, the faster a processor the faster your computer should run. On some computers this may be referred to as ‘chip’ or GPU.


Resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up the picture you see on your computer monitor or laptop screen. They are tiny dots and there are thousands, even hundreds of thousands of pixels on a screen. With higher resolution comes more pixels, and therefore more clarity and detail.


SSD = Solid State Drive.

Like a HDD, a SSD is used as the main data storage on a computer. But unlike HDD, an SSD uses the same technology as a USB, which is NAND-based flash memory. Data is stored in microchips and when you turn off the computer the data won’t disappear.

SSD vs HDD – the difference between SDD and HDD is that they store data differently. While HDD’s have been used for more than 50 years, SDD are much newer and continuing to develop. But SDDs deliver a faster load time for programs, movies and games, and use less energy than HDDs.

When selecting a new computer, you’ll see that some have a HDD and some have a SDD, so it’s your choice on which one to go with.


Streaming refers to accessing music and video content on your computer without downloading it first. Instead of downloading it to your computer or laptop, it streams from an external source (such as Netflix or Spotify). Remember, every time you stream content, you’re using data.


TB = terabyte.

Like a gigabyte a terabyte is a measure of data storage for computers, mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc. A terabyte is more precisely defined as 1,024 gigabytes (GB).


Is a type of connection to an external device. Like when you plug something into a computer via a USB cable, you can also plug something in via a thunderbolt cable.


Wi-Fi is a wireless connection with a modem or router that enables a computer, laptop, tablet or other device, like a mobile phone or TV, to connect to the internet or with each other.

What are HDMI inputs?

HDMI = High-Definition Multimedia Interface.

HDMI inputs are used for computer accessories such a separate monitors, speakers, media players, etc. When selecting a new desktop computer or laptop rental, make sure it has enough HDMI inputs so you can connect your essential gear. 

Why does a laptop and a computer monitor have a Hz number?

The refresh rate of a laptop screen is measured in hertz (Hz) and refers to how many times per second the picture on screen is refreshed. High hertz can mean a smoother picture.

360° hinge

If a laptop has a 360° hinge it means you can open the laptop and move the lid all the way around, so the laptop screen and keyboard are back to back, and you can use the laptop screen like a tablet. This gives you flexibility to use in standard laptop mode, tablet tent mode or standard tablet mode.    

Why you should rent your next tech device through Snaffle

Buying isn’t your only option when it comes to getting your hands on the latest tech appliances. Thanks to Snaffle’s rental options, you will have your hands on your dream laptop or tablet in no time. Avoid the shock of large, upfront costs with easy to manage, bite-size payments.

At Snaffle, we understand that our customers are looking for the latest and most innovative products. With flexible contract lengths to suit your financial needs you can choose from a short 1-year rental, a longer 3-year contract, or somewhere in the middle.

To rent with Snaffle, you can apply online or by calling 1300 286 593. You’ll need to provide one form of identification, a reference, and some basic financial information.
Once your application has been approved and you have made your first payment, we will have your product delivered within 10 business days.