Computer Hardware

From USB connectors to motherboards, the HowStuffWorks Computer Hardware Channel will help you find explanations, reviews, videos and prices for the parts you need.


Supercomputers are the whiz kids of the computing world – they're the fastest, most powerful machines around. Find out what they're used for – and what makes them so "super" – in this article.

With a global shortage of capable programmers, the Raspberry Pi may be the device that gets us back to computing basics. And that's a very good thing. Did we mention it only costs about $25?

Without hardware, even the best software ever created is useless. What components do you need to have assembled before you can boot up and start clicking?

There are hardware upgrades that can extend the useful life of your current computer without completely draining your account or relegating yet another piece of machinery to a landfill. Which upgrades are the best for your needs and your budget?

From the moment we started storing stuff on computers, we quickly realized that we needed more and more space. Virtual hard drives are the latest stage in digital data storage's evolution.

Today's mobile, sleek computers have come a long way since their comparatively clunky predecessors first debuted. Given how fast technology evolves, is there a way to protect your PC from becoming obsolete?

Amazon's Kindle Fire is more than just an e-book reader. In fact, the device became the best-selling Android tablet on the market not long after its introduction. What sets this inexpensive tablet apart?

Amazon's Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet are both inexpensive, and offer a wealth of content options for customers. Although they're very similar, each has subtle advantages. Which would you choose?

With their budget-friendly offerings, Nextbook tablets are another player in the tablet PC game. We'll check out their specs and features and show you how they compare to other low-priced tablets on the market.

One of the cheapest tablets around, the EvoMax allows you to surf the web and check e-mail with ease. But how is it on other functions?

Latte is a California company that releases inexpensive electronics from Asian companies in the United States. Can Latte's ICE Smart and iMuz tablets compete in the same market as the iPad, the Kindle and Google's Nexus 7?

A MID is a small, highly portable gadget that allows us to get on the Web to check e-mail, update our social networking sites of choice, play games and locate ourselves on a map, among many other things. But what devices can be considered MIDs?

Before it hit store shelves, the iPad 3 had generated a lot of hype thanks to its Retina display and more-powerful processor. But are those features worth trading in your old tablet to pick up a third-generation iPad?

In the world of tablet PCs, there are slick, expensive models like the iPad, but there are also lots of inexpensive tablets designed for the budget consumer. How do iDea USA tablets stack up?

Le Pan tablets may not have the power and speed of the industry-leading iPad, but it offers access to the Android app store and a host of other features. What can it do for you?

They are affordable, but are they functional? Pandigital's line of tablets have their drawbacks, but also some unexpected, useful features.

While the name Sylvania might instantly make you think of light bulbs, the company is in the tablet business too. What features set their tablet apart from the rest?

The perennial quest for the all-in-one computing device turns up another tablet, but this time it's affordable. Curious yet?

Ematic makes a host of Android tablets that won't break the bank. But what do they offer at such a low price? We'll tell you.

The Aakash Tablet is India's effort to provide cheap Internet access to students. How has the project fared, and does it have a future?

Wacom tablets aren't your average tablet PCS. They're pen tablets that allow artistic professionals and hobbyists alike to capture their art in a digital fashion.

Shopping for an art tablet is a lot like shopping for traditional art supplies. The artist's skills, specialties and technique all play a role. But just like art supplies -- tablets aren't cheap.

The gadget Razer showed off at CES 2012 was eye-popping and a little mind-boggling. Could a tablet-style computer with attached controllers really appeal to gamers?

Craig Electronics markets a range of discount tablets, many for less than $100. We'll tell you about a few of them.

If you're looking for a cheap tablet that does the basics, the Polaroid's probably your device. What can you expect out of this tablet computer?