Hardware (H/W) refers to the physical elements that make up a computer or electronic system and everything else involved that is physically tangible. This includes the monitor, Hard Disk Drive (HDD), Random Access Memory (RAM) and the Central Processing Unit (CPU). Hardware works hand-in-hand with Firmware and Software (SW) to make a computer function.
Although the same core components are shared between Desktop and Laptop computers, their characteristics and design differ for a multitude of reasons (size, heat dissipation capabilities, power requirements, etc.). However, hardware is always necessary to run the critical software that makes computers work.