Learn English – “Consumable” and “non-consumable” in reference to electronic items


How do you describe the difference between consumable and non-consumable electronic items?

Best Answer

I'm not sure what the question is. Would you give some examples of where or on what occasions you see the phrase 'consumable/non-consumable electronic items'?

Electronic items are generally considered consumer products , rather than being classified as 'consumable' or 'non-consumable'. If we adopt Webster's definition as quoted by Thursagen, then electronic items are just consumable, as they can be destroyed, used beyond repair or discarded. I don't really recall seeing any electronic item labelled as 'non-consumable'.

Some electronic products, e.g. office copier machines, may generally last longer or get replaced less frequently than others, e.g. personal mobile phones. That might give you a sense that personal mobile phones are 'consumable' but copier machines are 'non-consumable', but that's really not the difference between 'consumable' and 'non-consumable'.

Also, as Thursagen has pointed out, many accessories of electronic items are 'consumables', for example photo printer paper, catridges and toners, digital camera batteries - but these are not exactly electronic items themselves (maybe except the batteries). So I'm not sure if you're actually referring to the consumable accessories for electronic items when you say 'consumable electronic items'.