Turnkey refers to a system or software package that has been built, installed or supplied by the manufacturer complete and ready to operate. In the computer industry, the term is used to promote a system that can be easily set up and operated “right out of the box.” If you think of it in terms of an engine, a turnkey engine comes with all the parts and can be tossed into a car and work immediately. An engine that isn’t Turnkey will need additional parts and integration before it will run.
In essence, Turnkey is a term that requires qualification. For example, a Sweetwater PC that is optimized for audio in and of itself is a Turnkey system. However, a system that includes a Sweetwater PC, Pro Tools software, and an Mbox that enables you to set up easily and begin recording immediately can also be considered a Turnkey system.