The term turntable refers to a composite of parts; the platter on which the record rests, the motor and drive system, the tonearm, the cartridge and the housing for the entire assembly.
The platter and drive assembly revolve the record at a specific speed. The tonearm holds the cartridge and suspends it over the record. The stylus in the cartridge traces the record groove. The housing contains the various components and stops vibrations from adversely affecting performance.
The basic turntable has fewer in-built mechanical devices to degrade performance—which means sound quality will be improved. Fewer parts also means there is less likelihood of break down.
A basic turntable plays only long play (LP) records, has one speed (33.33 rpm), ...