Types of Computer

These days, varieties of computers are available in different sizes and types. There are computers that can fit in the palm of our hands to those even bigger than a room, single-user computers can perform thousands of operations at a moment. Computers are classified on the basis of working principle, on the basis of size, on the basis of the model, and on the basis of the brand.

Types of Computer on the Basis of Working Principle

Analog Computer

Analog Computer is a computer that stores and processes analog data as physical quantities such as electrical, hydraulic, mechanical quantities and perform the task. It is designed to process data in which the variable quantities carry continuously which translates the relationships between the variables of a problem into the analogous relationship between electrical quantities, like current and voltage, and solves the primary issue by solving the equivalent problem. Due to this character, Analog Computers were used to test and analyze any dynamic situations like the launch of a space shuttle or the changing weather pattern over a certain area. The accuracy of an analog computer is bad, they are limited to three to four figures of exactness alternatively. These are specific-purpose computers.

Although analog computer's features are commonly found in some devices such as speedometers, thermometers, watt-hour meters, etc. Some examples of analog computers are Presley, Speedometer, Mercury thermometer, etc.

What is Analog Computer?
Analog Computer

Digital Computer

A computer that operates on data in terms of binary digits and processes in the discrete form to perform the task. The conditions of an advanced digital PC normally include binary digits which may act as the storage medium, in-off switches, or relays. In digital computers, data including letters, words, and symbols are expressed digitally.

What is Digital Computer?
Desktop Computer

General-purpose digital computers are pocket-sized personal digital assistance (PDA), notepad computers to medium-sized desktop computers like personal computers and workstations. It can be also powerful computers like a micro computer, mini computer, a super computer that are shared by many users is a computer network. The vast majority of the advanced computers now being used are cheap, special-purpose microcontrollers that are embedded, frequently undetectably, in such devices as toys, consumer electronic hardware, and automobiles.

A digital computer can perform tasks to control industrial processes and regulates the operations of machines, analyze and organize vast amounts of business data and simulate the behavior of the dynamic systems. Digital computers are faster and accurate as compared to analog computers.

Hybrid Computer

A hybrid computer is a computer that includes systems, features, and components of both analog computer and digital computer.

A hybrid computer includes the estimating feature of an analog computer and the tallying feature of a digital computer. For computational purposes, these PCs utilize analog components and for the storage of intermediate outcomes, digital memories are utilized. It accepts a continuously varying input, which is then converted onto a set of discrete values for digital processing.

The wildest application of hybrid computers takes place in situations that require real-time solutions. For example, the ECG (Electro Cardio Graph) monitors a patient in a hospital. It takes an analog signal that is the heartbeat of the patient and converts it into the digital format after processing it. The lines on the screen are a computerized guess of the analog pulse.

Types of Computer on the Basis of Size

Super Computer

A supercomputer is the fastest kind of computer that performs at a rate of speed that is far over that of different PCs which use massive power so they are incredibly quick, modern, and powerful.

Supercomputers are very expensive and rise utilized for particular applications that require huge measures of numerical calculations. The supercomputer is used for weather forecasting, scientific purposes, nuclear energy research, and minerals investigation.

What is Super Computer?
Super Computer

The supercomputer is primarily used in scientific computing, where powerful computers are used to execute difficult tasks and operations. Scientific associations like NASA utilized supercomputers for the purpose of performing the calculation, delivering complex formulas, performing different assignments which require a formidable amount of computer power. With artificial intelligence technology, some supercomputers are designed to perform specific tasks like cracking programs, playing games, Deep Blue is a popular chess-playing supercomputer.

Supercomputers operate quickly and smoothly due to the presence of multiple processors and advanced components. Its work length is more than 128 bits.

Example: CRAY-3, CYBER 205, PARAM, etc.

Use: Weather Forecasting, Space Exploration, Nuclear and Scientific research, etc.

Mainframe Computer

Mainframes are large, powerful, and expensive computers used mainly by large companies for bulk data processing, commercial data processing, and other large-scale operations such as bank transaction processing. The largest mainframes have the capacity to perform thousands of tasks and operations at the same time. The mainframe computer is a general-purpose computing system designed for large-scale data processing. It is very large in size with 1000 sq. ft. approximately and supports a large number of terminals, more than 100 terminals. It is also used in a network system. Its word length is more than 64 bits. In 1964, IBM built the first Mainframe Computer. The primary contrast between a supercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer utilizes all its power into executing a couple of projects as quickly as could whereas a mainframe computer utilizes its ability to execute numerous projects simultaneously.

Example: IBM zSeries, ENIAC, System 360, Harvard Mark I, VAX 8000, etc.

Use: Industries, Banking, Insurance companies, Airlines, Air Traffic Control

What is Mainframe Computer?
Mainframe Computer

Mini Computer

Minicomputers are computers that are somewhere in between a microprocessor and a mainframe computer. The minicomputer was typically a standalone device that was ideal, used by small and middle-sized businesses who needed more power and memory that could be obtained with microcomputers, but did not need the resources provided by mainframes. More recently, a minicomputer is using a server that can be a part of a larger network.

What is Mini Computer?
Mini Computer

The primary structure for a minicomputer was a basic computer system. It was equipped with essential programs and functions that would handle simple tasks, such as word processing. The minicomputer was outfitted with terminals that made it possible to connect peripheral devices to the computer framework, like a printer. However, the minicomputer for the most part didn't have hardware or software that permitted the device to be incorporated into a bigger network.

A computer that is compact, cheaper, and less advance than a mainframe or supercomputer, but more expensive and more advance than a personal computer. They can support about 50 terminals and require 100 sq. ft. area approximately. Minicomputers are used in the scientific and engineering sector for calculations, the business sector for transaction processing, file handling, and database management.

Examples: PDP 11, IBM 8000 series, VAX 7500, etc.

Use: University, Scientific Research, Industries, etc.

Micro Computer

A microcomputer is a small-sized personal computer (PC) designed for an individual having a microprocessor inside it. Microcomputers are designed to utilized by peoples, whether in the form of PCs, workstations, or notebook computers. A microcomputer is made of a central processing unit (CPU) on a microprocessor, a memory system (RAM and ROM), a network of bus, and input/output ports, all embedded in a motherboard.

These computers are called micro because of the use of microprocessors as processing units. The smallest of this category are laptop, notebook, pain top computers, etc. The size is reducing day by day and it can be kept on top of the desk, on top of our lap, like a notebook, and even on our palms. The advancement of technology is bringing cm\omputers with special features and reduced size.

Example: IBM PCs, Apple/ Macintosh, Dell, etc.

Use: Entertainment, Desktop, Business, School, College, Personal, etc.

Types of Microcomputer

Following are different types of microcomputer:

  1. Desktop Computer
  2. Workstation
  3. Laptop
  4. Palmtop
  5. Tablet PC
  6. Smartphone
  7. Ultrabook
1. Desktop Computer

A desktop computer is a personal computer that can literally fit easily on top of a desk. A desktop computer typically comes in several units that are connected during installation that may be the processor, the display monitor, and input devices - usually a keyboard and a mouse.

Today, almost all desktop computers include a built-in network interface card, a DVD-RW drive, a huge-sized magnetic storage drive.

What is Desktop Computer?
Desktop Computer
2. Workstation

A workstation is specially designed for network environment in LAN (Local Area Network) system. It is proposed for business or professional use. Workstations and applications are designed for a specific purpose for small business agencies, engineering companies, or any organization that needs to perform thousands of operations, requires a high-speed microprocessor, and proper memory system.

Like personal computers, most workstations are single-user computers. However, workstations are normally interconnected together to form a localized network and can be used as a single computer.

What is Workstation?

3. Laptop

A laptop computer is a portable personal computer light and little enough to sit on an individual's lap. It can be powered by a battery or plugged into the wall. A laptop computer's main utility is that it allows a person to travel with their computing resource. A laptop incorporates most parts of the typical component of a PC, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device such as a mouse, and speakers into a single unit. Laptops are sometimes called notebook computers or notebooks.

A laptop is a battery-or Ac-controlled personal computer generally smaller than a briefcase that can easily be transported and helpfully utilized in temporary spaces, for example, on airplanes, in libraries, temporary offices, and at meetings.

What is laptop? Image of laptop
4. Palmtop

It is a small portable computer designed to fits in the palm of your hand. Most of the palmtop uses a light pen rather than a keyboard or mouse for input. Because of their little size, most palmtop PCs do exclude disk drives. We can embed disk drives, modems, memory, and other different devices.

What is palmtop? Image of palmtop
5. Tablet PC

A tablet PC is a wireless personal device with a mobile operating system and touch screen interface. The tablet is typically smaller than a notebook computer but larger than a smartphone and primarily operated by touching the screen rather than using a physical keyboard. It frequently utilizes an onscreen virtual keyboard, a passive pointer pen, or a digital pen. The term may also apply to a variety of form factors that differ in the position of the screen concerning a keyboard. The standard structure is called slate, which doesn't have an embedded keyboard but might be connected to one with a remote connection or a USB port.

What is tablet pc? Image of tablet
6. Smart Phone

A smartphone is a mobile phone that comprises modern functionality beyond making phone calls and sending instant messages. Most smartphones have the capability to display photos, play videos, check and send an email, and surf the web. Modern smartphones such as surf the web. Advanced smartphones such as the iPhone and Android-based phones can run third-party applications which provide boundless usefulness.

What is smartphone? Image of smartphone
7. Ultrabook

An ultrabook is a sort of thin and light laptop computer designed to connect the market hole among tablets and premium notebook PCs. Ultrabooks give more business-accommodating features than tablets and more portability than business-class notepads. Ultrabooks are distinguished from notebooks by offering more power in the form of faster processors and additional RAM, as well as better storage and larger screen sizes as well as better storage and larger screen sizes as well as long, battery life, typically 8 hours plus, features that also make these laptops significantly more expensive than most notebooks.

What is ultrabook? Notebook, image of ultrabook

Types of Computer on the Basis of Brands

IBM Computer

IBM computer represents " International Business Machine Computer" which is made by the IMB organization. These computers were established by Dr.Herman Hollerith in 1923 A.D. and nit is the largest computer manufacturing company in the world till today. It is leading the market of mainframe, mini and personal computer. IBM manufactures reliable, affordable, and long-lasting computers with high processing capacity. It is likewise called IBM branded the computer as its entire parts are invented by IBM itself. Generally, these computers are more expensive than other computers. IBM computers are very famous for data processing and storage.

IBM Compatible

The word compatible means ' can exist together and work successfully'. So in IBM compatible, the components of the computer are developed by different companies and finally, they are assembled and a computer is made. So, it is also called assembled PC. There is no dissimilarity in the structure of IBM compatible and IBM PC but IBM compatible is more affordable than branded PC or IBM PC. Some of the most popular IBM-compatible PCs are Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc.


Apple Corporation is one of the largest computer manufacturers which is in the USA. It has made many PCs good and user-friendly, and the internal architecture of the Apple computer is totally different from that of the IBM PC. The software made for Apple computers can't be used in IBM PC or vice versa. Even the floppy disks or hard disk formatted in one can't be recognized by others. These computers are popular for graphic designing, video editing, and animation. Some of the most popular Apple/ Machintosh products are Macbook Pro, iMac, etc.

Types of Computer on the Basis of Model


XT represents "eXtra Technology" and these are computers with old technology and weak processor. They use CUI (Character User Interface) or text-based software. They don't have a high-speed processor and large memory capacity, so they can't perform complex tasks nor have large data processing capacity. Even the Input/Output devices used in XT computers are not very flexible and faster under the XT technology. Having processor Intel 8085/ 8076/ 6066 lies under the XT technology.


AT represents "Advanced Technology" and these are computers with advanced technology and powerful processors. They work with advanced GUI-based interface and software along with CUI-based software. Their Input/Output devices are interactive, flexible, and faster. Because of their high-speed processor and large storage capacity, complex calculation and large data processing can be done easily. Having processor Pentium 8-286, 386/ 488 lies under the AT technology.

PS/2 Computer

PS representing 'Personal System', is IBM's third generation personal computer and is better than fast AT computers. Most of the laptop computers are of PS/2 model. So these computers can run even ion battery. They are faster and flexible Input/Output devices and use GUI-based software.

Mobile Computing

Mobile Computing is a technology that allows peoples to use technology, communicate with data, voice, or video at any place while moving. In other words, it is a wireless technology that allows transmitting data and instructions via computer without having a physical link. Mobile computing includes mobile technology like mobile communication, mobile hardware, and software.

Mobile voice communication and data communication are rapidly established worldwide for sending and receiving data across these cellular networks. It allows users to transmit data and instruction from one place to another through a wireless medium. This proves to be the solution to be the biggest problem of business people on the move - mobility.

Numerous types of mobile computers have been presented since the 1990s, including wearable, smartphones, etc.

Advantages of Mobile Computing

  • Portable: Mobile computing makes human life easier as it is portable, convenient, and one can communicate easily with mobile computers.
  • Social interactivity: It is a very useful tool for social interactivity that allows for data sharing and collaboration between users.
  • Context sensitivity: It is also a very useful tool for context sensitivity to gather and respond to real or simulated data unique to a current location, environment, or time.
  • Connectivity ability: Its connectivity ability help for communication of data in any environment.
  • Commonly used: It is commonly used for solving difficult activities and lesson customization for individual learners.
  • Quick service: We can sell a product or give service in a quicker time by using mobile computing.
  • Ease and quick enhancement: Mobile computing is becoming very popular for streamline business processes for its promotion and enhancement easily and quickly.

Technical and other Limitations (Disadvantages) of Mobile Computing

  • Insufficient bandwidth: If the user needs access to a network such as internet on the go, they must resort to slow wireless WANs (Wide Area Network) systems primarily intended for telephone use. Higher-speed wireless LANs (Local Area Network) are only available in specific sites.
  • Security principles: When working mobile one is dependent on public networks, requiring cautious use of VPNs (Virtual Private Network).
  • Power consumption: Since the framework can not be utilized, mobile computers should depend on battery power. Combined with compact size, this implies unusually costly batteries should be utilized.
  • Human interface with device: These are still extraordinary, screens are often too small. Keyboards are impractical, especially one-handed, and alternate methods such as speech or handwriting recognization required training.

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