These days, computers are described using many different terms. In most cases, simply the capability, the expected use or the size of the computer is implied. However, what most of us do not know is that there are actually different types of computers.
Types of Computers
A computer designed to be used by a single person is defined as a personal computer (PC). While a Mac is a personal computer, systems running the Windows OS are considered PCs by most people. Initially, personal computers were referred to as microcomputers because they were complete computers with a smaller size. The Apple iPad is a perfect example of a modern PC.
A desktop computer is a personal computer that is not designed to be portable. Generally, desktop computers are set up in permanent locations. In comparison to portable computers, more versatility, storage and power is offered by most desktop computers for a lesser price.
Laptops, also known as notebooks, are small-sized portable computers can be placed on the lap and used there. The display, hard drive, keyboard, memory, processor, and a trackball or point device are integrated in a battery-operated package.
Netbooks are also portable computers but they are much smaller than typical laptops. In comparison to brand-new laptops that can be found at retail outlets, netbooks are much cheaper, usually starting from $300 to $500. However, the internal components of netbooks are not as powerful as those in most laptops.
PDAs or Personal Digital Assistants are integrated computers that do not use a hard drive but instead, use flash memory for storage. These are touchscreen devices and do not have keyboards. Typically, PDAs are very lightweight, smaller than a paperback novel and have a decent battery life. The handheld computer is a slightly heavier and larger version of the PDA.
A workstation is another type of computer. A workstation is just a desktop computer with additional memory, a more powerful processor, and enhanced capabilities to perform a special group of task, like game development, or 3D graphics.
Servers are computers that have been optimized to provide services over a network to other computers. Usually, servers have large hard drives, lots of memory and powerful processors.
At one time, mainframes used to be computers that were so huge they would fill a whole room or even an entire floor. As the power of computers has increased while their size has decreased, mainframe computers are now referred to as enterprise servers.
The price of a supercomputer can be anywhere from hundreds or thousands to millions of dollars. Majority of supercomputers comprise of multiple high-performance computers that work in parallel as one single system. Cray Supercomputers have built the well-known supercomputers.
10. Wearable Computer
Wearable computers are a latest computing trend. Today, typical computer applications, like calendar/scheduler, database, e-mail and multimedia have been integrated into cell phones, clothing, visors and watches.
You might have heard of some of these computers, and you might even be one or some of these types in your home. Then again, you also might not have heard of some types of computers mentioned here.