Do you want to change your PC or are you thinking of getting a new one? Then you should know the different types of computers and their functions to choose the right one for your needs.
Surely you have some of the types of desktop or laptop computers at home and at work, but did you know that there is such a thing as a supercomputer? or do you have any idea what a mainframe is?
To help you in your search for the best types of computers, in this article we will share with you the classification of computers that exist in the market according to their data handling capacity and size. turn on full screen mode and read on!
Types of computers by data handling capacity
The types of computers vary depending on certain characteristics. First of all, we will explain about the types of computers according to data handling capacity:
1. Analog computers
These types of computers were specifically designed to process analog data. If you are not familiar with the term, analog data is a type of continuous data that is constantly changing and does not have discrete values.
Analog computers are also used when users are not familiar with exact values, such as temperature, speed, current and pressure. A unique feature of analog computers is that they accept data from the measuring device without converting it into relevant codes and numbers.
This feature allows analog computers to measure continuous changes in physical quantity. In some applications, analog computer types help perform calculations without using transducers to convert both inputs and outputs to a digital electronic format and vice versa.
Programmers can also scale the problem for the dynamic range of analog computers. This provides an excellent insight into the real situation, as it helps to learn about errors and their effects.
In most cases, the output of this type of computer is read on a dial or scale. Examples of analog computers are the mercury thermometer and the speedometer. In fact, there are more models of analog computers. Let’s look at some background of this type of computer:
The slide rule is one of the simplest types of computer systems, analog and mechanical. It was initially developed to perform the necessary mathematical calculations. these computer systems consist of two rods. When this type of computer performs any calculation, the crushed rod slides to align with specific marks placed on another rod.
This is one of the types of computer used to perform differential calculations. these computer systems perform integration by using a wheel and disk mechanism.
The first castle clock was invented by Al Khazari. This computer system was made to store all the programming instructions .
The height of the original machine was around 11 feet, and it came with the display of the zodiac, time, lunar and solar orbits. These types of analog computers could also allow users to set the length of the day according to the current season.
Electronic analog computer
This is a type of analog computer in which electrical signals flow through resistors and capacitors. this simulates different physical phenomena. No mechanical computer interactions occur in these devices. In addition, the voltage of the electrical signal is used to generate the correct displays in these devices.
2. Digital computers
Digital computers perform different calculations and logical operations at a very high speed. These kinds of computers accept raw data as input, made in binary (0 and 1) or digital numbers. After that, the device processes the information with programs that are already stored in the device’s memory.
After that, the device processes the information with programs that are already stored in the device’s memory. This process is followed to generate the output. Examples of digital computers are laptops, desktops and other electronic devices such as smartphones.
3. Hybrid computers
This type of computer represents a combination between a laptop and a tablet. When it emerged in 2012, it was intended as an enhanced version of a tablet, with greater productivity options.
These devices are similar in speed to analog computers and are identical to digital computers in their memory and precision. Hybrid computers can process both discrete and continuous data.
Simply put, they work by accepting analog signals and converting these signals into a digital form before processing them. This is why these computer models are popularly used in specialized applications where both analog and digital data must be processed.
Today, virtually all technology brands have hybrid computer types, although Microsoft Surface is considered to be the leading one .
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Types of computers by size
Types of computers are usually classified based on the size in which they were built or designed. Let’s take a look at the different types of computers and their characteristics:
Let’s start with the most powerful of the types of computers that exist today: the supercomputer, which can process immense amounts of information and solve the most complicated operations .
But what is a supercomputer? Basically, they are computers connected together to increase their capacity exponentially.
The most powerful supercomputer in the world is called Tianhe-2 and is located at the National University of Defense Technology in China. according to the web portal Muy Interesante, “its 40,960 processors with 260 cores and its 1.3 petabytes of RAM give it a processing power of 93 petaflops”.
2. Mainframes or macrocomputers
These types of computers, which are also known as mainframes, are capable of processing millions of applications at once, using several operating systems simultaneously. Of course, these computers are usually very large.
They are generally used by large corporations or government agencies, who keep mainframes in refrigerated rooms to prevent them from overheating.
3. Personal Computers
These types of personal computers have their origins in equipment designed since 1970, then called microcomputers. They have a microprocessor and are designed for a user to perform basic computing tasks, whether for work or entertainment .
Over the years, key components such as the CPU (central processing units) and RAM (random access memory) evolved, making the performance of personal computers faster and more efficient.
4. Laptop computers
For some years now, laptops have replaced personal computers because of their convenience, since they have a screen, keyboard, touchpad, processor, hard drives, memories and battery all in one device, and can be moved and used without being plugged in.
These types of computers are also known as laptops, from the words lap and top, or notebooks, because of their similarity to a notebook. The first laptop was the Epson HX-20, created in 1981, although the Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful one. Today, they are one of the most widely sold types of computers.
For Daniel Angulo, professor of the Leading Technology Departments online course, laptops are useful for certain departments in a company:
“For people who manage sales areas, operational areas or administrative areas, who manage the operation of the company you could consider mid-range or high-end processors, but always remember portability.”
5. Desktop computers
These computers consist of a monitor, CPU, keyboard and mouse, although speakers, webcam and microphone are usually added. However, there are some computer models that come with all of these built in, such as the iMac.
In fact, there are different types of desktop computers. Depending on their components, there are computer models for graphic design and there are others that are useful for video editing.
A type of computer used for engineering (CAD/CAM), desktop publishing, software development and other types of applications that require a moderate amount of computing power and relatively high quality graphics capabilities.
Workstations generally feature a large, high-resolution graphics display, a large amount of RAM, built-in network support and a graphical user interface. in addition, they have a mass storage device, such as a disk drive, or some come without a disk drive.
In fact, workstations are equipped with faster microprocessors and more powerful CPUs than personal computers. These types of PCs can handle data analysis, CAD, animation, video editing and video creation.
The most common operating systems for workstations are UNIX and Windows NT. Like personal computer types, most workstations are single-user computers. However, workstations are usually connected together to form a local area network, although they can also be used as stand-alone systems.
These types of computers are the most basic, technologically speaking. They are smaller laptops (on average 10 inches in size), less powerful and less capable.
They are designed to perform simple processes, such as web browsing or simple productivity tasks. For all this, it could be said that netbooks are the cheapest types of computers.
Tablets, or tablets, are types of portable computers that are used for basic entertainment and productivity tasks .
One of the main characteristics of these types of computers is that they have a touch screen and do without a keyboard and mouse. the screen size usually ranges from 7 inches to 12 inches. the most famous tablet? Of course, the iPad.
Over the years, different types of tablets have been designed, depending on their use. For example, if you are an illustrator you will probably have (or want to have) a drawing tablet, and if you like reading, then you will go for a reading tablet.
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9. Smartphone or smartphones
We all agree that smartphones are computers disguised as phones, right? In less than 6 inches they incorporate battery, processor, touch screen and sensors such as GPS .
In addition, they have the ability to connect to the Internet and do many tasks that previously could only be done on other types of computers, such as checking email and surfing the Internet. According to a study published by BBC, only 15% think their laptop is their most important device, while 66% think their smartphone is.
If you’re looking for computers that aren’t laptops or desktops, this is a device within everyone’s reach. The success of smartphones is closely related to the phenomenon called the Internet of Things, which refers to “objects that have the ability to transfer data over a network without human intervention.”
A long-range example is the cell phone with 5G network, and a short-range example is the activity wristband or a smartphone connected via Bluetooth. This is why it is so common for web developers to use templates for interface design in mobile applications, so that their web project can adapt to users’ devices. watch the video below and find out more about it!
10. Wearable computers
Another type of computer nowadays has to do with fashion: wearable computers or wearable devices. These are mini computers for personal use, incorporated into watches, glasses, bracelets and other accessories .
The main function of these devices or technological gadgets is to complement the tasks of other equipment, mainly smartphones. can you think of an example? Of course, the Apple Watch.
Now that you know what are the types of computers that exist in the market, do you already know which is your favorite device? Remember that before choosing a computer, take into account its functionalities and the purpose for which you want to acquire one.
If you want to learn more about computers and how to design a new app or website effectively, take a look at our online web and mobile development courses.
see you in the next article!