What Are the Different Types of Computers?

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There are a lot of terms used to describe computers. Most of these words imply the size, expected use or capability of the computer. While the term computer can apply to virtually any device that has a microprocessor in it, most people think of a computer as a device that receives input from the user through a mouse or keyboard, processes it in some fashion and displays the result on a screen. • PC - The personal computer (PC) defines a computer designed for general use by a single person. While a Mac is a PC, most people relate the term with systems that run the Windows operating system. PCs were first known as microcomputers because they were a complete computer but built on a smaller scale than the huge systems in use by most businesses. • Desktop - A PC that is not designed for portability. The expectation with desktop systems are that you will set the computer up in a permanent location. Most desktops offer more power, storage and versatility for less cost than their portable brethren. • Laptop - Also called notebooks, laptops are portable computers that integrate the display, keyboard, a pointing device or trackball, processor, memory and hard drive all in a battery-operated package slightly larger than an average hardcover book. • Palmtop - More commonly known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), palmtops are tightly integrated computers that often use flash memory instead of a hard drive for storage. These computers usually do not have keyboards but rely on touchscreen technology for user input. Palmtops are typically smaller than a paperback novel, very lightweight with a reasonable battery life. A slightly larger and heavier version of the palmtop is the handheld computer. • Workstation - A desktop computer that has a more powerful processor, additional memory and enhanced capabilities for performing a special group of task, such as 3D Graphics or game development. • Server - A computer that has been optimized to provide...
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