Different Types of Computers

Smartphones

Many mobile phones are essentially "computers that make phone calls." They have the same computer power that desktop computers had less than ten years ago. They use an Operating System and applications, just like any computer.

 

PDA (outgoing)

The PDA (Personal Data Assistant) is a kind of handheld computer. These are currently behind replaced with smartphones or DAP (Digital Audio Players) which have many computer-like features. You can still find and purchase PDAs, but few people use them any more.

 

E-book Reader

These are computers designed specifically to act as electronic book (or any printed material) readers, but they don't have many of the same capabilities and features that most full-blown computers have.

The most popular ebook reader, until recently, was Amazon's Kindle. However, since the release of the iPad, the Kindle has taken a secondary role for people who prefer specific features (such as e-ink displays and batteries that last a week), and who only wish to read books and not do much else.

 

Tablet

A tablet is a netbook- or notebook-sized computer which consists of a display, with computer parts built into the slender body behind the display. Tablets have no physical keyboard, relying instead on touch or stylus input. Recently, tablets have centered on the use of "multi-touch," a kind of touchscreen technology that allows for more than one point of input. In contrast, a traditional computer only allows one on-screen point of input--the cursor.

 

Netbook

The "Netbook" is a recent popular computer type, but many debate whether it is just a fad or if people actually want this type of computer. Essentially, it is an ultra-small notebook, with a screen less than 12 inches in size. Some netbooks have been made small enough to fit into a large pocket. While cheap and easy to carry, these netbooks are not very powerful, and lack many highly desired features like a CD/DVD drive.

 

Laptop (Notebook)

A portable computer--essentially a computer which runs on batteries. Screen sizes usually range from 12 to 17 inches. Laptops are less powerful than desktops, but cost a lot more.

 

Mini Desktop

Mini computers are designed to be small and portable, but still require the use of a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse. If you already have that equipment, then a Mini Desktop may be a cheap way of replacing the computer itself.

 

All-in-One ("AIO") Desktops

These are Desktop computers which have all of the hardware fit into the monitor frame.

 

Desktop

Desktop computers are not portable at all. They are heavy and require several cables. They are the cheapest type of computer and can be powerful, with strong CPUs, a lot of memory and storage, and special additions such as video cards. If you do not need to move your computer around and need the most power for the lowest price, this is the one to get.

 

Workstation

These are the highest-power desktop computers available to the general public. They have the fastest CPUs, many media drives, and are very expandable. They are also very expensive.