What is Computer? | 6 Types of Computers and their Purposes | Examples with Pictures


Computer are sophisticated devices capable capable of performing huge variety of tasks. Thus many different types of computers make it possible to perform a huge variety of tasks. Computers can be categorized in following ways.


Purpose wise computers can be categorized as:

1. Special-purpose computers.

Special-purpose computer is the one that is designed to perform a specific task. The instructions (programs) to carry out the task are permanently stored in the machine. For the specific tasks, this type of computer works efficiently but such computers are not versatile.

2. General-purpose computers.

General-purpose computer is the one that can work on different types of programs input to its and thus be used in countless applications. The programs are not permanently stored but are input at the time of execution. These computers are very versatile.

Principle of operation wise

Principle f operation wise computers can be categorized as follows:

1. Analog Computers. 

These computer types work with continuous physical quantities such as voltage, current, temperature etc. That is, they take input in the form of volts, ampere, Celsius etc. but their accuracy is poor as compared to digital counterparts. Analog computers are mostly used in engineering and scientific applications. An electronic weighing scale is an example of en analog computer.

2. Digital Computers. 

This computer type’s work with discontinuous data converted into binary form i.e., digital 0 and 1 all operations are carried out on these digital at extremely fast rates. Digital computers are much faster than analog computers and far more accurate. Computers used for business and scientific applications are digital computers. Digital computers come variety of forms based on their configuration. This is covered in next subsection.

3. Hybrid Computers. 

Hybrid computers utilize the best qualities of both the digital and analog computer. In these computers some calculations take place in analog manner and rest of them take place in digital manner. Hybrid computers are best used in hospitals to monitor patient’s vital signs. Hybrid computers are also used in weather forecasting.

Analog and hybrid computers perform specialized tasks but the digital computers are used almost everywhere in business and scientific applications.

Types Of Digital Computers

Purpose wise digital computers can be special-purpose computers or general-purpose computers. But based on their configuration i.e., their size, speed and capability, they can be categorized as follows:

Embedded Computers

These computers are in the form of tiny chips embedded within the circuitry of appliances, such as televisions, washing machines and wrist watches. These computers are typically preprogrammed for a specific task, such as tuning to a particular television frequency or keeping accurate time.

Microcomputers/Personal Computers (Pcs)

A microcomputer is a computer whose CPU is a microprocessor. Those are normally single-microprocessor, single-user systems designed for performing basic operations like educational, training, small business applications, playing games etc. These are mainly used in offices, homes, schools. Shops, stores, etc. IBM PCs, Apple Mac, IBM PS.2 are some popular computers of this range. Microcomputers can be further categorized as:

(A)  Mobile/Handheld Computers. These can be held in hands but have limited capabilities compared to their bigger counterparts. Smartphone’s of today are such computers.

(B) Portable PCs. Bigger than mobile computers, the computers can be easily carried in a briefcase, purse or pockets. For example, laptops notebooks, PDA (personal digital assistants) etc. these days the gap between mobile computers and portable PCs is getting more and more narrower.

(C) Desktop PCs. These computers can fit on the top of a desk. Based on their configuration they can range from home computers, to small business computers to big utility computers.

(D) Workstations. Workstations are similar to personal computers but have greater memory and more extensive mathematical abilities, and they are typically found in scientific, industrial and business environments that require high levels of computational abilities.


Minicomputers, also called mid-range servers, are more powerful computer computers than microcomputers in terms of processing power and capabilities. Minicomputers are mainly multiuser systems where many users simultaneously work on the systems. Mini computers possess greater storage capacity and larger memories as compared to microcomputers. These are even capable of handling more input- output devices.

Examples are: PDP-11, AX, 7500 MAGNUM etc.


Mainframe computers are designed to handle huge volumes of data and information. These can support more than hundred users at same time. These very large and expensive computers have great processing speeds and very large storage capacity and memory as compared to minicomputers. These computers even possess and work with more than one processor at the same time. Thus one can say these are multiuser, multiprocessor systems. For mainframe computers very sophisticated operating systems are needed to control and supervise their operation.

 Examples are: ICL 39, CDC 6600, VAX 8842, IBM 3090/600, and IBM 4381.


Super computers are the most powerful computers among digital computers. These consist of several processors running together thereby making them immensely faster and powerful. 

These computers are capable of handling huge amounts of calculations that are beyond human capabilities. Super computers can perform billions instructions per second. Some of the today’s super computers have the computing capability equal to that of 40,000 micro computers.

These are mainly used in applications like weather forecasting, nuclear science research, aerodynamic modeling, seismology, metrology etc. 

Examples are: CRAY X-MP-14, CDC-205, ETA GF-10, FUJITSU VP-400, NEC SX-2, PARAM, and PACE.


As people came to know about the computer, they started using it more and more. Due to which scientists have to search for such new computers so that the needs of the people can be easily fulfilled.

That's why Palmtop computers were created. With its help, it can also be used in remote areas where no electricity facilities are available.

It is used mostly by higher authorities, social workers, researchers who work in such remote rural area, they use it more. Where you need a table for Desktop, on the laptop of your laptop, you can use it in your palm in the palmtop.


I hope you have liked this article of my type of computer. It has always been my endeavor to provide complete information about the types of computers to the readers, so that there is no need to search them in the context of that article in any other sites or internet. This will also save their time and they will also get all the information in one place.

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Keyword :- Types of Computers, Explain types of computer, Super Computer, Palmtop Computers, Mainframe computers, Minicomputers, microcomputer, Personal Computer, Special-purpose computer.

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