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Types of Computer

There are different types of Computer on the basis of their size, computing power, and data handling capabilities. In this article we have discussed Analog & Digital Computer, Supercomputer, Minicomputer, Workstation, Personal Computer (PC) and all other types of Computer.

Types of Computer

Computer is an electrical or electromechanical device which takes data as input and produces information as output.There are different types of computers. Do you have any idea how many types of computers have been invented? The answer can be found in this article as we have categorized different types of Computer based on various ways.

Mainly there are two types of computers: General Purpose Computer & Special Purpose Computer.

General Purpose Computer – This type of computer can do different types of work. But the accuracy level is low. Personal Computer (PC) is a kind of general purpose computer.

Special Purpose Computer – This type of computer used for any particular work. Accuracy level is high and is a dedicated type of computer. Example: Supercomputer.

But Computers can also further be differentiated based on their data handling capabilities and based on their sizes. 

If you take on the basis of data handling capabilities, there are three types of computers that are mentioned in the table below.

No.Type of ComputerDescription
1Analog ComputerThese computers are specifically designed to process analogue data.Analogue data changes continuously and does not have discrete values.
2Digital ComputerDigital Computers are designed to perform different calculations and logical operations at a very high speed. It only understands the binary input 0 and 1.
3Hybrid ComputerHybrid Computers are a combination of Analog and Digital computers. Hybrid Computers are fast like analog computers and are identical to digital computers in terms of memory and accuracy.

Computer types can also be categorized based on their size, computing power and speed. Below table tells you about this type of classfication.

No.Type of ComputerDescription
1SupercomputerSupercomputers are one of the fastest computers in the world. They are expensive and specially designed to process huge amounts of data used in scientific research and development purposes.
2Mainframe ComputerMainframe computers are specially designed computer systems to support hundreds or thousands of users at the same time. These devices support multiple programs simultaneously. Used in large organizations like; telecom, banking industry & other.
3MinicomputerMinicomputer is a medium size multiprocessing computer system. This type of computer can have two or more processors, and supports up to 250 users at the same time.
4WorkstationA workstation is a specially designed computer for technical or scientific applications. It is a single-user computer and is built with a large amount of CPU Power, RAM, Memory, Graphics, & inbuilt network support.
5PC (Personal Computer)A Personal computer or PC is a general-purpose computer for individual use. It consists of CPU, memory,  input unit, and output unit. Examples: Desktop, Laptop & etc.

1. Types Of Computer On The Basis Of Data Handling Capabilities

1.1 Analog Computer

This type of computer works with analogous data.

1.2 Digital Computer

These types of computers work with digital signals. Digital signals made with Binary digits; ‘0’ and ‘1’. ‘0’ and ‘1’ are used for high and low voltage or indicate ON and OFF situation of voltage. Digital signals are like discrete types.

1.3 Hybrid Computer

Hybrid computer made with both analog and digital signals. Fast processing power of analog computers and High accuracy level of digital computers can be found in a Hybrid computer.

2. Types Of Computer Based On Size, Computing Power And Speed

2.1 Supercomputer


World’s fastest calculating device is called a super computer. Super computers can process data or instructions in nano second or peco second. Two things must present in a super computer;

  1. Roll back process from failure to previous stage.
  2. Parallel processing. [More than one CPU can handle or process multiple data or instructions.]

Example: Y- MP/C 90; developed by Cray Research Inc. can perform 2.1 cr. calculation in 1 second.

2.2 Mainframe Computer

Mainframe computer has less power, less processing speed than supercomputer. It is also cheaper than a supercomputer. Banks, Insurance companies, Railway systems use this type of computer. It follows Time sharing method to process data.

Example: IBM S/390.

2.3 Minicomputer

Mini computers are smaller and cheaper than mainframe computers or general purpose computers. It is a non-portable type, and used for commercial and technical purposes. For accounting, word processing, database management, CAD, numerical analysis, a mini computer is used.

Example: Digital Equipment Corporation builds VAX.

2.4 Workstation

Workstation is costly and it is used by strong machines, scientists and professionals. It can process a high amount of data and can run difficult programs. Advanced technology used for display screens of workstation. It supports O.S like UNIX for multitasking. Processors of work stations are more powerful than general PC’s. Some extremely powerful workstations are called super micros.

Example: Sun, Apollos, Hewlett packard, Next and IBM workstations.

2.5 Personal Computer

This computer is built for a particular person for a particular work purpose. For professional application, database management, accounting, word processing, home and education work personal computer (pc) is used.

IBM first brought the PC to market. PC could be of various models like PC, PC-XT, PC-AT etc. Those are made with respect to INTEL 8088, 80286, 80386 and 80486 microprocessors.

Properties of PC:

The cabinet contained a Power unit, Main memory, Disk drive, Input output device, Monitor, Floppy disk, Hard disk, Keyboard etc.

Type of Personal Computer

Portable Computer:

In today’s world the demand for small and lightweight computers is getting high. Among this type of computer, portable computers are popular. Mainly there are three types of portable computer,

  1. Laptop and Notebook.
  2. Subnotebook.
  3. Personal digital assistant.

Laptop and Notebook:

This type of device can run with a battery, so it can be easily portable from one place to another place. Laptop is small and lightweight so we can work with it by placing it in our lap. Notebook’s is a device that is smaller than a laptop. These types of portable devices use improved Microprocessors, improved Graphics, High storage memory etc.


Sub-Notebook is a kind of device that is useful for those people who are always traveling from one to another place. This type of device has an external floppy disc drive.

Example: Toshiba protege.

Hand-held Computer:

Hand-held computers are smaller than sub-Notebook and this type of device is mainly used for data collection. It can store twelve thousands of records. Hand-held computers are helpful for security purposes.

Pen-based Computing:

It is a kind of very small computer. This device is made with a writing pad and a light pen. Users just touch the pen on the writing pad to give any input. These types of devices are also known as personal digital assistants or PDAS.

Example: Newton of Apple.

FAQs on Different Types of Computer

Q1. What are the three types of Computers Based on their Data Handling Capabilities?

Answer: The three main types of Computers Based on their Data Handling Capabilities are;

  • Analog Computer
  • Digital Computer
  • Hybrid Computer

Q2. What are Supercomputers?

Answer: Supercomputers are specially designed computers which are expensive, have the fastest processing capability in the world, and can process huge amounts of data. Supercomputers are used for scientific and research pupose.

Q2. What are the five types of Computers Based On Size, Computing Power And Speed?

Answer: The five main types of Computers Based On Size, Computing Power And Speed are;

  • Supercomputer
  • Mainframe Computer
  • Minicomputer
  • Workstation
  • Personal Computer (PC)