A personal computer (PC) is a microcomputer that is compact, portable, effective, and reliable for use by a single person. They are mostly multiprogramming single-user types of systems. Personal computers have small screens that allow use by only one person comfortably. They are versatile devices that can be used in a variety of tasks for day to day operation of most users.
The main types of personal computers are desktops, laptops, tablets, workstations, all-in-one PC, and smartphones among others. PCs are used for personal and business benefits such as editing documents, entertainment, learning, sharing resources, and internet browsing among others discussed in the article.
Types of personal computers (PCs)
There are different types of personal computers that are categorized on how compact they are, the screen size, and the user interface. You can read more about the history of PCs in this article on Wikipedia. The main types of PCs are:
These are the oldest model of personal computers that are designed to sit on top of the desk. Depending on the model they come as a tower or desktop. Desktops are designed to be laid flat on the desk while towers stand upright. The tower PC offers more space to expand than the desktop when you require to do an upgrade.
These types of PCs are made of separate components such as the system unit, monitor, mouse, and keyboard. They rely on a direct power supply from the wall socket or UPS if they are connected to any.
They are more compact than desktops. They have components built-in to make one wholesome device. The system unit, monitor, mouse, and keyboard are all inbuilt. The mouse is replaced with a touchpad which acts as a pointing device.
Laptops are designed to be portable and can be used comfortably placed on your lap hence the term laptop. They are still powerful just like the desktop and even some are more powerful depending on the specification given. For power supply, they have a rechargeable battery that can last for hours.
These are portable devices that have a monitor and all other components are integrated within. They are smaller than laptops. Just take the laptop screen and that how a tablet looks like. They are designed to be held on one hand while the other hand uses the fingers to operate.
Mostly they are designed as touchscreen devices and they come with a stylus pen for operation. Tablets are less powerful compared to desktop and laptop computers. They have a battery that can last longer than one on the laptop.
They are known as detachable laptops. It is a laptop that is designed in such a way that the screen part can be detached from the other part and be used separately. Mostly they are touchscreen so that they can be converted to tablets.
2-in-1s are more convenient and versatile since they can be used as either depending on the conditions presented. Both parts are designed to work together and separately and have their own power supply.
This is a more specialized computer that is used for intense operations such as engineering design, animation rendering, etc. They are more powerful than normal desktop and laptop computers. They have high-resolution graphic cards, high speed, more RAM, and storage capacity.
These are a monitor that has a system unit and other components built in. However, the mouse and keyboard come as separate components. The most common brand is Apple computers.
Today’s smartphones are more powerful in terms of functionality and speed than desktop computers of the 2000s. They are small in size that they can comfortably fit on our palm. They can be operated using one hand or both.
Smartphones are designed to fit in our pockets. This has made them become part of human day-to-day life.
These are computers that are designed with high graphics and speed capability to support high-end computer gaming. Some of these gaming computers may also have an additional cooling system to cool down the system since gaming is an intense operation for a computer.
Uses of personal computers (PCs).
PCs are versatile devices that can be used for many functions to benefit the user. Any one of these computers can be used for all of these functions depending on user needs. The main uses of today’s personal computers are:
- Internet browsing: from the desktop to smartphone these devices are optimized for online operation. They can be used for simple internet browsing to intense research depending on user needs.
- Gaming: PCs are also used for gaming. The games can either be online or offline games. However, for more complex games you may need a computer with advanced features to meet game demand.
- Creating documents: at a personal level, you need to create different types of documents which can be achieved on all these devices. The documents can be word processing, spreadsheet, or any other type of document. Make sure your computer has the right software installed to edit the respective document.
- Entertainment: After work computer can be used for entertainment. It can be used to watch movies, listen to music, and play games among other relaxing activities.
- Business communication: personal computers are used for generating, formatting, and communicating documents between businesses. You can use your computer to create memos, business letters, presentations, and analyze sale data among others. PCs are also used to send and receive emails.
- Social media access: Today social media platforms are many. Personal devices such as a smartphone are optimized for communication. Some come with pre-installed social media platforms.
- Sharing documents and resources: PCs have made sharing both the documents and resources such as printers and storage easy. Users can share all types of documents and multimedia such as videos, images, audio, etc.
- Learning: personal computers have become an integrated part of learning in today’s information age. They can be used to learn on-premise students or online learning. Since most devices are portable it means learning can happen anywhere anytime.
- Graphic design and multimedia editing: PCs can also be used to edit videos, images, and design graphics that can meet publication standards. However, these computers may require to have high specifications since graphic editing consumes more computer resources.
- Navigation: smartphones come with navigation software that can help users identify where they are located at the moment or where they are going. Using the same apps they can track their device in case it gets lost.