5 Unique Genres of Computers and Their Uses

As computers have evolved over the decades, they’ve gone from room-sized mainframes to personal computers and handheld mobile devices. Today’s smartphones and tablets are thousands of times more powerful – and millions of times less expensive – than the supercomputers of the 1950s. The genres of computers and uses in the modern world of computing comprise a wide range of applications, from basic PCs and servers to multi-million-dollar clusters used by research giants such as IBM and Google.
Desktop Computers

Desktop computers typically include a separate monitor, keyboard, mouse and computer tower. They tend to be the most powerful personal computers because their internal components have plenty of room to be cooled down by fans and water-cooling systems. Modern processors can reach many billions of cycles per second, and available main memory can be as much as 8 to 12 gigabytes.
Laptop Computers

Laptops are also known as notebook computers because they open and close like a traditional paper notebook. They’re typically a little less powerful than desktop computers because their compact internal components have less room for air or liquid cooling. However, some of the most expensive gaming laptops can be significantly more powerful than the average desktop used for general or business purposes.
Netbook Computers

Netbooks derive their name from their intended use as a miniature laptop for browsing the Internet. Because of their small size, netbooks are often used by tech enthusiasts and programmers to get work done while away from the office. In appearance, they resemble a standard laptop on a smaller scale. While they open and close like a laptop, they generally lack the mechanical latch that holds the screen closed, so opening them can be faster. Netbooks tend to be the least powerful personal computers capable of running a full desktop environment. They’re generally not powerful enough to run graphic design or video-editing software, although an external monitor can be connected to a VGA port.
Data Storing Center Computer Systems

In today’s modern world of high-tech data storage, entire rooms are needed to store data on the millions of users accessing the Internet every day. Data storage centers use advanced security techniques to encrypt telecommunications data, backup storage and industrial-scale applications. They’re so large that they often require as much electricity as an entire town, requiring a huge staff of employees to operate the sophisticated equipment.
Rugged Computers

The United States military and defense contractors use rugged computers when on the field and in combat zones. These computers typically include a sturdy metal case that prevents blasts, dust and debris from damaging sensitive components. Like a laptop or netbook, rugged computers can be used in any location because they include a monitor attached to the computer body by a hinge. Types of rugged computers place the emphasis on durability over processing power, although many of them can be powerful enough to perform highly demanding tasks.

The various genres of computers and uses have developed into some of the most important aspects of modern life. In the early days, users focused on arithmetic and simple number crunching, but today’s computer categories cover the entire spectrum of creative and professional users. As the computer scientist Ray Kurzweil predicted, computers are only going to become more powerful in the coming years.