Types of Computers – Definition and Examples


A computer is a machine that can perform complex and repetitive procedures quickly, accurately, and reliably. Modern computers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery (wires, transistors, and circuits) is called hardware; Instructions and data are called software.

Computer types

The five main types of computers:

  1. Supercomputer
  2. Central Computer (Mainframe)
  3. Minicomputer or minicomputer
  4. Microcomputer
  5. mobile computers

Computers can be as large as occupying a large building and as small as a laptop or microcontroller in mobile and embedded systems. Let’s take a closer look at the types of computers.


They are the most powerful computers in terms of performance and data processing. Supercomputers are specialized computers, used by large organizations. These computers are used for research and exploration purposes. NASA uses supercomputers to launch space shuttles, control them, and for space exploration purposes.

Examples of Supercomputers:

  • IBM Sequoia, in the United States
  • Fujitsu’s K-computer in Japan
  • Look at IBM in the United States
  • IBM’s SuperMUC in Germany
  • NUDT Tianhe-1A en China

Central Computer (Mainframe)

Mainframe computers are not as powerful as supercomputers, however they are quite expensive. Many large companies and government organizations use mainframes to run their business operations. Mainframe computers can be housed in large air-conditioned rooms due to their size. Educational institutions and bank insurance companies use mainframe computers to store data about their clients, students, and policyholders.

Examples of mainframe computers

  • ICME VME de Fujitsu
  • Z800 de Hitachi

Minicomputer or minicomputer

Minicomputers are used by small businesses. Minicomputers are also known as “midrange computers.” These are small machines and can be housed on a disk, not with data storage and processing capabilities like supercomputers and mainframes. Departments of a large company or organization use mini-computers for specific purposes. For example, the production department can use mini-computers to monitor certain production processes.

Examples of Minicomputers

  • K-202
  • Texas Instrument TI-990
  • SDS-92
  • Mid-Range IBM Computers

microcomputer or microcomputer

Microcomputers are widely used, they are currently the fastest growing computers. Micro-computers are specially designed for general use as entertainment, education and work purposes. Most people use what they would call personal computers, and even within this definition there are several variations.

examples of microcomputers

  • Desktop Computers: Desktop computers are most popular because of the user’s ability to customize, replace parts, and fix them much more easily than they would a laptop. It is also more convenient to be able to connect peripherals such as screens and keyboard and computer mice that fit your needs.
  • Video game consoles – Some people don’t think of video game consoles as computers, but they are. They have many of the same hardware components as PCs, but are generally less advanced, so they can cost much less than a top-tier gaming PC.

mobile computers

They are very small and mobile computers. You could argue that a desktop computer is mobile if you need to, but mobile computers generally describe computers that need to be carried and moved from one place to another.

Examples of Mobile Computers

Below is a list of devices that could be classified as mobile computers.

  • Laptops: Laptops designed to be carried from one place to another. All of its components are contained within a panel that doubles as a keyboard, with an attached screen that can be folded down. 
  • Netbooks: Much smaller laptops.
  • Tablet: A flat screen without a keyboard (although some of them come with keyboard accessories) that uses touch screen functionality for navigation and use.
  • Handheld game console: Devices such as Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Nomad, PlayStation Portable (PSP), and PlayStation Vita are handheld game consoles. Just like regular consoles, these are small computers that allow people to play games on the go.
  • Calculators: Calculators are computers that perform the most basic computer tasks, such as calculations.
  • Portable Media Players – Also known as MP3 players. Such as: iPod, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and the like.

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