What Is a Modern Computer?

According to the Goodwill Community Foundation, a modern computer is an electronic device that has the ability to store, retrieve and process data. Modern computers can perform tasks such as word processing, web browsing and database management.

A modern computer is made of hardware and software components. Hardware refers to the part of the computer that has a physical component, such as a keyboard or a mouse, whereas software is any set of instructions that tell the hardware how to accomplish each task.

Modern computers come in the form of desktop computers and laptop computers. Desktop computers are usually used at work, home, school or the library and are easy to upgrade. Laptop computers, on the other hand, are battery- or AC-powered computers that are more portable than desktop computers, but not as easily upgradeable. Other types of modern computers include tablet computers, mobile phones, game consoles and TVs. One characteristic that all computers have is the ability to share information and files on a network or server.

According to TechTarget, the idea of a modern computer was conceived following the mathematical ideas of George Boole. The first usable computer began with the vacuum tube and later evolved with the invention of the transistor, which allowed for the production of low-cost personal computers.