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What are the five major categories of the computer?

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Quick Answer

The five major categories of the computer are mainframes, supercomputers, minicomputers, professional workstations and microcomputers. Computers come in different sizes and offering different features. A computer can be large enough to occupy an entire room or as small as a microcontroller found in mobile phones and embedded systems.

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Full Answer

Supercomputers are the most powerful computers in terms of performance and data processing. They are mostly found in big organizations, where they perform specialized and specific tasks, such as research. These computers have been used in space exploration, earthquake studies, weather forecasting and nuclear weapon testing. Supercomputers are relatively expensive and extremely large.

Mainframes are also large and powerful, but not as supercomputers. They are mostly used in banks, insurance companies and educational institutions because of their capacity to store large amount of data.

Another category of computer is the minicomputer, also known as midrange computers. They are mostly used by small organizations. They can also be used in large companies to accomplish certain tasks in individual departments. For instance, they can be used within the production department to monitor the production process.

Microcomputers, which include desktop computers, personal digital assistants, laptops, tablets and smartphones, are the most commonly used and the fastest-growing types of computers.

The final category of computers is the professional workstation. These computers are mostly used to perform specific tasks and can be used by scientists, graphic designers, architects or financial analysts.

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