When most people hear the word computer, they think of a personal computer (PC) such as a desktop or a laptop. However, there are computers in many shapes and sizes and they perform many different functions in our daily lives: withdrawing cash at an ATM, scanning food at the supermarket or using a calculator are also functions of a computer.
A well-known type of computer is the desktop computer, which is used by a lot of people at work, at home or at school. Desktop computers are designed so that they can be placed on a desk, and they usually consist of different parts such as a computer case, a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse.
Picture 3: a desktop-PC
Another well-known type of computer is the laptop computer, or laptop for short. Laptops are battery-operated and portable computers. They are therefore more flexible than desktop computers and can be used almost anywhere.
Picture 4: a laptop
Like laptops, tablet computers are designed to be portable. However, they offer a different computer experience. The most obvious difference is that tablet computers don't have keyboards or touchpads. Instead, the entire screen is touch-sensitive, so a virtual keyboard can be touched and the finger can be used as a mouse pointer. Tablet computers can't necessarily do everything traditional computers can. Many people prefer to work with certain programmes on a traditional computer like a desktop or laptop rather than on a tablet. However, the convenience of a tablet computer makes it ideal as a second computer.
Picture 5: a tablet
A server is a computer that sends information to other computers in a network. For example, when using the Internet, someone looks at something stored in a server. Many companies also use local file servers to store and share files internally.
Picture 6: server networking
Many of today's electronic and media devices are basically specialised computers, although they are not always associated with them.
Smartphones : a smartphone is a more powerful version of a conventional mobile phone. In addition to the same basic features, phone calls, voicemail, SMS, smartphones can connect to the Internet via wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) or a mobile network. This means that smartphones can be used for the same things normally done on a computer, such as checking email, surfing the Internet or shopping online. Most smartphones use a touch screen, which means there is no physical keyboard on the device. Instead, we tap a virtual keyboard and use our fingers to interact with the display. Other standard features include a high-quality digital camera and the ability to play digital music and video files. For many people, a smartphone can even replace media devices such as a laptop, a digital music player, and a digital camera, all in the same device.
Picture 7: a smartphone
1. What are the 3 main types of computers?
2. What is the function of a server?
3. How can smartphones be connected to the Internet?