Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Personal Computers and Mobile Devices
Figure 3 shows how the components of a computer interact to carry out a task. The following
sections describe the types of personal computers and mobile devices, as well as their primary
components (input devices, processor, memory, output devices, and communications devices).
PROCESSOR
Figure 3 Most devices connected to the
computer communicate with the processor
to carry out a task. When a user starts a
program, for example, its instructions transfer
from a storage device to memory. Data
needed by the program enters memory either
from an input device or a storage device. The
processor interprets and executes instructions
in memory and also performs calculations on
the data in memory. Resulting information is
stored in memory, from which it can be sent
to an output device or a storage device for
future access, as needed.
instructions
data
information
INPUT
DEVICES
OUTPUT
DEVICES
data
information
MEMORY
instructions
data
information
STORAGE
DEVICES
Personal Computers and Mobile Devices
A personal computer is a computer that can perform all of its input, processing, output, and
storage activities by itself. A personal computer contains a processor, memory, and one or more
input, output, and storage devices. Personal computers also often contain a communications device.
A mobile computer is a personal computer you can carry from place to place. Similarly, a mobile
device is a computing device small enough to hold in your hand. The most popular type of mobile
computer is the notebook computer.
Desktop Computers
A desktop computer is designed so that the system unit, input
devices, output devices, and any other devices fit entirely on or under
a desk or table (Figure 4). In some models, the monitor sits on top of
the system unit, which is placed on the desk. The more popular style
of system unit is the tall and narrow tower, which can sit on the floor
vertically.
Notebook Computers
A notebook computer , also called a laptop computer , is a portable,
personal computer often designed to fit on your lap (Figure 5). These
computers are thin and lightweight, yet can be as powerful as the
average desktop computer. A netbook , which is a type of notebook
computer, is smaller, lighter, and often not as powerful as a traditional
notebook computer. Resembling a letter-sized slate, the Tablet PC is a
special type of notebook computer that allows you to write or draw on
the screen using a digital pen.
Figure 4
A desktop computer.
display
keyboard
Mobile Devices
Mobile devices, which are small enough to carry in a pocket, usually
store programs and data permanently on memory inside the system unit
or on small storage media such as memory cards. You often can connect
a mobile device to a personal computer to exchange information. Three
popular types of mobile devices are smart phones, portable media
players, and digital cameras.
hinge
optical
disc drive
Figure 5
A traditional notebook computer.
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