Types Of Portable Computers

What are the types of portable computers? Since the unveiling of the Compaq Portable, a 12kg cargo which had a very tiny screen and an even smaller memory, technology has greatly improved to afford people many types of portable computers.

The tablet

There are many differing types of portable computers and the tablet is the latest and most sensational addition to the family. The tablet has existed in computing for a long time but mostly as a peripheral input device.

The modern tablet is a touchscreen device whose diagonal measurement is more than 7 inches; there are other variants below or over this figure. They are often optimally designed as multimedia devices; their typical features include internet access, camera functions, ebook readers, cellular communications, games and other apps. A unique feature they possess is an accelerometer, which enables the tablet to realign its orientation to suit the user. They are often very light and have long lasting batteries, as is common with all types of portable computers. A good deal of tablets use solid state devices for memory as optical disks would take a lot of space and increase the weight of the device.


Netbooks are essentially very scaled down versions of notebooks; their screen dimensions have varied between 5 to 12 inches, they hack an internal optical disk drive and have very low specs. Their hard disk drives are often 160GB or thereabouts and relatively slower RAM; this is believed to be a deliberate move by manufacturers so that these types of portable computers to not cut into the notebooks market.

A notebook is commonly referred to as a laptop by most people. Notebooks started off the wave that culminated in the different types of portable computers. They typically have a thickness of 3 or less inches and weigh less than 5kgs. Their screens are often greater than 15 inches diagonally and have all, if not more computing power than desktops: they have optical drives, conventional hard disks, and standard peripheral ports, such as VGA, HDMI, USB, and Ethernet ports.

However, their compact nature means that changing or replacing components in these types of portable computers is a rather tedious affair, as is the trend with the other portable computers.


A palmtop is a miniaturized computer that can comfortably fit in one’s palm. They have been around since the late 80s but their usage isn’t as prevalent as most of their functions have been usurped by PDAs and smartphones. Palmtops generally have very low specs; the first ones had RAMs of 8Mb and even though more recent contemporaries have far greater specs, the fact that the average smartphone outperforms most of these palmtops means that their market is fast fading.


Phones have undergone tremendous improvements in the last few years. They can be said to be the most affordable among the many types of portable computers, even though there are some that are very dear. Some of their specs easily surpass those of netbooks; the latest smartphones are fitted with Quad Core processors while there still are desktops running single core processors. Smartphones come packed with a bunch of powerful features; Nokia Pureview, for instance, has a 41MP camera. While traditional computing cannot be done on smartphones, they can adequate take up other activities, such as serving as a multimedia platform with great ease.