Computer Types

TYPES OF PORTABLE COMPUTER

Laptop

Carries out the same functions as a computer but is designed to be light and portable so can be carried around.

NOTEBOOK

Similar to a laptop but even more compact.

NETBOOK

Similar to a notebook but designed to be used for wireless communication. Usually cheaper and a lower specification.

PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT (PDA)

Small enough to be held in the palm of your hand, usually contains an address book, note making features, telephone and internet features.

Laptop and Desktop computers: Which is best?

Teacher

· A Teacher would find a laptop most useful as it means they can take their work home with them, which you couldn’t do with a desktop computer.

NEWS REPORTER

· A News Reporter would find a laptop most useful as their job requires travelling around. A laptop could be taken with them.

WEBSITE DESIGNER

· A Website Designer would find a desktop computer most useful as they would need a computer with multiple screens that is powerful enough to keep up with their work.

DOCTOR

· A Doctor (in a GP surgery) would find a desktop computer most useful as they do not move from their offices and do so not require a portable computer. On top of that, they don’t need computers for much more than accessing patients’ data.

TRAFFIC WARDEN

· A Traffic Warden would need a portable computer as they work outside in variable locations that do not have access to desktop computers.

SPECIAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES

Vision Impairments

Someone with sight difficulties might require a computer that has a high contrast mode or voice recognition feature to help them. Other useful features include a magnifying feature or narration option. It might also be useful to have a computer that has text size settings or speech-to-text options.

HEARING IMPAIRMENTS

People with hearing impairments would need a computer that allows auditory features to be substituted with text or visual features. It might also be useful to have a computer that allows for high volumes, in case of people with severe hearing impairments but no actual deafness. Computers would need to have compatible features such as sign language interpretators/translators or personal listening devices that would help those with deafness to communicate with others and use their devices effectively.

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES/MOBILITY PROBLEMS

Someone with mobility problems would require a portable computer that can be carried by wheelchair users, as a desktop computer would require a specially made, lower desk and would not be accessible. For people with more neurological mobility problems, such as motor problems, a voice recognition system or touch screen might be useful in order to minimize the need for fine motor movements that some might find difficult. This should ideally be a laptop, which can be carried around.

LEARNING DISABILITIES

People with learning disabilities may require a computer that makes it easier to concentrate and focus. Features like a narrator, which reads what is on the screen, might help. Features such as sticky keys, toggle keys and filter keys might also be useful. Sticky Keys allow common multi-key commands such as CtrlAltDelete to be shortened to one key, whether Toggle keys cause the computer to make a noise when buttons such as CapsLock and NumLock are pressed, which allows people to know if they have accidentally pressed any buttons and prevents unnecessary frustration. Filter Keys ignore any keystrokes that may seem accidental, such as one key being held down for a long time. A computer would also need features that allow for the removal of distracting visual features, such as background images or animations, which may cause distractions. Speech recognition and touch screen computers might also be of use.