Characteristics of a Computer

Characteristics of a Computer

Nowadays computer is playing the main role in everyday life it has become has need of people just like television, telephone or other electronic devices at home. It solves human problems very quickly as well as accurately. The important characteristics of a computer are described below:

  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Storage
  • Efficiency
  • Automation
  • Consistency
  • Precision
  • Reliability
  • Retrieving data and program
  • Versatility
  • Communication


The computer is a very high-speed electronic device. The operations on the data inside the computer are performed through electronic circuits according to the given instructions. the data and instructions flow along with these circuits with high speed that is close to the speed of light. The computer can perform millions or billions of operations on the data in one second. The computer generates signals during the operation process therefore the speed of the computer is usually measured in MegaHertz (MHz) or GigaHertz (GHz).


In addition to being very fast, the computer is also a very accurate device. It gives accurate output result provided that the correct input data set of instructions are given to the computer. It means that output is totally dependent on the given instructions and input data. If input data is incorrect then the resulting output will be incorrect. In computer terminology, it is known as garbage-in garbage-out.


A computer has internal storage (memory) as well as external or secondary storage. In secondary storage, a large amount of data and programs can be stored for future use. The stored data and programs are available at any time for processing. Similarly, information downloaded from the internet can be saved on the storage media.


Efficiency is one of the most wonderful things about the computer. The computer can perform multiple tasks simultaneously. For example preparation of the result of the examination, communicating on network and storage and retrieval of information, etc.


A computer can automatically perform operations without interference of the user during the operations. It controls automatically different devices attached with the computer. It executes automatically the program instructions one by one.


People often have difficulty to repeat their instructions again and again. For example, a lecturer feels difficulty to repeat same lecture in a class room again and again. Computer can repeat actions consistently (again and again) without loosing its concentration:

  • To run a spell checker (built into a word processor) for checking spellings in a document.
  • To play multimedia animations for training purpose.
  • To deliver a lecture through computer in a class room etc.

A computer will carry out the activity with the same way every time. You can listen a lecture or perform any action again and again.


Computers are not only fast and consistent but they also perform operations very accurately and precisely. For example, in calculations and rounding fractional values you can keep the accuracy and precision up to the level of your desire. The lengthy calculations remain always accurate.


The electronic components in modern computer have very low failure rate. The modern computer can perform very complicated calculations without creating any problem and produces consistent (reliable) results. In general, computers are very reliable. Many personal computers have never needed a service call. Communication are also very reliable and generally available whenever needed.

Retrieving data and program

The data and program stored on the storage media can be retrieved very quickly for further processing. It is also very important features of a computer.


Versatile means flexible. Modern computer can perform different kind of tasks one by one or simultaneously. It is the most important feature of computer. At one moment you are playing game on computer, the next moment you are composing and sending emails etc. In colleges and universities computers are used to deliver lectures to the students. The talent of computer is dependent on the software.


Today computer is mostly used to exchange messages or data trough computer networks all over the world. For example the information can be received or send through the internet with the help of computer. It is most important feature of the modern information technology.

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