Transistors, which were much smaller than vacuum tubes, enabled the development of the personal computer (PC) or desktop.

Laptops and netbooks


Laptops were developed in the 1980s and 1990s. Today most people choose a laptop over a desktop computer for work or use at home. Today’s laptops are often as powerful and in some cases more powerful than some desktop computers.


Released in 2007, netbooks were smaller, less powerful laptops. Today they are primarily used for browsing the web


Supercomputers are the most powerful computers in existence. The fastest supercomputer as of 2011 is ‘K’, in Japan. ‘K’ performs 8 quadrillion calculations per second, which is roughly as powerful as one million desktop PCs combined.

Games consoles

Magnavox games console 1972

Games were originally played on computers. In 1971, ‘Pong’ went on sale. It was the first computer game available on the mass market.

Games consoles were introduced in 1972 with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey.

To begin with, games were loaded from plug-in cartridges but by the 1990s games came on CDs

Games consoles are now a mass market, with motion-sensing technology that allows players to control games by movement. Watch the video below to see motion-sensing technology in action.

People continue to play games on computers but a separate, powerful graphics cards