Characteristics of Computer

The characteristics of the computers have made them so powerful and universally useful. The term ‘characteristics’ here, indicates the qualities or features of a computer system.

Currently, the computer has become an essential part of human life and can be easily seen in most of the fields. Most people are computer-friendly and are making their lives easier with it. But, when people are asked about the characteristics of the computer, they give such a response- what! What is this?

Characteristics of the Computer

In this article, we have explained the basic characteristics of computers and how they are making our work easier. Before going to the characteristics, let's have a quick idea of what a computer is:

What is a computer?

A computer is an advanced electronic machine that takes raw data as input, performs arithmetic and logical operations at a fast speed, and provides results as output.

Typically, a computer performs the following functions:

It accepts information from the user through various input devices.
It performs basic arithmetic and logic operations on the desired data.
It provides the desired results.

Read More: Computer Fundamentals Tutorial

Characteristics of Computer

There are various characteristics of computer system depending on their size, capacity, and specifications. But, the major characteristics of the computer can be classified into Speed, Accuracy, Diligence, Versatility, Reliability, Consistency, Memory, Storage Capacity, Remembrance Power, and Automation:

Characteristics of Computer


Speed is one of the major characteristics of the computer system. A computer works so fast that it can process any task and provide the output in fractions of seconds. A powerful computer can handle trillions of instructions per second which is really incredible. 

With its incredible speed, computers can reduce the amount of time to perform any digital task. The speed of a computer is measured in microseconds and nanoseconds.


Computers not only provide incredible speed, instead, they are also capable of consistently working with accuracy. The degree of accuracy in computers is very high; computers can perform calculations at almost 100% accuracy. Errors may occur in a computer system, but only because of wrong human input or inaccurate data.


Unlike a human, the computer doesn’t get tired or lacks its concentration. Due to this characteristic, it overpowers human being in most of the regular tasks. It can work for hours without any fault. This means that if millions of calculations are to be done, a computer will perform every calculation and provide all the results with the same accuracy.


Versatility is one of the most wonderful features of computers. This means that the computer has the ability to perform completely different kinds of works with the same accuracy and efficiency at the same time. It is not just a calculating machine anymore.

Characteristics of Computer - Versatility

For example: for one moment it can be used to create invoices or bills, and the next moment it can be used for inventory management or any multimedia task, etc.


The results obtained by the computer are very reliable. But this is true only when the data given to the computer or program is correct and reliable.


The computer is so consistent that it can perform trillions of processes without errors for several hours. This means that we can use a computer 24 hours a day or 365 days a year continuously. Furthermore, it provides consistent results for the same set of data, that is, if it is given the same set of data multiple times, it will give the same result each time.


A computer has a built-in memory, where it can store instant data immediately. Here, we are referring to random access memory (primary memory) that holds data as long as the computer is connected to a power source. Data is erased from memory after shutting down the computer. In addition, the computer includes ROM (read-only memory), the cache memory of different levels, virtual memory, etc., thereby speeding up performance.

Also Read: Types of Computer Memory

Storage Capacity

Computers can store vast amounts of data. Today's computers have increased storage capacity compared to earlier days. Besides, we also have the option to store data in secondary devices such as external drives, or floppies, etc. These secondary devices can be kept separate from the computer or attached to other computers.

Characteristics of Computer - Storage
Due to their incredible speed, computers can quickly retrieve data from storage devices. The storage capacity of the computer is commonly measured in Mega-Byte (MB), Giga-Bytes (GB), Tera-Bytes (TB), and Peta-bytes (PB).

Remembrance Power

The computer has the power to store any data or information for as long as we like. Data can also be recalled easily if needed. It is our choice to decide how much data we want to store on the computer and when to recall or erase these data.


Computers can also be used to automate routine tasks with the help of a task scheduler such as launching a specific application or software, sending an email, scanning for viruses, and many other maintenance tasks. Besides, computers can also be programmed to perform many complex tasks.

For example, the computer can start daily maintenance tasks automatically when it is in an ideal state. This includes tasks such as software updates, security scanning, and system diagnostics, etc.

Recommend Article: Robotic Process Automation Tutorial

Limitations of the Computer

Some limitations of the computer system are given below:

The computer itself cannot function. It needs a set of instructions to perform or process any task.

Computers cannot think or feel like humans. They can only work according to the instructions given.

Unlike humans, computers do not learn from experiences.

Power is required to operate the computer and unexpected problems or errors can occur in the event of a breakdown of the system.


Nowadays, computers are being used in everything from navigation to communication. While there are some limitations or drawbacks for computers, however, the characteristics of computers overcome them.

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