Input and Output Devices of a Computer

In this tutorial, we are going to learn about the various input and output devices of a computer such as keyboard, mouse, scanner, web camera, monitor, printer, etc.
Submitted by IncludeHelp, on August 12, 2020

Input devices

The devices which are used to give input from the external world to the computer system are known as input devices. The most widely used and popular input devices in the world of computers are keyboard, mouse, and scanner.

Following are the input devices,

  1. Keyboard
  2. Mouse
  3. Scanner
  4. Web camera

1) Keyboard

A keyboard is one of the essential informative device used to give inputs to the computer system. Like an electric typewriter, it is made of keys/buttons that make letters, numbers, and icons/symbols to perform different functions.

How Keyboard looks like,

The following picture shows a 104-key keyboard with arrows highlighting each area, including the control keys, function keys, LED pointers, arrow keys, and keypad.

Keyboard 0

Types of Keyboard

(a) Laptop-Sized Keyboards

In laptop-sized keyboards, the keys are set with a short distance, and number of keys are limited. An integrated laptop keyboard doesn't have a numeric keypad but it can have extensive features of keys that control volume, brightness, power button, and so on. They have an all-inclusive QWERTY keyboard setting. We can also add an external USB keyboard with laptops to perform operations quickly.

(b) Chorded Keyboard

A keyboard with few keys that creates a letter or word dependent on the mix of keys pressed simultaneously, like piano harmonies. Going back to the mid-1800s, the first chorded keyboards were stenotype machines utilized by court columnists to rapidly record the dialogues in a courtroom.

Keyboard 1

(c) Flexible Keyboards

A flexible keyboard is a keyboard typically made up of soft silicon. It is exceptionally convenient and can connect to a computer through a USB port or serial port. These types of keyboards can be considered as substitution keyboards if a unique keyboard gets affected. These keyboards are more durable than traditional keyboards.

Keyboard 2

2) Mouse

A mouse is one of the most popular input devices which is also known as a pointing device. It controls a computer screen's cursor or pointer in such a manner in which it proceeds. Its name originates from its structure similarity like corded and curved formed with the mouse that seems as though a mouse tail.

How Mouse looks like,

The mouse contains one button and sometimes may have three, which have various functions relying upon which program you are using.

Mouse 0

The word mouse means that a small device with a ball inside that is moved by hand over a level surface to control the cursor on a computer screen.

Types of Mouse

(a) Trackball mouse

It is an input device that is used to enter movement data into computers or other storage devices. Its function is similar to a mouse. It has a moveable ball on the top, which can be moved in any direction.

Mouse 1

Rather than moving the entire device, you essentially roll the moveable ball on the head of the trackball unit with your hand to produce input.

(b) Optical mouse

An optical mouse uses light to detect movement. Presented in the late 1990s, optical mouse supplanted mechanical mouse in fact, that their fixed base surfaces do not absorb dirt and dust.

Mouse 2

The optical mouse produce light from a LED or laser and a CMOS sensor identifies the light reflections as the mouse is moved.

(c) Wireless optical mouse

A wireless mouse is an input device used to interface with a computer system. While mouse generally required cord or wire to connect with a computer, the wireless choice got the mainstream in the mid-2000s, when they began using radio recurrence and Bluetooth technology.

Mouse 3

A wireless mouse is also called a cordless mouse.

(d) The Mechanical Mouse

A mechanical mouse also falls in the category of input device included a metal or rubber ball in its underside.

Mouse 4

When the ball roll mouse pointer moves accordingly, and sensors inside the mouse recognize the movement of the ball and subsequently impart signs to the cursor on the screen.

3) Scanner

A scanner is an input device that is used to scan documents that are available in the existing or real-world and gives to the computer system to store and process it. The documents which mostly used to scan are photos and pages etc. The main purpose of the scanner is to convert external world documents into the form of a computerized document.

The below-mentioned image gives an idea that how scanner looks like,

Scanner 0

A scanner is a discretionary bit of PC equipment that utilizations reflected light to catch pictures and make an interpretation of them into documents a PC can peruse and show. Scanners come in high-and low-goal forms and can filter pictures in either highly contrasting or shading. The fundamental elements of a scanner can be adjusted to a wide assortment of employments, contingent upon your requirements.

Types of scanner

Scanner 1

4) Web Camera

The webcam is also known as Webcam is a digital camera that connects with the computer. It can send live moments from the place it's sited to the computer system. Nowadays, high visibility webcams with good picture qualities are available in the market. These cameras are most widely used to trace the incidents happening around us. A person who resides at any place can connect and watch live moments through an internet connection. There are so many applications of webcams.

How web camera looks like,

A webcam is a smaller camera that we can connect to our computer to broadcast video forms.

Webcam 0

The advanced camera catches the light through the lens which set at the front using a microscopic light detector incorporated with an image detecting microchip. In modern times, a CMOS image sensor is using. These sensing chips are functional to convert images in digital form.

Types of Webcam's

(a) Integrated webcam

As its name implies, the webcam which is already inbuilt with the computer system is known as the integrated webcam. The integrated webcams are portable in nature. For example, webcams that are integrated with laptops, notebooks, mobile phones or smartphones, etc.

Webcam 1

Normally these webcams are situated at the head of the screen; these cameras give lower picture quality, yet can capable to make video calls. A few models incorporate double cameras: one for video calls and the other for snapping photographs.

Integrated cameras decrease the ability to select webcam but give more remarkable comfort and reduce clutter from such a large number of peripherals.

(b) Standalone

These webcams are made up of lens unit, stand, or clip. These can fix wherever required. These cameras typically connected with the computer through the USB link.

Webcam 2

(c) Network Cameras

Network cameras work a lot of like regular webcams, yet send their information through remote or Ethernet connection.

Webcam 3

These cameras often use for security TV, network cameras additionally function admirably in top of the videoconferencing where a conventional webcam performs inadequately. These cameras are cost significantly more than most webcams and require a network connection with work appropriately.

Output devices

The devices which are used to give output from the computer system to the external world is known as output devices. The most widely used and popular output devices in the world of computers are monitor, printer, etc.

1) Monitor

A monitor is an output device that displays the video, audio, and text created on a computer through a different medium. In general words, monitors look like TVs however computer displays the data at a higher resolution. Additionally different from TV, monitors kept on a desk or table instead of being mounted on a wall. It is also called a monitor, display device, video display, video display terminal, video display unit, or video monitor.

How monitor looks like,

Below mentioned image shows how monitor looks like.

Monitor 0

The CPU controls the monitor to show us photographs, films, and games. After opening the monitor, the display screen is called the home screen which has different small icons of files, folders, program icons, etc.

Types of Monitors

(a) Cathode Ray Tube

The cathode ray tube monitor is the first kind of display device in computers. CRT monitors have been been using since the 1950s, and so we far use today also. This type of monitor uses a light reflects to enlighten different regions of the monitor.

Monitor 1

Technically, a ray of light called electronic beam swept across the monitor screen due to this image pixels glow and image does display to users. This process occurs inside the monitor and cannot visualize by users.

(b) Liquid-Crystal Display (LCD monitor)

LCD monitors are lighter than CRT monitors. These monitors are thin in size and have very low weight and are portable in nature.

Monitor 2

These monitors use a layer of pixels to show an image. Instead of an electron beam, LCD exhibits the use of anodes to control the assortment of pixels and update the picture. This grants LCD monitors to be thin in size than their CRT monitors. An LCD monitor requires less force than a standard CRT.

(c) Light-Emitting Diode

A light-emitting diode monitor is fundamentally an advanced version of the LCD monitor. LED monitors use an array of LEDs as pixels for video display.

Monitor 3

It uses terminals to control different pixels. In LED, light-emitting diodes are set behind the monitor and the visibility of these monitors is more crystal clear compared to other types of monitors.

2) Printer

A printer is one of the most popular output devices which is used to take output on paper for the most part to the standard size of paper. Printers are available as per different sizes and speeds.

The manner by which printers work is very simple, this device converts digital documents into paper documents which can be kept for future reference. Colored and black & white printers are used to take the printout. The users use these as per their requirements.

Printer 0

Types of printers

(a) Laser Printers

The laser printer is the most widely used printer. It was created by Xerox during the year the 1960s; the first laser printer was used to draw pictures on a copier drum. Laser printers are still broadly utilized in different workplaces as they are more productive than inkjet printers.

Printer 1


  • More practical than inkjet printers
  • Increases efficiency
  • High print speed
  • Often expandable with Paper Trays
  • Grows with your business


  • High voltage use prompts little carbon outflows
  • Larger impression

(b) LED Printers

LED printers are similar to laser printers. It utilizes a light-emitting diode as compared to a laser printer to take pictures on the print drum. Because of their less moving parts – LED printers are frequently viewed as more effective than laser printers.

The following image shows how the LED printer looks like.

Printer 2

LED printers are effective due to following key points,

  • Reliable and productive
  • Cheaper as compare than laser printers

(c) Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers are one of the most well-known printers. This printer was developed during the 1950s It is mostly used in the professional world but in some instances household works also done through Inkjet printer.

Following image shows how an inkjet printer looks like –

Printer 3

Followings are the key characteristics of Inkjet printer.

  • Well efficient to print photographs as most realistic
  • Small impression
  • Mostly used in professional work

There are some flaws with inkjet printer. These are as,

  • Higher cost
  • Slow printing speeds
  • Cartridge refill issues
  • Printout requires time to get dry

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