Output Devices Of Computer

Output Devices Of Computer, Complete Explanation.

In this article, we will be providing you with depth knowledge about output devices. We will discuss topics like their definition, their types, the latest models in the market, etc.

We will also cover different new types of devices and how they help as components of computers. So let us begin.

Output Devices

What is an Output Device?

An output device is any hardware to display or reproduce the results of the data processed by the computer.

The raw data that a user enters into the computer through an input device is then processed by the processor using multiple programs and the required result gets imprinted on the output device which can be understood by the user.

Usually, output devices are peripherals that are either wired or wireless equipment connected to the main computer.

Difference Between Input And Output Devices

The key difference between an input and output device is that an input device is used to send data to the computer’s processing unit while the output device is used to receive the processed data from the computer.

For instance, a keyboard is an example of an input device that a user uses to type the information and the monitor is an output device that displays all the typed characters on the screen.

 Another example is using a microphone to record audio means using an input device. Listening back to the recorded audio on computer speakers is an example of an output device.

Different Types of Output Devices

The output devices are classified into data, visual, print, and sound devices. The different types of output devices are:

Monitor, Printer, headphones, computer speakers, Projector, GPS, Sound card, Video Card, Braille reader, Speed- generating device, J plotter, etc.


The monitor is the most common output device used to display information in pictures or texts.

A monitor consists of a screen, circuit assembly, power supply, buttons for adjusting screen display. The most popular brands of monitors presently are Acer, Lenovo, HP, Samsung, and Asus.

Output Devices

The initial models of monitors were similar to televisions consisting of cathode ray tubes and fluorescent screens. This technology was first used in monitors in the year 1965.

In the year 2000, the LCDs stepped into the market. They also fall into the category of flat screens. Actually, LCDs were the first flat screens available. LCD means Liquid Crystal Display and soon after their emergence CRTs were replaced by LCD monitors in 2007. Presently, flat display screens are used in monitors.

The two types of monitor screens are as below:

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT):

In the CRT screens, there is a vacuum tube used that contains electrons and phosphorescent dots formulate the pixels that form the images on the screen.

The CRT monitor screens are larger and consume more power.

Flat Panel Screen Monitors:

A thin panel is used instead of big and bulky CRTs. They are much lighter in weight and consume less space.

This technology uses liquid crystal or plasma to produce output on the screens. Light is passed through liquid crystals to form pixels.

The three types of flat screens are:

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

They are also known as non-emissive displays. They use light modulating properties to convert light into graphics and shapes where the light is produced behind the screen and the image is formed by filtering this light.

They are more energy-efficient and can be disposed of more safely than CRT monitors.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

They are also known as emissive displays as the name only suggests. They are upgraded versions of LCD displays. The technology used is the same except for the backlighting.

In LED displays, the screen generates its own light. Thus, the LED screens have their own source of light, unlike LCD screens. Rest the process of image formation is similar.

These monitors are thinner and less expensive. They are more reliable as they have a more broad dimming range.

Plasma Monitors

Plasma monitors are the ones in which each pixel on the screen is illuminated by a tiny bit of charges or plasma similar to a neon light. They are thinner than cathode ray tube monitors and brighter than LCDs.


A printer is an output device that provides the processed output on a paper.

A computer sends data to the printer that is to be printed and the printer prints the data on the paper and the user gets the output as a three-dimensional item.

They take in the electronic data sent from the computer as their input and generate the hardcopy of the output.

Output Devices

The popular brands in printers are Canon, HP, Brother, and Epson.

The origin of modern printing tools is dated back to the very first technology of printing that is photocopying which was developed in 1938 in New York.

The first inkjet printer was developed in 1951. There are different types of printers in the market but the inkjet and laser printers are widely popular. Modern technology allows a wireless connection between the computer and printer over Wi-Fi. 

The two main types of printers are:

Impact Printer

They print characters by striking on the ribbon and then those characters are printed on the paper. They are too loud and make a very annoying noise. These printers are now talking of the past. But still, we will see their two subcategories.

Character Printer

They can print only text and no graphics and that too single character at a time. The different types of character printers are- chain, band, daisy wheel, and dot matrix printers.

The commonly used character printers are dot matrix and daisy wheel. Their speed is up to 300 lines per minute.

Line Printer

Instead of printing one character at a time, these printers can print line by line. The two types of line printers are drum and chain printers.

The drum printers have high speed and can print up to 2000 lines in a minute.

Non-Impact Printers

They print without striking on the ribbons, unlike impact printers. They are the widely used printers in the present times and perform speedy operations. The two subcategories of nonimpact printers are:

Laser Printers

Laser printers are the ones that use laser light to produce dots to form the character on the paper.

When you command the printer to print a laser beam draws the character son the drum using an electric charge and that gives a clean image print on the paper.

Inkjet Printers

They are the printers that produce print on the hardcopy by spraying ink on the paper. Inkjet printers are the most commonly used printers.

They are less expensive as compared to laser printers. But they are slower in the process as compared to laser printers.


Headphones are the output that the device that produces sound as the output result for the user. They can be either the wired headphones or wireless headphones/earphones which are presently popular in the market.

Output Devices

They are used for listening to audio sounds privately without disturbing others. They come in handy when you don’t want to disturb your family members and enjoy your favorite movies at night or anytime.

Some popular brands are JBL, noise, Bose, Sony, etc.

There is no exact evidence as to when the headphones were invented but they were first witnessed to be used by U.S. Navy in 1910. And after some areas, Koss Corporation created the first set of commercial headphones in 1958.

Headphones were mainly popularized in 1979 by Sony Walkman.

 Nowadays with the advent of modern technology, we have earphone that is similar to our ears’ shape and can be placed in the ear without any wires or cables tangling here and there.

The latest models include earbuds, earshots, neckband earphones, wireless headphones, and a lot more.

Computer Speakers

Computer speakers are again a very common output device used with the computer. The speakers are the hardware devices that transform the signal from the computer’s sound card into audio.

Output Devices

The incoming signal in the sound card may be an analog or digital signal. The computer speakers are equipped with internal amplifiers that are used to increase the output of the audio in the audible range.

The popular speaker brands are Audioengine, Razer, Sony, and Harman.

Speakers are important if you want louder surround sound of the audio with more bass and audibility. The very first computer speaker was created by IBM in 1981. External computer speakers were available with computers since the 1990s when digital music, gaming, and other Medias started getting popularity.

Nowadays we have wireless speakers that can be connected to a computer over Bluetooth.


The projector is an output device that produces the image or video from the computer screen to the wall or white display sheets. It is used to project the videos or images on the walls for presentations or entertainment purposes.

Output Devices

The popular brands in projectors are BenQ, Sony, and Epson.

The data projectors or commercial projectors were invented in the 1980s. It was the very first model of projector that resembled modern times projectors. It used a single cathode ray tube that was capable of projecting only monochrome images that means it produced black & white images only.

In modern times projectors are heavily used in the teaching sector, for business presentations, entertainment purposes, etc. Projectors usually connect to the computers via HDMI cable or VGA cable.

There are 3D projectors that project an image from two different angles to form a three-dimensional projection of the image. You need to wear 3D glasses to be able to view the 3D projections.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

GPS or Global Positioning System is the network of satellites that are used to find the location of the object on the earth. The GPS network is composed of the sender and the receiver computer.

Output Devices

GPS is composed of 24 satellites that are strategically placed in the orbit surrounding the earth to cover it all around in 360º.

The sender computer sends the signals to these satellites and they transfer the location of the object in longitude and latitude to the receiver computers.

The GPS and satellites interact via microwaves to provide information on vehicles or any object on the earth. Nowadays GPS signals are used in Smartphones, Vehicles, smartwatches, and more.

Sound Card

The sound card is used to control the output of the sound signals for devices like speakers and headphones. It is also known as an expansion card as is added to the motherboard of the computer.

The sound card works with the help of a software application and a device driver. It is not necessary for the computer’s basic functionality but you will need it if you play games, watch movies or listen to songs.

The first sound card was invented by Sherwin Gooch in 1972 and was used in PLATO systems. PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) was the first computer-assisted learning system.

It was only after 1988 that the sound cards were widely used as the output components in computers.

The computer data is sent to the sound card in digital format and then it translates digital signal to analog signal which a user can listen to as audio.

Video Card

A video card is similar to the sound card that is attached to the motherboard of the computer. The video card is used to process images and videos to be displayed on the monitor.

Most computers have basic video graphic capabilities but for the enhanced picture output and refined graphics, a video card is used in the computers.

Video cards are also popular as GPUs. Before modern graphic processing units, IBM introduced a monochrome display adaptor (MDA). MDA supported lines and texts but did not offer any graphic experiences.

The technology in graphics increased rapidly since the 1990s that has been able to provide excellent video output on modern displays with crisp and clear quality.

Braille Reader

A Braille reader is an electronic device that allows a blind person to read the text on the computer.

Output Devices

The text is sent by the computer to this device and is translated into Braille format and is made readable by pushing rounded pins above the surface. Braille readers are also called Braille displays and come in multiple sizes.

They are also available as part of the keyboard only. most of the Braille readers use piezoelectric technology to produce single line text as the rounded bumps on the surface.

Braille was invented in 1824 by Louis Braille. It was used to imprint the text on paper or other surfaces. The first Braille output technology came into existence in 1975 and is being used since then.

Speech Generating Device

The speech-generating device also known as the voice output device is used to convert the text into audio speech.

Output Devices

The SGD speaks out loud to the user. This is a very useful device for people suffering from speech impairments. In 1980, Dynavox an SGD brand created an effective device for women with cerebral palsy. It was an eye typing machine. It allowed the user to type text with the help of eyes blinking.

J Plotter

J plotter is a type of output device similar to a printer which is used to draw vector graphics. Plotter generated a digitally created hardcopy of the image.

A graphic is used to send the design to the plotter, and a pen is used to form the design. This device is usually used in the engineering sector.


The variety of output devices evolve with technology. Conceptually, output devices existed even before the invention of computers. We hope that this article has helped in solving your queries related to the topic. We tried our best to explain each and every topic with its in-depth information and utility.

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