Output Devices Of Computers – Complete Guide for 2022

4 types of Digital Computers, output devices of computers

We are currently writing articles on input and output devices in a computer. However, we discussed the input devices in the previous post. Now, we are talking about the list of all output devices of computers.

Input and Output Devices of Computers

First, we must clearly understand the difference between input and output devices in the computer. Both must be distinguished before going into the details of anyone.

Input Devices

They perform input operations. As explained before, input operation refers to accepting the user data for processing.

For example, a keyboard, mouse, joystick, touchpad, and scanner are commonly used devices performing the input operation.

Output Devices

They perform output operations. Output operation refers to giving the final results of processing.

What are the output devices of a computer? – Definition for output devices

They generally consist of computer components that transfer information from computer memory to the outside world. There are two types of results generated by these devices:

Hardcopy is the one that an output device generates on paper.

Softcopy output is the data or information that a storage device stores or monitors displays. However, another type of softcopy cannot be displayed, but we can hear, i.e., audio output.

Examples for Output Devices in the Computer

Here is the list of output devices for computers:

  • Monitor
  • Printer
  • Plotter
  • Speaker

We discuss these gadgets and their types one by one.


A monitor is an electronic output device for computers. We sometimes call it a VDU, which stands for Visual Display Unit. It displays the results of the user activities. Monitors produce a softcopy that we discussed earlier. They come in different sizes and types. However, we can distinguish among them based on the following features:

Features of the Monitor

Size, color, pixel, resolution, and dot pitch are the standard features of the monitor based on which we determine the quality of monitors.


We measure the size of the monitors diagonally. The standard length of the monitor is from 15 to 21 inches.


The monitor comes in either black and white or color.


A pixel is a small/tiny dot on the screen that forms an image.


The monitor’s resolution is the number of pixels/dots per square inch.

Dot pitch

The distance between the pixels on the monitor is called the dot pitch. Thus, the lesser the dot pitch, the more the monitor’s resolution.

The types of monitor

The most common types of the monitor are:

  • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
  • Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

CRT monitors are similar to standard television sets because they contain a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). The CRT is a vacuum tube with an electron gun and a phosphorus-coated screen. Thus the electron gun fires a beam of electrons that repeatedly falls on the phosphorus-coated screen. Moreover, it glows for a fraction of a second.

However, there are three electron guns in color CRT monitors, while the phosphorus atoms are in three different colors, i.e., Red, Green, and Blue. The combination of these primary colors produces the other colors.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

LCD is a thin and lightweight monitor. It contains a fluid substance, “Liquid Crystal,” between two sheets. The liquid crystal molecules line up to allow or block the light behind the screen to create an image. LCDs give a sharper image than CRT monitors emitting less radiation.

We use LCDs in various applications, including computer monitors, clocks, and televisions. Additionally, they are usually more compact, portable, lightweight, reliable, less expensive, and easier on the eyes than CRT monitors.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

LED monitors are lightweight, flat-panel display units that use LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) as pixels for display. In contrast to LCDs, these monitors produce bright images emitting less radiation. LEDs run at low temperatures. Moreover, they consume less power than LCDs. Additionally, they have a longer lifespan than any other type of monitor. The only drawback is that they are more expensive than other monitors.


Printers are those output devices of computers that produce hardcopy. We used to connect printers to computers via a parallel port in the past. However, they are being connected through a USB port nowadays. Moreover, the latest printers can connect to a computer via a wireless networking system.

Printers vary in their capabilities based on the following features:

  • The ability to print graphics.
  • The printing speed.
  • The quality of output.

Types of the Printer

There exist two main types of the printer:

  1. Impact Printers
  2. Non-impact Printers

Impact Printers

Printers are those output devices of computers that produce hardcopy. We used to connect printers to computers via a parallel port in the past. However, they are being connected through a USB port nowadays. Moreover, the latest printers can connect to a computer via a wireless networking system.

Examples include Dot Matrix and Chain printers.

Dot Matrix Printer

They have 9 or 24 pins arranged in a matrix to print shapes of characters.

Chain Printer

It is an old type of line printer. Moreover, the Chain Printer contains characters in a chain. The chain hurries by two geared pulleys while printing.

Non-impact Printers

These printers produce a printed image without striking the paper. Their printing quality and speed are better than the Impact Printers. Moreover, Impact Printers have very little noise while printing.

Inkjet and Laser Printers are common examples.

Inkjet printer

These are character printers. These form characters and images by spraying tiny drops of ink on the paper. Moreover, Inkjet Printers are cheap, have a quiet operation, and can print in multicolor. However, their printing quality and speed are lesser than Laser Printers.

Laser Printer

Laser Printers have a printing technology very similar to photocopiers. These are page printers, indicating that they print an entire page at a time. However, they are swift and silent in operation. Additionally, the printing quality of a Laser Printer is very high. Moreover, they can print graphics in multicolor.


Plotters are the output devices of the computer that produce a large hardcopy output. Additionally, we use them for a variety of applications. These include making maps, drawing graphs, plotting civil engineering drawings/machine components, and producing large-sized panaflexes.

Different Types of Plotters

Plotters come in two types, i.e., flatbed and drum.

Flatbed Plotter

Flatbed Plotters plot on paper spread and fixed over a rectangular flatbed. Moreover, pens with different colors are mounted in the pen holding mechanism that moves on the surface to draw the image.

Drum Plotter

In the Drum Plotter, we fed paper or sheets from one side. Then, the drum of the plotter rotates to move the piece to the other side. Therefore, we use these plotters to print large-sized panaflexes and drawings.


Speakers are the output devices of computers that give audio output. They are attached to the soundcard on Motherboard. They are typically connected through wires. However, the latest speakers are connected wirelessly to the system. They produce softcopy output in the form of voice. Additionally, speakers are available in different sizes and shapes.

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