Learn About Different Types of Output Devices

Learn About Different Types of Output Devices

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Jul 4, 2023 15:19 IST

Learn about different types of output devices such as monitor, printers, plotters, etc., their characteristics and functions.

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Output devices are hardware artefacts that receive, send, and transform digital information. These devices transform them into communicable information that the computer user can perceive.

Different output devices vary according to their function and the type of information they process.

Output Device Characteristics

The main characteristics of the output devices are:

  • They are part of the computer hardware and allow the connection between the computer and the user.
  • They translate the information from the computer into a language intelligible to the user.
  • They present information in image, audio, or video format.
  • They are accessible to the user and can be connected to the computer wirelessly or through a cable.
  • They are modernized and updated according to technological development.
  • They are usually classified into audio output devices and image output devices.

Different Types of Output Devices

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Printer

The printer is one of the most used output devices by users. Its primary function is to transform a text document or image we can see on the screen to a physical format on paper.

Printer

The most popular types of printers are – 

Inkjet printers are usually the most common, especially in the home environment. They work by distributing ink that shapes the image that appears on the screen on the paper.

Laser printers tend to have a larger size, and companies that use large printing volumes use them. They are powered by toner, and while they provide outstanding sharpness and speed, they come at a premium price.

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Monitor

The monitor is another of the output devices most used by users. Thanks to the monitor, users can view data and images from the computer. The image is made up of pixels that change color to display the images. 

Monitor

Monitors have evolved and have become less heavy and flatter. This has enabled them to be able to display much sharper images. The most common types of monitors are:

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Monitors: These monitors have many pixels of liquid crystal molecules. These crystals allow different amounts and colors of light.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) Monitors: LED Monitors are LED-backlit liquid crystal displays. It is a flat screen that uses light-emitting diodes to emit images. LED screens are also used in billboards and store signs. In addition, they are usually more efficient and durable than traditional lighting.

DLP Monitors: These monitors use DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. Micromirrors create activity on a DMD semiconductor chip. Each mirror represents a pixel in the projected image, and the number of mirrors is proportional to the image’s resolution. The film industry uses it.

Touch Screen Monitors: Touch screens dominate the market today. This type of screen is the basis of all the computers and tablets we use daily. A monitor with a touch screen allows the input of data, information, and orders to the device by direct touch on its surface.

OLED Monitors: They use an organic compound layer that emits light when electrically stimulated. Since the pixels provide the image’s lighting, they give a much higher image quality, especially in contrast, since the panel does not have to simulate black color.

Note: Visual Display Unit, Screen, Display, Video Display, and Video Display Terminal are alternate names for monitors.

Projector

A projector is an output device that works by projecting a presentation of images or videos on a projection screen. The information is received directly from the computer, and the projector acts as a transmitter. 

Projector

There are different types of projectors:

DLP projectors: DLP projectors have a compact design and good resolution, although they can lose color accuracy. However, they are the cheapest projectors and most suitable for the domestic environment.

LCD projectors: The image quality on these projectors is much sharper and more realistic. They are suitable for use in organizational data representations.

LED projectors: In this case, the image quality is superior to that of other projectors, with the advantage of having a longer useful life. On the other hand, it is worth noting its low energy consumption.

Plotters

Plotters are another of the best-known output devices for printing large plans or projects, being one of the printers most used by designers and architects. There are three types of plotters:

Plotters

Printing Plotter: These plotters offer excellent quality and precision. Their main use is printing real images, large photographs, or posters.

Cutting Plotter: These plotters cut precisely and make incisions or die-cut. They can be cut vertically, horizontally, or rounded. 

Mixed Plotter: Mixed plotters are complete equipment since they allow printing, cutting, and other jobs.

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DVD or CD-ROM

The DVD or CD-ROM is an output device that allows the user to record and store data. Its outstanding functions include:

  • Stores data
  • Provides a backup in case the computer’s hard drive fails
  • Serves as a program installation point
  • Plays music, pictures, or videos

Headphones

Headphones reproduce the sound from the computer, which can be any audio file. They are small-size peripherals that connect to the computer wirelessly or through a cable.

Headphones

The most common functions of headphones as an output device are:

  • Communication with other users through online games since they have an integrated microphone.
  • Communication with other users using services such as Skype.
  • Listen to music.
  • View multimedia content by enjoying the sound through headphones.
  • Although most headphones work via a wired connection, many have begun to go without and use Bluetooth technology.
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Sound Card 

The sound card controls the output of sound signals, allowing devices such as speakers and headphones to function.

Sound Card 

The sound card is an expansion card, meaning it can be added to the motherboard. Although a sound card is not essential for basic computer functionality, you need one to play games, watch movies, listen to music, and use audio and video conferencing.

Video Card

Like a sound card, a video card is also an expansion card that you can insert into the motherboard. The video card processes images and video, allowing the images to appear on a screen.

Video Card

Most computers have basic video and graphics capabilities built into the computer’s motherboard, but a video card or graphics card contributes toward faster, more detailed graphics.

Braille Reader

A braille reader is an output device or peripheral that allows a blind person to read text displayed on a computer monitor.

Braille Reader

The computer sends the text to the device, translated into a braille format, and made readable by pushing rounded pins up through a flat surface. Braille readers or braille displays come in various sizes.

Braille readers come as devices separate from a keyboard or as part of a keyboard. Most use piezoelectric technology, or electricity generated by mechanical tension, to simultaneously create a single line of text in bumps.

Conclusion

Output devices connect to the computer via a cable or wirelessly. Some output peripherals are already built into laptops. This allows information on a computer to be viewed, heard, or played back.

These peripherals differ from input peripherals, which allow information from the external environment to enter a device. For example, the keyboard, the mouse, or the microphone.

Some peripherals, such as video display terminals and USB hubs, are both input and output because they transmit and receive information.

FAQs

What are some common examples of output devices?

Some common examples of output devices are: Monitor/Display, Printer, Speakers, Headphones/Earphones, Projectors, Plotters, Braille Display, Haptic Feedback Device, Digital Signage Display, Touchscreens, etc.

Can multiple output devices be connected to a single computer system?

Yes, multiple output devices can be connected to a computer system simultaneously, allowing users a multi-faceted output experience. For example, a computer can simultaneously connect to a monitor, printer, and speakers to provide visual, printed, and audio output as needed.

What are tactile feedback devices in output devices?

Tactile feedback devices provide physical feedback to the user through vibrations or other touch-based sensations, enhancing the user experience and interaction with the computer system.

How do headphones function as output devices?

Headphones function as output devices by receiving electrical audio signals from a computer or audio source and converting them into sound waves that the user can hear. The audio signals are transmitted through a wired or wireless connection to the headphones. Inside the headphones, the electrical signals are converted into sound vibrations by small speakers called drivers or transducers. These drivers consist of a diaphragm and a coil that moves in response to the electrical signals, producing sound waves that travel through the ear cups and into the user's ears. The user can then hear the audio content, such as music, videos, or system sounds, in a private and immersive manner.

About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio