What is the difference between an input and output device?

Input and Output exampleAn input device sends information to a computer and an output device receives information from a computer. For example, as you can see in the image, a keyboard sends electrical signals to your computer which display text or tell the computer to perform a function. Then in the lower half, you can see a computer sending data to a printer that will be reproduced on a piece of paper.

More examples

An input device, such as a computer keyboard or mouse, can send information (input) to the computer, but it cannot receive information (output) from the computer.

An output device, such as a computer monitor or printer, can receive information (output) from the computer, but it cannot send information (input) to the computer.

An input/output device, such as a CD-RW drive or USB flash drive, can both send information (input) to a computer and receive information (output) from a computer.

Additional information