An output device is any peripheral that receives data from a computer, usually for display, projection, or physical reproduction. For example, the image shows an inkjet printer, an output device that can make a hard copy of any information shown on your monitor, which is another example of an output device. Monitors and printers are two of the most common output devices used with a computer.
Types of output devices
The following list contains many different output devices. For further information, select any of the listings with blue text.
- 3D Printer
- Braille embosser
- Braille reader
- Flat panel
- Computer Output Microfilm (COM)
- Printer (Dot matrix printer, Inkjet printer, and Laser printer)
- Sound card
- Speech-generating device (SGD)
- Video card
Tip: Keep in mind that drives such as a CD-ROM, DVD, Floppy diskette drive, and USB Flash drive may be capable of receiving information from the computer, but they are not output devices. These are considered storage devices.
Why do computers need output devices?
A computer can still work without an output device. However, without an output device, you'd have no way of determining what the computer is doing, if there are errors, or if it needs additional input. For example, you can disconnect your monitor from your computer, and it will still function, but it's not going to be very useful.