Input and Output Devices of a Computer

Input-Output Devices
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There are a number of different input and output devices available for computers. The most common of these is the mouse, which you use to draw on the screen. There’s also keyboard – for typing information onto your screen or into your computer. And then there’s a webcam, which you can use to capture images and videos on your PC. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

Input and output devices act as an interface between the user and the computer. A device sends information to a computer system for processing, such device is called as an input device and a device that receives and then reproduces or displays the results of that processing is called an output device.

Most devices are either input devices or output devices because they can only accept data input from a user and forward the same to the computer system or receive the output data from the computer. There are some devices which are capable of both accepting input and handling output, these types of devices are called I/O devices (input/output devices). Input-output devices are also called as peripherals. Now let us discuss various input-output devices.

Also, read – What is Computer Hard Drive?

What are Input Devices

Input devices can send data or information to a computer or another device. Input devices cannot receive data or signal from some other devices. Various input devices are as listed below:

  1. Keyboard: It is an input device which sends data into the computer. The data send depends on the key pressed by the user. A keyboard is the piece of equipment that forms all or part of the input device for computers. A computer operates when we type in response to what we want to achieve and start pressing letters, numbers and symbols on the keyboard. The keyboard comes in two different sizes for different applications. You can choose to purchase a keyboard with 84 keys or 101/102 keys, for Windows and internet use, the keyboard can have 104 keys or 108 keys. The types of keyboards are connected with USB cords or Bluetooth devices. Normally the keyboard is of three types: AZERTY Keyboard, QWERTY Keyboard and  DVORAK Keyboard. 

  2. Mouse: A mouse is a small handheld input device which controls a cursor in a graphical user interface. It can move and select text, files, folders etc. on our computer according to the user input. In other words, mouse is a digital information and input device used in computers and other electronic devices to point and click on graphical symbols from a GUI, which brings up the function to an output device.

  3.  Microphone: it receives audio generated by some input source and sends the same to a computer.

  4. Webcam: it sends the captured images to a computer.

  5. Graphics Tablets: This input device is used to draw using hand.

  6. Trackballs: trackball is an upside-down mouse which is encased within a socket. It is a cursor control device.

  7. Barcode reader: It is used to read the barcode of various items and feed the same to the computer.

  8. Gamepad: Also known as joypad is the input controller for video games.

  9. Joystick: these input devices are used to control video games.

  10. Scanner: Scanner optically reads and document, file or image and then changes it into a digital signal and sends to the computer.

  11. Electronic Whiteboard: It is a hardware device also known as the interactive board. Electronic whiteboard transmits information written on it to one or many computers.

  12.  OMR: optical mark recognition/ reader, is used to read marks on a document and send them to the computer.

  13.  OCR: OCR stands for optical character Recognition, is an input device which reads printed text and sends that to a computer.

  14. MICR: Magnetic Ink Character Reader is an input device which generally finds application is banks to process cheques.

Also Read: What is Random Access Memory

After getting the information about input devices, we will describe the out devices to you. No computer is completed without an input or output device. In all the big and small companies,computers are normal and maintain that Desktop Support Engineers and Hardware Engineers are required. To be a computer engineer, various courses are available. Career counselling for computer hardware careers can provide detailed information to the aspirants about the available course. If we talk about career opportunities as hardware engineers, then all their demand is always high. The career growth in this field depends on the skill set of an engineer. Now, let’s have a look at the output devices and note down all the important points.

What are Output Devices

A device that can receive data from a computer or another device and create output with that data is called an output device. Examples of various output devices are as :

  • Monitor: A monitor is an output device that is responsible for receiving data from a computer and displaying that information as text or images for users to see.
  • Printer: A printer is an output device that generates a hard copy of the electronic data stored on a computer or any other device.
  • Projector: Gets data from a computer and displays or projects the same information onto a screen or a wall. A ,projector cannot directly accept data from a user and send that data to another device.

  • Speakers:  Receives sound signal from a computer and then plays that sound signal and thus we hear songs or music or any other audio.

Also Read: What are Peripheral Devices?

Both Input / Output Devices

An input/output device is capable of receiving data from users or another device and also sending data to other devices or computers. That means devices which can be used as both input device and output device are called Input / Output (I/O) devices. Some examples of input/output devices are:

  • USB drive: Also known as a pen drive or flash stick works as both an input device to the computer and as an output device. USB drives receive or save data from a computer as an input and it can also send data to a computer or another device.
  • Modems:   It is used to transmit and receive data from one computer to another computer or other devices using telephone lines
  • CD-RW drives and DVD-RW drives: Receives data from a computer as input to copy onto and save into writable CD or DVD.  We also use CDs or DVDs to transfer data to a computer.
  • Touch Screen: Touch screen is both an input and output device. By touching the screen input is provided and is a screen, it is used as an output device.
  • Headsets: Headset consists of the speaker as an output device and microphone functions as an input device.
  • Facsimile: Facsimile or FAX machine has a scanner which is an input device and a small printer to provide output.

Career in Computer Hardware and Growth

  • If you want to be a computer hardware engineer, then you must know the details about Input and output devices.
  • The article has everything that an aspirant computer or desktop engineer should know. The first thing that a hardware engineer will learn is the input and out device in every course.
  • Courses like MCSE helps the aspirants to be a hardware engineer. The post of an engineer is the first step to join the IT sector.
  • The candidates can enroll in more courses and get certification to have good career growth. The vacancies for computer and hardware engineers are more than any other post, so it can be considered the first step towards an IT career.
  • To get growth in IT hardware sectors, many other courses are also available. An aspirant can get to know about them during career counselling for computer hardware careers.

Input and output devices are an integral part of a computer. We cannot interact with a computer in absence of I/O peripherals. Think of a situation if you have to interact with computers without I/O peripherals. Do you think it is possible?    

Input- output Devices Questions For Govt Exams

Computer fundamental questions relating to input-output devices are asked in many competitive exams including govt exams. So here are a few questions to give you an idea as well as to test you skills in the same.

Question 1: Which of the following is an input device used for converting handwritten impressions into coded characters & positional coordinates?

A. Touch panel
B. Mouse
C. Writing Tablet
D. Wand
Answer 1: C.Writing Tablet

Question 2: Deskjet, Dot-matrix, Laser and Inkjet are types of which computer peripherals?

B. Printers
C. Software
Answer 2: B. Printers

Question 3: Which of the following is a light sensitive device that converts printed text, drawing or other images into digital form?

A. Keyboard
B. Scanner
C. Plotter
Answer 3: B. Scanner

Question 4: Which of the following is not an output device?

A. Monitor
B. Plotter
C. Printer
D. Scanner
Answer 4: D. Scanner

Question 5: Which of the following statements is true?

A. hard copy outputs are provided by intelligent terminals.
B. all hard copy terminals make use of punched paper tapes.
C. From printed outputs, microfiche is produced directly.
D. None of these
Answer 5. D. None of these

Question 6: Which of the following is used by the punched cards?

B. Hollerith code
C. Alphanumeric code
D. EBCDIC code
Answer 6: B. Hollerith code

Question 7: Which is a type of mouse?

A. Full Duplex
B. Optical
C. Mechanical
D. Automatic
Answer 7: B. Optical

Question 8: Which of the following devices is used for entering x – y co-ordinates?

A. joystick
B. card reader
C. Keyboard
D. All of the above
Answer 8: D. All of the above

Question 9: Which of the following devices is used in academic testing?

Answer 9: C. OMR

Question 10: Magnetic tape serves as…

A. output media
B. secondary storage media
C. input media
D. all of the above
Answer 10: D. all of the above


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