Input and output devices on a computer allow users to interact with a computer in a meaningful way. While some devices are strictly for either input or output, others may be used for both. Others still may be used for input, output and storage.
Some of the most common input devices are pointing devices, such as the mouse, trackball or touch pad. Then of course there are the tablet and pen combinations, joysticks and game pads. Other input devices include keyboards, scanners, digital cameras, webcams, microphones, midi keyboards, electronic whiteboards and bar code readers.
The basic computer output devices consist of the monitor, speakers or headphones, printers, projectors and plotters; COM, or computer output microfilm and LCD projection panels. A TV screen may also be used as an output device.
Some devices perform both input and output functions. These devices include modems, network cards and dongles; touch screens, headsets consisting of microphone and speakers; sound or audio cards, and fax machines, which will both send and receive. The CD or DVD drives of a computer can also be used for input from a CD or DVD, as well as receiving output to be placed onto either of them.
- Input, Output and Storage Devices
USB flash drives and memory sticks, iPods, external hard drives and, to a certain extent, mobile phones can be regarded as both input and output, as well as storage devices. SD, Mini SD and Micro SD cards also come into this category. CDs and DVDs, in combination with the relevant drives, may also act as input, output or storage devices.
Basically, anything that can be connected to a computer via USB, Bluetooth, wireless or any other connection can be regarded as an input, output or storage device.