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Difference between Input and Output Devices

In this section we will learn about the input and output devices which are used to operate computer. The computer is a machine which takes input in the user understandable form, convert it to binary and then process it. The result of the processing is the output. Computer has lot many types of input and output. The common examples are:

Input Devices:
  • Keyboard;
  • Mouse;
  • Joystick (to play games);
  • Miscellaneous Input devices, like camera, pen or flash drives, etc.;
  • Scanner;
  • Microphones.
Output Devices:
  • Printer;
  • Display;
  • Speakers (or audio output devices);
  • Projector;
  • Plotter.
We see that there are lot of the devices which can be used as input and output devices. An example of a device which can work both as input as well as output device is the touch enable display. It takes input by the user interaction and also output the result.

Input Devices:

As is evident from the name, the input device is used to provide the input to the computer so that it can process and gives the desired output. The input devices like keyboard have a matrix of ASCII codes. When a key is pressed a corresponding ASCII code is generated and sent to the computer. The computer reads the ASCII code and outputs the desired result. So for example alphabet ā€œeā€ is pressed on the screen then the ASCII code (in decimal) of 100 is generated which is input to the computer. Now computer can only understand these codes and hence it interprets and display a letter ā€œeā€ on the screen.

Another type of input device is mouse. A typical computer mouse has three buttons. These three buttons are associated with different commands and user can interact with the digital object by using the mouse and one or more of its buttons. The mouse gives user complete freedom to roam on the screen and do anything conveniently, which is not possible with the keyboard.

Output Devices:

As is evident from the name, the output device is used to present the output to the user for a given input. The output device like monitor outputs the result of the input fed to the computer. The common example being the display of alphabet when the key related to it is pressed by the user on the keyboard. There are several other types of out devices as discussed above. The printer is used to print anything which is either available in the computer or which is processed by it when an input is provided.

The output device like speaker is used to output the sound which is available in the computer in the form of songs or music. The songs as well as music is also stored in the form of binary in the computer and when it is played the binary is converted to the voltage which generates particular frequencies and enable us to enjoy the song or the music.