Difference Between Input And Output Devices


Difference Between Input And Output Devices With Examples

When using a computer, we have to use different input and output devices. Computer systems work properly through the combined use of these devices. Here we will discuss these devices, as well as the difference between input and output devices, and different devices and how they work. The discussion will give a clear and complete idea about the input and output devices.

Input device:

To understand the difference between input and output devices, we first need to know what these devices actually are. In a word, the devices that we used to collect different data are called input devices. There are also different devices for collecting different information. An input is a hardware device that is connected to a computer system that sends data to a computer. Some common examples of computer input devices are mouse, keyboard, scanner, and so on. These are used to enter instructions and information directly.

write difference between input and output devices with example

Similarly, microphones and joysticks are also considered input devices. There are also some input devices that we will learn about.

Output device:

The part of the computer that expresses the collected data as information that is understandable to the user is called the output device. Usually, the output device converts all the binary information coming from the CPU in such a way that it is understandable to the computer user. From here the difference between input and output devices is clearly understood. These hardware devices are used to receive information such as text, graphics, and audio/video from the computer.

difference between input and output devices of computer

Examples of output devices include monitors, printers, speakers, and more. An output device can receive data from another device and generate output with the data. The computer controls the output devices, so the user only needs to see the results, but there is no need to learn the entire process.

Difference between the input device and output device

We know that different input and output devices are needed for data collection, analysis, and receiving them. Now we will know the difference between input and output devices of a computer.

Input Device Output Device
The computer receives data from users through the input device. An output device receives information for the user from the computer and provides it to the user.
It accepts user information as input and sends it to the processor for further processing. The output device works to send the data processed by the processor to the user. The output device takes the processed data from the processor.
The input device helps the computer to get information and instructions from the users. The output device helps the computer to provide or display information to the users.
The user can order an input device. This point indicates an important difference between input and output devices. The output device is commanded by the computer’s processor.
It works to translate user-friendly instructions into machine-friendly ones. It works to translate machine instructions for the user’s comprehension.
Its design is more complex. Its design is less complex than input devices.
Input devices such as microphones, joysticks, keyboards, pointing devices, barcode scanners, image scanners, graphics tablets, and more are available. Several output devices, such as speakers, printers, projectors, monitors, headphones, and more, are available.

Descriptions of different devices generally help us to understand the difference between input and output devices.

Some input devices and their use


The keyboard is one of the most important input devices used in computers. The keyboard looks a lot like the keyboard of an electric typewriter or typing machine. However, it has some additional keys, such as function keys, control key, alter the key, multimedia key, etc.

Keyboards are commonly used for writing on the computer. Through this, the text is typed and instructions are given. Different keys on the keyboard are assigned to different tasks, such as number keys input numbers, alphabet keys input letters, and function keys input different instructions.


This input device is used for scanning. A scanner is a device that allows a user to input a picture or text by scanning and converting it to a digital file. This allows the computer to read or display the scanned object. A copy of what is kept in the scanner is moved to the computer and can be saved or edited. Scanners are usually used to input different images into a computer.

Mouse (pointing device):

A mouse is a hardware input device that makes working on a computer much easier and faster. The device was invented by Douglas Engelbert in 1973. The mouse allows a person to control a pointer in the graphical user interface.

The job of the mouse is to give different instructions. If you want to select something with this pointing device used by the computer, you can easily select it with the mouse pointer on it. The mouse is more commonly used for drawing and graphics. The computer is instructed by pressing the mouse button.

Barcode reader:

A barcode reader is a hardware input device also known as a point-of-sale scanner. It can print the details of a product in the database by reading the barcode. We see barcode readers in different supermarkets. It can save a lot of time and labor and can be done much faster by using it.


A webcam is a special form of digital camera. It is a hardware input device that can insert static images or video images into a computer as input. Using a webcam, users can exchange photos or videos over the network. Some of the notable works are-

  • Capture still images or videos,
  • The interactive video chat on various social networking sites,
  • Used at home or office for security.


A microphone is a computer input device used to input sound. It receives sound vibrations and converts them into audio signals or transmits them to a recording medium. Audio signals are converted to digital data and stored on computers.

Emil Berliner invented the microphone in 1877. We can record our voice through the microphone. Using the Internet, we also need a microphone to talk to each other through various software.

Digital camera:

A camera stores pictures or videos electronically instead of to film. It has an LCD display, through which users can preview pictures or movies. It is easy to use and can be connected to a computer by a data cable.

Although the digital camera is not a part of the computer, when data is input into the computer from it, the digital camera actually acts as an input device. Different photo studios or photographers often need to input photos or videos from digital cameras to computers in this way.


A joystick is an input device that is mostly used to play computer games. It is also used for CAD design, simulation training, or some other purposes. It is a cursor-controlling device or pointing device, just like a mouse, but completely different from a mouse.

These input devices look different. Much like a long stick, this is used to control the cursor or pointer seen on a computer monitor.

Light Pen:

The light pen is a hardware input device that looks a lot like a pen. It is a printing and pointing device. It’s used to write directly on a computer screen, draw pictures, and even be used as a barcode reader. A light pen contains a photocell and optical device. Although a light pen is a helpful input device, its use is much less.


CD-ROM/DVD is a readable medium input device, but data cannot be recorded here. The low cost and relatively large capacity make CD-ROM ideal for distributing software. They are also ideal for the low-cost distribution of vast amounts of information, such as catalogs of various products, reference materials, conference activities, databases, and others. It is much easier to save or distribute pictures, animations, and even video clips.

Although at first 650 megabytes of space seemed almost unlimited, now more spaces are needed for today’s multimedia and video applications. A new format, Digital Video Data (DVD), has increased the capacity of CD-ROM by providing high-density, two-sided and two-layer CDs. By combining increased storage capacity with sophisticated data compression algorithms, a DVD can easily store up to 10 times more than a CD. This is enough for a full-length, high-quality digital motion picture with many soundtracks.

Here are some of the more output devices that will aid you to understand the difference between input and output devices.

Some Output devices and their use


Monitors are the most important and necessary output devices of a complete computer system, without which it would be impossible to use a computer. The monitor provides all kinds of display output so that we can see the processed data. It is impossible to get a visual display without a monitor, and without a visual display, we cannot input instructions or data into the computer.


Printers are used to print our writing or small-size images. This output device is required to print any text document typed on the computer. Any black-and-white or color picture can be printed. Special printers are also used to make banners or enormous posters. Plotters are also used for house design or land survey design work.


The speaker usually receives sound data from a computer and makes a sound for the user and it is one of the most common output devices. Although some speakers are made specifically for computers, a speaker can usually be used with any sound system. This device cannot accept sound from the user and refers to other devices. The primary purpose of the speaker is to create audio output for the listener.


A projector device receives data from a computer and projects it into a picture on the screen or a large surface. It cannot receive information from the user and cannot send data to another device. It is more beneficial to use projectors instead of monitors to show videos or pictures to a large population. It can be clearly visible to many people by displaying information on a large surface.


Headphones are also known as earphones or headsets. These do the same thing as speakers, but speakers can produce a lot more noise and more people can hear. But only the user can hear the sound through the headphones. Microphones are now attached to most headphones. As a result, the user can do things like talking on different social sites.

Devices that can do both:

We know what input and output devices are, as well as the difference between input and output devices of a computer. But there are some devices that we can use to get both input and output at the same time.

CD-RW drive and DVD-RW drive:

This device can act as an input device, like a CD / DVD drive. In the same way, the data stored on a computer can be recorded on a CD or DVD and stored or transferred. So this device has both input and output properties.

USB flash drive:

USB flash drive or pen drive is one of the most widely used and very popular devices for digital file transfer. From this, you can input the data to the computer. Again, you can transfer the data to this drive, which is an output device property. So this device also acts as an input and output device at the same time.

Some highlighting points can further help you understand the difference between input and output devices. Such as-

The highlighted points of the input device

  • An input device enables the user to enter data and instructions.
  • Data can be sent to another device using an input device but data cannot be received from another device.
  • Computers require input devices for receiving commands from the user.
  • Input devices are complex because of their complex coding that allows the user to communicate with the computer.
  • The input device is controlled by the user.
  • Examples of widely used input devices are keyboards and mouse, microphones, webcams, image scanners, pointing devices, touch screens, joysticks, and more.

The highlighted points of the output device

  • An output device performs a task using data got from a computer.
  • An output device can receive data from another device and generate output, but cannot send that to another device.
  • Output devices are used to publish results and it requires more commands.
  • There is no need to learn anything extra to get the results from the output devices, so it is easy for the user.
  • The output devices are controlled by a computer.
  • Output devices are printers, monitors, speakers, projectors, plotters, etc.

Final Words: There is a difference between input and output devices, but the combination of these devices makes a computer system work well. There are specific inputs or output devices in need of separate work. We do not need to use all kinds of devices, but we need to select the devices as needed. Hopefully, we have been able to give you a simple idea about input and output devices.

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