Discuss Four Basic Categories of Output Devices of a Computer

By Kristy Ambrose

A computer output device is used to extract information from a computer. There are visual, audio, print and data output devices. Different types of specific hardware include monitors, speakers and headphones, printers and external hard drives.

Monitors

There are two major categories of monitors: Cathode ray-tube or CRT and liquid crystal display, also known as flat-screen or LCD. Both measure screen size diagonally and connect to the computer via USB port or a conventional printer cord. The flat-screen monitor uses up less power and causes less eye strain.

Speakers and Headphones

Part of the sound card system that produces multimedia, speakers and headphones produce audio output. The range of audio equipment available to the average computer user is tailored to Skype users, gamers, movie and video enthusiasts, and musicians. Most headphones also include a microphone for input as well.

Printers

Printers are used to make hard copies of computer output. There are three different kinds of printers. Dot matrix is the oldest and since it is slow and rather noisy compared to laser and ink-jet printers it is no longer widely used. Laser printers are the most expensive, but are fast and quiet and ink jet printers are inexpensive to buy, but the paper and toner consumption makes up for the cheap retail price.

Disks and External Drives

CDs (which include rewritable CDs, DVDs, floppy disks and external hard drives are used as storage devices for data output. Data can be text, video, audio or graphics files. External memory drives are often portable depending on the size. Both disk drives and CDs can also be used as input devices.