Differences between input and output devices of computer

Differences Between Input and Output Devices of Computer

The computer is one of the most advanced technological inventions in this world. Also, you can program it carry-out a set of arithmetic and logical operation. Computers process different types of data, but to manage, edit or view the data, there is a need for different hardware devices that can enable you to enter data on a computer and receive their output. These devices are called input and output devices. In this article, we will be discussing key differences between input and output devices of Computer.

Differences between input and output devices of computer-computer motherboard.com

Differences between input and output devices

The key difference between the input and output devices of the computer is in the task they perform on or in the computer. An input device sends information to the system and is mainly responsible for the input of data into a computer, while an output device receives and outputs data from the computer through another device.

For a computer to be useful, it must have a way of receiving raw data and sharing processed information. This is what input and output devices help the computer to carry out.

Let us see a list of input and output devices and analyze them to enable you to get the full differences between the two activities.

Input Devices

Input devices are devices that are used to send input signals to the user. Also, they can send input data to the computer, but cannot receive. They are mainly used for raw data entry.

Differences between input and output devices of computer- Laptop computer

Some of the following are examples of input devices

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Microphone
  • Digital camera etc.

Related: 10 Importance of Computer in Our Daily Life

Output devices

These are hardware devices that you use to display or output signals to the user, they can also receive data from another device and generate output for your use.

Differences between input and output devices of computer-Desktop computer

Here are a few examples of output devices

  • Monitor
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Projectors etc.

All computing device has input and output devices

Furthermore, input and output devices are necessary for receiving and sharing of commands, and data from the user to the computer enhancing interaction. Therefore, whether a computer is a smartphone, Desktop, laptop or mainframe, it basically has both functions.

Input and output devices are mainly Hardware devices of the computer that you can add to a computer as peripheral devices. Some examples are an external speaker or headphone plugged into a desktop in an office, the screen of a laptop, or Android smartphone, etc.

Some Hardware of Computer Function as Both Input and Output Devices

Most devices are solely input or output devices, they can accept data input from a user or data output by the computer. However, some devices display unique qualities. They have the characteristics of both input and output devices. We call these devices that show these hybrid traits as input/output devices. (I/O devices).

Although it is not always easy to differentiate between input and output device of a computer, because some devices function as both (I/O devices). Some examples of hardware that has these unique features of input/output devices include the following;

  • A USB flash drive that receives or saves data from the computer as an input function, it can also send to a computer or another device exhibiting and output function too.
  • A touch screen displays visual output and is also a means of data input into the system.
  • Nowadays, many printers also function as document scanners.


In this article, we have been able to show you the differences between input and output devices of a computer. Also, we gave you some hardware that exhibits unique traits of both an input and output device. We hope you now have a clear distinction between the two activities.

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