What Are Some Examples of Output Devices?

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Typical computer output devices are printers, display screens and speakers. All are types of devices that produce computer output, which is computer-generated information converted into a form people can understand.

Printers accept electronic instructions from a computer to generate a printed copy of information, also called a hard copy. The most common types of printers for personal use in 2014 are inkjet and laser printers. Inkjet printers spray liquid ink onto paper, while laser printers use heat to seal a powdered form of ink, called toner, onto paper.

A display screen shows text, graphics and video output. This information is sometimes called a soft copy. Display screens are available in many sizes and types, ranging from wall screens designed for displaying information to many people to 15-inch screens in laptop computers and smaller screens in smartphones. Before a computer can produce images on a display screen, it must translate numerical graphics data into images, which usually takes place in an internal component called a graphics card or graphics adapter.

Computers primarily produce audio output by sending data to a sound card, which translates the data to sound and transfers it to speakers. The speakers can be installed internally or attached externally, either as separate devices or in a set of headphones.