Difference between Input and Output Devices

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A computer system is a combination of several hardware devices or components. When all the components are connected and the appropriate software is installed, it in combination creates a computer. However, to interact with computer systems, we typically use input and output devices. These two play an important role in the functionality of a computer system and
There are significant differences between input and output devices.

Before we compare computer input and output devices, let’s first understand both with their brief settings:

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What is an input device?

An input device is a hardware component connected to a computer that receives data / instructions by the user and converts them into a template of electrical signals in binary code understood by the computer. An input device cannot receive data from another device. However, it can transfer data to another device. An input device is a user-controlled device with complex coding.

Input device

The computer can be programmed with a predefined code to start itself; But, we will not be able to enter the data in real time. With input devices, users can enter data in real time to perform more advanced operations.

What is an output device?

An output device is a hardware component connected to a computer that converts the resulting digital signal from the computer into a user-understandable form. Technically, it provides the result of processing or processed data. An output device is a device that can be controlled on a computer and is known to receive data from other devices to generate output.

Output device

The computer can work without an output device; However, we will not be able to display the results to be sure if the data processing is going in the right direction. Output devices are technically the opposite of input devices.

Input devices vs. output devices: Key differences

Let us detail some of the main differences between input and output devices:

An input device is a hardware device used to transfer data to a computer for processing, while an output device is a hardware device used to receive data from a computer to achieve results for users.

The user can control the input devices accordingly. In contrast, the output devices are controlled by the computer’s own processor.

Input devices have a complex design compared to output devices.

Input devices primarily convert user-friendly instructions into machine-friendly language. On the other hand, output devices primarily convert the instruction of the machine into a user-friendly form.

The most common input devices include a mouse, keyboard, microphone and webcam. In contrast, the most common output devices include a monitor, printer, and speakers.

The difference between input and output devices (

The difference between input and output devices

Let us discuss the differences between input and output devices side by side using the following comparison table (in table form):

Input device Output device
An input device is connected to a computer Feed data From the user to the computer. An output device connected to a computer Provide data From computer to user.
The input device is Under the control of the user. The output device is Controlled by computer (Especially the CPU).
Translator input devices User-friendly input into a machine understood Inputs. Translator output devices Machine-friendly outputs that can be understood by the user Outputs.
Auxiliary input device Enter data Or instructions for processing by the computer. Output device Produces results From the processed data to provide the desired result to the user.
The design or encoding of input devices is More complicated. This is because an input device ensures that the user can interact properly with the computer. The design or encoding of output devices is Less complex. This is because output devices only display results and do not require them to learn the procedures.
A necessary input device for the computer To receive user commands Or get data to be processed by the processor. An output device is required for the computer Share his results And to ask users for more information or commands.
An input device can usually Transfer data to other devices. However, it usually does not receive data from other devices. Output device can Receive data from other devices And process the data accordingly. However, it usually does not transfer data to other devices.
The most common examples of input devices are Mouse, keyboard, microphone, trackball, trackpad / touchpad, joystick, scanner, and so ‘ The most common examples of output devices are Monitors, printers, plotters, projectors, speakers, headphones, and so ‘

What is the main difference between input and output devices?

The essential difference between input and output devices is that the input devices are connected to the computer to send user data to the computer, while the output devices receive the data coming from the computer and present it to the users in their understandable form. In short, the data sent by the input device to the computer for processing is replicated or displayed by the output device.

Understanding input and output devices with an example

There are many examples of both input devices and output devices. However, we have discussed some of the most common.

Input devices

Keyboard mouseA: These are the main input devices used to enter data into a computer. The keyboard consists of a number of keys that help to enter alphabet letters, numbers, symbols and other information. The mouse acts as a pointing and clicking device, helping to move the cursor and select specific objects on the computer.

microphoneA microphone, short for microphone, is another common input device that receives voice data. It typically receives voice input and converts analog sound waves into electrical signals, which are digitized into a form that can be stored on a computer.

Web cam: A webcam is an input device that takes pictures / videos as input and converts them into digital form. Unlike digital cameras, webcams cannot operate on their own. They require a computer system to work and save the captured data. Modern computers and laptops come with pre-installed webcams.

Output devices

ScreenA: The monitor can be set as the main output device of a computer. Although it is made up of many components, the screen is its main part. The monitor takes data from the computer and displays it on the screen in pixel form using the video card.

printerA printer is a common output device that helps you print (Xerox) the data obtained from your computer. It takes electronic data from the computer and makes a printed copy of them on paper. Modern printers can print color text as well as graphics.

speakers: Speakers help produce sound output. They receive signals from the computer’s sound card and convert them into audio that the user can understand. Modern computers and laptops usually include built-in speakers.

Note: It is important to note that some devices operate as both input and output devices (I / O devices). They can receive input as well as produce the output. for example,
Touch screen, digital camera, pen drive, CD / DVD drive, modem, headset with microphone,
and so ‘

I / O devices

The image above shows some input devices, some output devices and some output devices.


The above article differentiates the input device from the output device. In general, both input devices and output devices are opposed to each other. An input device sends the information received by the users to the computer system for processing. On the other hand, an output device restores or displays the processing results by the computer system to the users.



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