Understanding whether a printer is an input or output device can be challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Printers receive soft copies of information from a computer and produce a hard copy on paper.
Deskjet vs Inkjet Printers take your input and give you output in the form of text and image documents. Large industrial printers and 3D printers also fall under this category. Regardless of the printer type, they are all output devices.
Printers are particularly essential for making copies of documents intended for various audiences at the workplace. For instance, you can create a presentation on your computer and print several copies. You can also design business cards or invitations and print them out for your clients and visitors.
What is input and output device?
Any peripheral gadget that sends information to a computer system is an input device. The information can be in the form of clicks or text. For example, a keyboard is used to input text into the computer system, whereas a mouse sends information to move the pointer on the graphic user interface.
Input devices work by sending information for processing to the computer system. You have to input the data using your fingers. For instance, the Apple pencil and Samsungs’ S Pen act like traditional pencils. You can input data to the iOS system by writing the same way you would do on paper.
Therefore, they are input devices. Once the information is put in the computer system, it is processed and projected in a human-readable form. The devices that allow us to experience our input are called output devices.
A speaker, for example, receives the processed information and projects it in the form of digital audio. Thus, speakers are output devices. I have provided other examples of input and output devices below. But first, we will focus on the printer.
Is a printer an input or output device?
We have seen that devices that give us results after sending information to a computer system through an input device are called output devices. Similarly, printers convert selected electronic data into a hard copy document, particularly on paper.
Deskjet vs Inkjet Printer prints electronic data on a physical surface. There are several types of printers but with the same underlying principle. You send processed data from the computer system through them, and they will write it down.
Some industrial printers can be huge for printing images, texts, or both, on walls and large metal surfaces. Despite their variations, they are not input devices. As long as it is a printer, it is an output device.
After creating virtual information, you can print it and present it on a hard copy. Note that a computer system does not rely on the output device to function. It is not necessary to have a printer for your laptop to work. However, when you have a document to print, you must find a place with a printer.
While printing in the office may be free for employees, you may need to incur extra fees to convert your electronic data to a hard copy. Note that other printers can also produce 3D images. These types of printers are called 3D printers.
3D printers transform digital images into tangible objects by molding them using molten plastic. They are essential for printing in various industries such as art and jewelry, prototyping and manufacturing, medicine, and construction.
3D printers are output devices because they print molten plastic layers under precise computer control.
Are printers output devices?
Without a printer, you will not be able to print your homework, greeting card, or invitation. You will be unable to project your creation into paper or a 3D image. That means that your virtual electronic data will stay in and be disseminated through computer systems.
Thus, printers are output devices with separate memory from the computer. Like computers, printers have volatile and non-volatile memories which receive and store information temporarily or until deleted. That information comes from a computer system.
The computer system can be tethered to the printer via cables or wirelessly. WiFi printers allow users connected to a particular wifi network to connect and print through it.
When I talk about a computer system, the device can be a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. Whatever information you have stored in them can be printed out. That is why printers are considered output devices. There is no way a smartphone or a laptop will eject a printed paper document for you.
Neither will the computer systems print 3D objects. Although technology is advancing fast, it has not gotten to that yet. Currently, printers display the hard copy output of the signals you send from the computer.
Why is a printer called an output device?
You use a keyboard to send a text on a computer system. However, to make the information durable and accessible to many people, you must print it out. For instance, printing brochures and posters enhance marketing because they last longer and are highly durable.
It means that you can design virtually anything in the form of an image or text, or both, for filing and advertising. Printers bring large amounts of information to life that improve presentation and decision-making for people and organizations.
Since it extracts visual and print information from a computer, a printer is an output device. Unlike input devices that allow you to enter data and interact with it in a computer, output devices display, print, or show the result of the processed information.
Printers work in a similar fashion, so they are called output devices. Note that input devices demand something from us. For example, microphones require that we input our voice. Consequently, output devices project the data in a more usable form.
The best way to think of an output device is to relate it to a screen projector. The electronic device displays your computer screen on a large surface and is thus an output device.
What are examples of input and output devices?
Here are some common examples to get a clear picture of input and output devices.
● Input devices
- Computer mouse
● Output devices
- Screen projector
- External hard drive