Output Devices Of Computer | What is an Output Device | 5 types of output devices?

Computer Basics: What Is an Output Device? Plus 10 Examples

The output unit is responsible for producing the output in user readable form. Various output devices like monitor (also called VDU i.e., Visual Display Unit), printer, plotter, speakers etc. make the output unit of a computer.

The function of an output device is to present processed data to the user. The computer sends output to the monitor if the user needs to see the output.


Monitor (or "screen") is the most common form of output from a computer. It displays information in a similar way to that shown on a television screen. The picture on a monitor is made up of thousands of tiny coloured dots called pixels.

Different types of monitor available today are being given below:

1. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

The CRT works in the same way as a television electron gun at the back of the glass tube. This fires electrons at groups of phosphor dots, which coat the inside of the screen. When the electrons strike the phosphor dots they glow to give the colours.

2. Liquid Crystal Display (or "TFT" Display)

Liquid Crystal is the material used to create each pixel on the screen. The material has a special property feature allows the pixels to be created. Each tiny cell of liquid crystal is a pixel. it can 'polarise' light depending on the electrical charge across it. This TFT (or Thin Film Transistor) is the device within each pixel that sets the charge. And so sometimes they are called "Liquid Crystal Display" referring to the material they use or they are called "TFT displays" referring to the tiny transistors that make them work. TFT is a variant of LCD technology. LCDs use much less power than a normal monitor.

3. Plasma Monitors

Plasma monitors or PDP (Plasma Display Panels) are flat panel displays. The Plasma technology utilizes small cells containing electrically charged ionized gases across the face of a plasma display, to collectively form a visual image. Plasma monitors are not popular choice as computer monitors because of their expense, weight, power consumption and size. However, they offer a wide range of contrasts and colors and have a long display life so they can be used for years without going dead.

4. Touchscreem Monitors

Touchscreen monitors are built by combining touch sensitive materials with a durable but sensitive outer material that protects the monitor from fingers but still allows the monitor to detect where a person is placing his fingers. Touchscreen displays are used in Tablet PCs, checkout store terminals and smartphones etc.

5. Organic Light Emitting Display (OLED) Monitors

OLED Monitors are created from pushing an electronic current through organic materials, causing these materials to glow. By manipulating the materials and the electric current, the glow can be made to be of desired colour.

OLED displays are extremely thin and light and offer the promise of portable, light-weight displays that can be worn on things like clothing. But this technology is still so new and the price of OLED monitors is much more than traditional CRT or LCD monitors while the life of the monitor is relatively low.


A most convenient and useful method by which the computer can deliver information is by means of printed characters.

Printers can be divided into two distinct categories:

Impact printers

In these printers, there is mechanical contact between the print head and paper. Most common impact printer is Dot Matrix printer.

Non-Impact printers

In these printers, there is no mechanical contact between the print head and paper. Advantages of non-impact printer are: high speed, cost effective, better print quality.

These printers come in variety of forms such as electromagnetic printer, thermal printer electrostatic printer, inkjet printers and laser printers.


Speakers receive the sound in form of electric current from the sound card and the convert it to sound format.


The plotter is a graphics output device used to create drawings on paper. There are two types of plotters:
1Pen Plotter. It is an electromechanical device. A pen is moved in two dimensions (up/down and left/right) across a paper or film media to create output.

2 Photo plotter. It uses fibre optics technology to produce the image dry silver paper.


A projector is an output device that can take the display of a computer screen and project a large version of it onto a flat surface. Projectors are often used in meetings and presentations to help make sure everyone in the room can view the presentation.

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