Output Devices

Output devices allow you to get information out of your computer. There are two main output devices a screen and a printer.


Computer Monitor

The visual display unit (VDU) is usually called the ‘screen’ or the ‘monitor’. It allows you to see what is happening on your system. For example, if you were typing a letter, you would see the letters appear on-screen as you pressed the keys.

There are different types of monitor. The most common used are very flat and use a liquid crystal display (LCD), which is similar to a flat-screen TV.


PrinterA printer allows you to see a printed copy of the document that you have typed on the PC.

The two most popular types are the laser printer and the inkjet. Laser printers use toner cartridges, which last a long time and print lots of pages very quickly. Inkjet printers use ink cartridges and do not print pages as quickly as a laser.

Both types of printer are quite cheap to buy, but the most important thing is how much will it cost to replace the laser toner or the ink cartridge — some can be very expensive.

If you’re planning to buy a printer, you may find it useful to find out how many pages the cartridges for that printer will print before they need replaced.



Speakers are another output device that can be attached to your PC. They play sound from music files, video clips and other types of programs.

You generally need a sound card fitted inside the computer to get the best sound.

Next: Storage