Difference Between Input and Output Devices | Input vs Output Devices

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Difference Between Input and Output Devices arise from the basic fact that data is entered into the system using an input device. By transporting data into and out of the computer system, input and output devices allow the computer system to communicate with the outside world. In contrast, data is sent out of the system via an output device. The major difference between Input and Output devices is based mainly on their functionality.

Difference Between Input and Output Devices PDF

I/O devices are commonly used to refer to input/output devices. One of the most significant differences between input and output devices is that users use input devices to provide input to the system. In contrast, output devices reproduce output signals for the user. We will check more than 5 differences between input and output devices in the below sections, along with a brief introduction to input and output devices.

Difference Between Input and Output Devices

Input devices solely function to provide data to the system, whereas output devices take data that other devices have processed. Knowing the difference between input and output devices is an important part of the GATE CSE syllabus. Further, we will discuss the difference between input and output devices. The following table summarises the significant differences between the two.

Key Difference Between Input and Output Devices

Input Devices Output Devices
Input Device accepts the user’s data and transmits it to the processor for processing. The output Device receives the data from the processor and returns it to the user.
Input Device can send data to another device, but not the other way around. Output Devices can collect data from another device and use it to generate output. However, you won’t be able to transfer data to another device.
Examples of Input Devices are a keyboard, an image scanner, a microphone, a pointer, a graphics tablet, and a joystick. Examples of Output Device monitors, printers, plotters, projectors, and speakers.
The user controls the Input Device. The computer controls the Output Device.
Input Device translates user-friendly instructions into machine-friendly instructions. Output Device translates machine instructions into understandable language for the user.

What is an Input Device?

Input devices are the parts of a computer system that take data and instructions from the user and turn them into a pattern of electrical signals in binary code that a digital computer can interpret. Examples of input devices include a keyboard, a mouse, and so on.

These are used to input commands as well as information and data directly. The user can utilize these devices to enter commands/ instructions and data into the computer. While an input device is capable of sending data, it is not capable of receiving data from another device. These are user-controlled and have complex coding.

What is an Output Device?

Output devices are the parts of a computer system that transform digital signals into user-friendly formats. In general, output devices are the inverse of input devices. Data is also sent from one computer system to another using output devices. Examples of output devices include a printer, a monitor, and speakers.

The data processing findings are reproduced, interpreted, or shown on the output devices. An output device can take data from another device and produce output. Because the computer controls the output devices, the user simply needs to view the outcomes and is not required to learn the complete process.

Applications of Input and Output Devices in Computing

Input and output devices are essential components of any computing system. Here are some common applications of input and output devices in computing:

Application Input Devices Output Devices
Personal computing Keyboard, mouse, touchpad, scanner Monitor, printer, speaker
Gaming Game controller, joystick, virtual reality headset High-resolution monitor, speaker
Communication Microphone, webcam Speaker, display
Education Digital whiteboard, interactive display Projector, speaker
Manufacturing Sensors, scanners Display, printer
Medical Medical sensors, scanners Display, printer, speaker

Conclusion: Input and Output Devices, Which to Choose?

The main difference between input and output devices is that an input device is attached to a computer that transmits data. In contrast, an output device is attached to a computer that receives data. The output device reproduces or displays the data sent by the input device to the computer for processing. While most devices can just accept input or output, few can also accept input and show output. This article has provided the detailed difference between input and output devices.

Important GATE Topics
Difference Between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems Difference Between Combinational and Sequential Circuits
Difference Between Hardware and Software Difference Between the Internet and Intranet
Difference Between Static and Dynamic Memory Allocation Difference Between Multiplexer and Demultiplexer
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