Any device that outputs information from a computer is called, not surprisingly, an output device. Since most information from a computer is output in either a visual or auditory format, the most common output devices are the monitor and speakers. These two devices provide instant feedback to the user's input, such as displaying characters as they are typed or playing a song selected from a playlist.
While monitors and speakers are the most common output devices, there are many others. Some examples include headphones, printers, projectors, lighting control systems, audio recording devices, and robotic machines. A computer without an output device connected to it is pretty useless, since the output is what we interact with. Anyone who has ever had a monitor or printer stop working knows just how true this is. Of course, it is also important to be able to send information to the computer, which requires an input device.
Updated: May 13, 2008