CURRENT AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

Output Devices

Output Devices

  • Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) – These older style monitors are larger and bulkier and are often to be found in working environments where they may have to withstand heavy handling, dirt and grease. They are being used less and less. They tend to generate a lot of heat.
  • Thin film transistor (TFT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) – These are the thinner monitors you tend to find in most office and school environments. They take up less space, are easier to move and look more attractive. They are, however, a lot more expensive and more prone to screen damage that CRTs.
  • Printers – There are several types of printer and which one you choose will depend on why and where you need it.
  • Speakers of a limited kind are normally built into laptops. External speakers vary from the cheap to the very expensive. They can be used to add an extra dimension to a presentation. Headphones are a more portable and sociable alternative to speakers.
  • Touch screens operate as both input and output devices. The screen image is output information, but the screen’s response to touch is input data. They are often placed in public places because they are quick and easy to use. They can also make learning a fun and interactive experience.
GCSE ICT - Printers

Laser Printers

(Likely to be found in large office environments)

Advantages

Disadvantages

Produces very high quality print – better than ink-jet or dot-matrix. Laser printers are big and relatively heavy and can take up a lot of space.
Low cost per page printed – cheaper than ink-jet or dot-matrix. They can be expensive to repair.
Very quiet – quieter than ink-jet or dot-matrix. They are some of the most expensive printers to buy.
Very quick form of printing – faster than ink-jet or dot-matrix. The toner is relatively expensive – more expensive that ink-jet cartridges.

Ink-jet printers

(Likely to be found in home and very small office environments)

Advantages

Disadvantages

The printers are much smaller and cheaper than laser printers. Ink cartridges need frequent replacement. These can often be as expensive as the printer.
The cartridges are less expensive than toners. The ink can smear when wet.
Good quality and reasonably fast printouts – though not as good or fast as laser-printers. Colour printing can be slow.

Dot-matrix printers

(Used at cash-machines, cash registers and industrial office environments)

Advantages

Disadvantages

Printers are resistant to heavy use, dust and dirt. Slow print-out speed and of a poor visual quality compared to ink-jet and laser.
Low cost per printed page. Limited colour and font options.
Very reliable and easy to repair. Can be kept on 24/7. Noisy.