External Parts of a Computer and its Features

The external parts of a computer are those that can be observed with the naked eye without having to open or disarm the device. Some of these elements are essential for the operation of the computer while others are accessories.

Among the essentials, stand out the case, the monitor, the keyboard and the mouse. The last three elements are peripheral, which means they allow communication between the user and the computer.

External Parts of a Computer and its Features

The monitor is a peripheral element of information output, while the keyboard and mouse are peripheral input elements.

For its part, some accessory or non-essential elements are the horns, the printer, the camera, the microphone and the scanner.

These are not necessary for the computer to function but can improve the capacity of the computer. The bugles and the printer are peripheral parts of information output. The others are peripheral input elements.

You might also be interested in: internal parts of a computer .

Most important external elements of a computer

Below is a list of the most well known and important external elements of a computer.

1- Case

The computer case or box is the device on which the computer's motherboard is installed. Without this, the computer could not function. There are vertical and horizontal boxes.

2- Monitor

The monitor is a peripheral information output device. It is a peripheral element since it allows the communication between the user and the equipment. It is output because it materializes on the screen the information that is processed in the computer.

The monitor operates with a series of dots that are illuminated according to a binary encoding matrix. To control this system, a video card, which is an internal part of the computer, is used.

3- Keyboard

The keyboard is the computer's most important peripheral input device. It is input because it allows you to enter information into the computer.

This device consists of a series of keys and a microprocessor that transmits the information from the keyboard to the central processor of the computer.

Desktops typically have 101-key keyboards, but laptops in some cases have fewer.

Some of the most important keys of these peripheral devices are:

- Alphabetical, in which the letters are arranged.

- The number keys.

- The function keys (F1, F2... F12), which allow to execute operations of easier way.

- Navigation keys, that allow to move in the four directions.

- Escape key.

- Control keys.

- Tabulation.

- Caps lock.

- Shift, which shows the secondary functions of certain keys.

- Alt, which shows other additional functions of the keys.

- Space bar.

- Start, back, forward and end keys, which allow you to scroll up and down a page.

- Enter key.

- Clear key.

4- Mouse

After the keyboard, the mouse is the second most relevant input device on a computer. This reduces the use of the keyboard and makes navigation faster.

At first, the mouse was endowed with a sphere at the bottom. As he moved this sphere against the desk, he moved the mouse cursor on the computer screen.

Subsequently, this system was displaced by infrared technology, which is more efficient. The traditional mouse design consists of two buttons and a rotating disk.

The buttons allow you to select and open option menus, while the bar is used to scroll up and down.

5- Bugles

Horns are peripheral output devices. These allow to amplify the sounds coming from the computer. Some equipment has built-in horns, while others require the installation of external horns.

6- Microphone

The microphone is a peripheral input device. This is responsible for capturing the sounds that are produced around the computer.

Once the sound has been captured, it can be stored on the computer (as a recording), sent to another computer (as a call) or sent to the horns to be amplified.

7- Camera

The camera is a peripheral input device that is responsible for capturing images and videos. Along with the microphone, you can record videos with audio.

Information received by a camera can be stored (in the form of audiovisual recording) or transmitted to another computer (via a video call).


Printers are information output elements. Thanks to these, the data stored by a computer can be captured on paper.

The first printers were of impact and functioned with a technology similar to the one of the typewriters: it was printed letter by letter. However, they were very slow and noisy, so they were displaced.

Currently, the most used printers are thermal and laser printers. Thermal printers work thanks to rollers that get wet with a mixture of ink and wax.

Subsequently, the roller passes through the paper and forms the information. Black and white thermal printers use a single roller, while color printers have three (one for each primary color).

For their part, laser printers work with toner (a kind of powder), photoconductive rollers and laser beams. These printers are the fastest and most efficient on the market.

9- Scanner

The scanner is an information entry system. This works like a photocopier, because it reads an image and produces a copy of it. The difference is that the produced copy is digital and is stored in the computer's memory.

This device consists of two essential elements: an optical system and an analog-digital converter. The optical system is responsible for studying the image to be scanned, determining the colors and tones present on the page.

The information provided by the optical system is analyzed by the analog-digital converter. This transforms this data to the binary system, so that the computer can interpret and store the image.


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