Computer hardware is the physical parts or components of a computer, such as the monitor, mouse, keyboard, computer data storage, hard disk drive (HDD), graphic cards, sound cards, memory, mother board, and so on. Examples of computer hardware are

  • Input devices – mouse, scanner, light pen, joystick, etc.
  • Output devices – printer, monitor, plotter, speaker
  • Storage devices – primary memory and secondary – RAM, ROM, hard disk, CD/DVD ROM, flash drive, memory card, magnetic disk, etc.
  • Processing devices – Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) and Control Unit (CU)
  • Other devices – computer case, cooling fan, heat sink, cables and connectors, etc.


An input device is any hardware device that sends data to a computer, allowing you to interact with and control the computer. To interact with your computer, you need input devices.

Any device that feeds data into a computer is called an input device. An input device for a computer allows you to enter information. The most fundamental pieces of information are keystrokes on a keyboard and clicks with mouse.

These two input devices are essential for you to interact with your computer. Many other input devices exist for entering other types of information, such as images, audio and video.

Input devices represent one type of computer peripheral the other two types are output devices and storage devices.



A keyboard is the most fundamental input device for any computer system. A keyboard contains keys for letters and numbers as well as for specialized tasks, such as enter, delete, etc.

A mouse resides on a flat surface, and by moving the mouse, you can move the pointer on the screen. One or more buttons on the mouse allow you to enter instructions by clicking. Most models also include a wheel for scrolling.

Desktop computers have a separation keyboard and mouse, but for laptops, these are integrated into a computer system itself.

In laptops, the mouse is actually substituted with a touchpad or track pad. This is a specialized surface that follows the motion of your finger you can still connect on external mouse to a laptop if you prefer.


A typical desktop or flatbed scanner is a device that optically scans printed images and paper documents and converts them into digital images.

In most scanners, you place the document on a glass plate and place an opaque cover over it. A bright light moves across the image, and the reflection is captured by a sensor, which converts the document to a digital image.


Read Also: Output Devices


Audio and video can be recorded using a microphone and video camera, respectively. Due to the popularity of video conferencing using services like Skype, these are now typically integrated in most laptops and monitor displays for desktop.

However, you can also connect an external webcam  which can record both audio and video.


  1. What is input device
  2. Mention four (4) examples of input devices.


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