It is a device that accepts text and graphic output from a computer and transfers the information to paper, usually to standard size sheets of paper. Printers vary in size, speed, sophistication, and cost. In general, more expensive are used for higher-resolution color printing.

Personal computer printers can be distinguished as impact or non-impact printers. Early impact printers worked something like an automatic typewriter, with a key striking an inked impression on paper for each printed character. The dot-matrix printer was a popular low-cost personal computer printer. It’s an impact printer that strikes the paper a line at a time. The best-known non-impact printers are the inkjet printer, of which several makes of low-cost color are an example, and the laser. The inkjet sprays ink from an ink cartridge at very close range to the paper as it rolls by. The laser printer uses a laser beam reflected from a mirror to attract ink (called toner ) to selected paper areas as a sheet rolls over a drum.

Printer I/O Interfaces

The most common I/O interface for printers has been the parallel Centronics interface with a 36- pin plug. In the future, however, new printers and computers are likely to use a serial interface, especially Universal Serial Bus or FireWire with a smaller and less cumbersome plug.

Printer Languages

Printer languages are commands from the computer to the printer to tell the printer how to format the document being printed.These commands manage font size, graphics, compression of data sent to the printer, color, etc.

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