Is A Scanner An Input Or Output Device

Is A Scanner An Input Or Output Device? Leave a comment

There was a time when people used fax machines to send documents to a person living in another location. However, nowadays, everyone prefers to send emails with attachments like images, documents, etc.

Using email doesn’t help when we send a digital copy of an image or document like an identity card. Here comes the need to use a scanner. The scanner creates copies of images or documents attached with an email or uploaded to a web page as a digital file.

Further reading: The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Scanner That Best Fits Your Needs

Is a scanner an input or output device?

The scanner can’t be an output device. It is an input device because it “scans” images or documents before converting them to a digital file.

The primary reason a scanner is considered an input device is that from the outside world, the flow of information gets its way “inward” towards the laptop or computer. In this guide, we will explore in detail why a scanner is an input device.

What Is Input And Output Device?

Before we understand why a scanner is an input device, let’s see the difference between the inputs and outputs.

Input Devices

At the center of an electronic system’s operation, there will be a processor. Based on the application’s complexity and the person’s requirements, this processor can either be Microprocessor or Microcontroller. The “processing” of information is the responsibility of the system. Either the processor will generate this information, or it will be received through inputs.

Since the information is entering the system, people call it an input. The primary task of the input device is to react to environmental changes or the user’s physical responses, which could be as basic as a click of a button. Then, based on the requirement, the processor can deal with the information.

Microprocessor or Microcontroller is generally used in embedded systems as the processing unit. But a non-embedded system that is void of a microprocessor or microcontroller can still include an input. For instance, a flashlight doesn’t contain a processing unit and is a standard circuit. However, it can still have an input like a button to switch on the flashlight.

Output Devices

Output is the system’s other half. When information or power leaves the system, we call it an output. After the processor processes the information, the system can send it out into the outside world through an output device.

Displaying information on an LCD is a good example. Non-embedded systems can include not only inputs but also outputs. In the example of a flashlight, we explained how the button is input. The light that comes out of the electronic system is output.

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Why A Scanner Is An Input Device And Not An Output?

The information is captured through a scanner and sent out to the computer or a processor. An image is scanned before converting it into data sent into a laptop or computer system for processing. From the processing unit’s outside, the flow of information begins, and it moves inside a computer.

How Does A Scanner Work As An Input Device?

We will now understand the way a scanner can send information to a laptop as an input device. Different kinds of scanners can be found. The most popular scanner that everyone is familiar with is a Flatbed scanner or a desktop scanner. These scanners are particularly used for desktop computers. Although there are various types of scanners, the main purpose of each product remains the same.

A scanner’s main task is to analyze a document or image before processing it in some manner. A scanner’s primary part is the CCD array which is included in almost every kind of scanner. A range of tiny light-sensitive diodes is found in the CCD array that converts electrons from photons.

How Does A Scanner Get Connected To A Laptop As An Input Device?

You can easily connect a scanner with a laptop as an input device by using a single wire. Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable is the most popular wire used to connect the scanner to a laptop. People use USB cables for peripherals, laptops, and computers. Hence, you can connect the scanner to a laptop, and while it is powered with one cable, the communication can be done.

Various scanners don’t require a wire connection, and people can connect them to the laptop using Wi-Fi. You must use this type of scanner because the two machines can b placed far from each other while processing and sending the information to the laptop.

Where Can Be Scanner Use As An Input Device?

Although a scanner is mainly utilized as an input device with a laptop and computer, you can also use smartphones and Tablets. New scanners can communicate with devices using a Wi-Fi connection. Hence, these scanners can also be used as input devices with mobile devices.

What Are Types Of Input Devices Other Than A Scanner?

Various types of input devices send data to a laptop or computer other than a scanner. We send audio and video files to a computer or laptop using a webcam, microphone, digital camera, etc.

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What Is The Purpose Of The Scanner As An Input Device In A Laptop?

The primary aim of using a scanner is to make a digital copy of an image or physical document. This feature allows people to take full advantage of the input device because nowadays, all the information is required to be added to the computer.

Who Can Use A Scanner And It Connect With Computers?

The scanner is not meant to be used only by a particular industry or employee. Everyone can use the device for personal as well business. If you want digital copies of any existing document, then a scanner can surely be used for the purpose.


While the scanner is an input device used to send information to a computer, you can also send the data to a mobile device using a Wi-Fi connection. Hence, you can use this device when the document or image needs to be on mobile instantly. The scanner is considered an input device mainly because it sends information from the outside world inside the computer, laptop, or mobile device.

You should use new wireless scanners because the machines don’t have to be placed around each other for processing purposes. While using scanners with a USB cable connection, you won’t get the ability to send the digital copy directly to smartphones.

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