What are Some Popular Computer Peripherals?

Michael Anissimov

What are some popular computer peripherals? The most famous of all popular computer peripherals are surely the mouse and keyboard. It could be a while before these input devices go out of style.

Quality speakers can enhance a gaming experience.
Quality speakers can enhance a gaming experience.

There are many alternatives to the classic keyboard - keyboards with hotkeys that perform specific functions, curved ergonomic keyboards, keyboards with rearranged keys, and so on. There is even a "virtual keyboard" that is merely a light projection watched by infrared sensors. There are also many kinds of mice to be found - optical mice, wireless mice, tiny travel mice with single buttons, and large gaming mice with five buttons or more.

USB hubs are useful to connect multiple peripherals to your computer.
USB hubs are useful to connect multiple peripherals to your computer.

Some popular computer peripherals besides the keyboard and mouse are the printer, the flatbed scanner, the external hard drive, the speaker, and the Bluetooth® receiver. Except for the last, these peripherals have pretty much been around for as long as the affordable personal computer has. This article will summarize these popular computer peripherals and what type of person may want to buy them.

An optical mouse is a newer type of computer peripheral.
An optical mouse is a newer type of computer peripheral.

The printer allows you to take text or images from a computer and print them on a sheet of paper. Like the keyboard and mouse, the printer is almost universally familiar. A drawback worth mentioning applies to color printers - they often require two or more relatively expensive ink cartridges. While text can often be printed cheaply, photos or large images consume significant amounts of ink.

Both the mouse and keyboard are considered computer peripherals.
Both the mouse and keyboard are considered computer peripherals.

Another juggernaut in the world of popular computer peripherals is the flatbed scanner. These can now be found for under 50 US dollars (USD) on eBay. The flatbed scanner can be used to 'scan' a paper image or text and convert it into a computer data file. This is like the opposite of a printer. Instead of transferring data from a file to a page, it does the reverse.

Many popular computer peripherals are now being sold with USB 3.0 connections.
Many popular computer peripherals are now being sold with USB 3.0 connections.

Perhaps the most popular computer peripheral for hardcore users is the external hard drive. The external hard drive is used to store data securely on an independent drive. Many external hard drives are armored and can withstand falls and impacts. An external hard drive allows you to store and backup large data chunks like CAD or video files. The cost of these drives is dropping below 1 USD per two gigabytes, while the max size for a single drive surpasses one terabyte.

An external hard drive.
An external hard drive.

Speakers are a must-have computer peripheral for the music aficionado. For 100 USD, you can get a set of speakers with basic surround-sound capabilities and a good-sized subwoofer. With the popularity of MP3s, many people use their computer to play songs on their stereo system in lieu of a CD player.

The last of the popular computer peripherals to be discussed here is the Bluetooth® receiver. A small adapter that plugs into your USB port allows your computer to communicate with various Bluetooth®-enabled devices, including cell phones, certain cameras, and other electronics. Bluetooth® is a wireless standard that allows you to quickly transfer data between mobile devices.

Keyboards are a common computer peripheral.
Keyboards are a common computer peripheral.

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Discussion Comments


My use of computer peripherals has gotten somewhat out of hand. Because I love to expand the use of my desktop computer, I have now cluttered my desk so badly that I have had to get cable ties and other means of organizing the absolute rat nest of cables, wires and universal serial bus hubs.

With so many computer components, I am sometimes unsure of what I have unplugged and am in the process of labeling all of my cable ends. It is amazing to me what can be done with a very old and used cheap computer by simply adding a few extras. Computer peripheral manufacturers have really nailed down the art of making an extra device that we use just often enough to still keep it on the desk. I only hope that someday I can consolidate the mess enough that I can actually see my desk.


While remote controls and printers are great and all, my favorite peripheral for my computer is a gaming pad. This type of controller connects via the universal serial bus port and is somewhat a generic form of some more of the popular console gaming systems that are available on the market today.

What this controller allows me to do is expand the functionality as well as pleasure that I managed to get out of my system. By having this type of controller, I can install special drivers that allow me to use it with emulated game systems.

This means that I can have a similar gaming experience to what I would get when gaming on a Nintendo or PlayStation game system. This allows me to save money because I don't have to purchase the very expensive consoles that constantly change and update themselves in an effort to raise more cash. Beat the system and get yourself you very own generic computer gaming pad.


Hands down in any competition for computer peripherals superiority is the printer. While it might seem boring and mundane, there is no doubt in my mind that the single best and most widely used peripheral is the computer printer. Almost everyone that owns a computer has a printer or has owned one at some point or another.

These physical output devices were among some of the first computer peripherals available to consumers and personal computer owners and they have also seen of the biggest changes since their inception in the computer world.

There have been so many changes in the output technology that there have been countless articles and books written on the subject. Whether your primary type of printer is an ink jet or laser, you have surely experienced the gross over charges that manufacturers place on their replenish able supplies.

I would be sure to do some research if you are in the market for a new computer and printer. Often when you buy a computer these days, a printer can be thrown into the deal as a means of adding a selling point and if you watch the specials in the papers, you too can find a good deal like this.


My favorite computer peripherals is the expansion that I decided to invest in that included an infrared receiver and remote control. The specialized software drivers that were also included allow for me to control my computer much like the way that one would control a TV. I can start and stop music as well as skip tracks, rewind and fast forward to other songs or parts of songs. I can also control the volume of the music and do it all from the comfort of my couch.

With this kind of computer hardware connection, one can really experience the next level of computer integrated entertainment and I feel like I am on the edge of that front. More and more computers creep into our lives and the use of computer peripherals makes that a much easier and enjoyable experience.

I wonder what kind of awesome gadgets they will come out with next for me to play with.

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