What is a peripheral? And does anyone ever use that word? Well, a peripheral is a hardware input or output device which gives a computer extra functionality. Simply put, it’s something that connects to your computer so that you can do other stuff with it, like print, or use a mouse or keyboard instead of the options provided by your laptop. We’ll give you a list of popular peripherals in a minute.
These extra pieces of equipment are often referred to as auxiliary devices. All these extra peripherals are not essential for the computer to perform its basic tasks; they are an enhancement to the user’s experience. For example, a dedicated sound card provides more audio options for users, but today’s motherboards still supply sound without one.
Show us some peripherals!
Here is the list of the most popular peripherals:
What peripheral devices come with a computer?
When you buy a new desktop computer, it usually comes with a keyboard, mouse, sound card, power plug, and may also include a monitor. A laptop computer includes everything built in, so it only includes a power cord. Therefore, you’ll need to buy the peripherals yourself. The positive bit is that you can select the perfect items to suit your needs.
How do peripheral devices connect to a computer?
More and more peripheral devices are wireless these days as they are just more convenient, and free up space on your desk. The majority of non-wireless peripherals use one of the following types of cables (below) to connect to a computer. Before you buy any peripherals, make sure that the connection is compatible with your laptop. You’ll find the info in the specifications.
Are all USB ports the same?
No, they’re not. Their size and shape dictates which USB stick fits which ports. Below is a list of the most common shapes and sizes you’ll find on modern laptops.
Different USB shapes and sizes: USB-A, USB-B and USB-CUSB-A
This is the most common USB port – the one that most people will recognise. It’s asymmetrical and can only be plugged in one way up. USB-A ports can be found on virtually all desktop computers and laptops. There are some USB accessories where one end is fixed into the accessory itself (eg. a mouse) and the other slots into your computer.
This type of connector is almost exclusively found on accessories and smaller devices such as smartphones, tablets, portable hard drives and printers. As the image below shows, there are several versions of USB-B. Full-size USB-B and USB-B 3.0 ports are typically found on printers and older external hard drives. They are different shapes, and USB-B 3.0 cables have a blue connector. Mini USB-B is typically just known as Mini USB, and is found on older handheld devices and accessories such as USB microphones.
Micro USB-B is probably the most common USB-B port, and is found on older smartphones and tablets, as well as newer budget models. Meanwhile, Micro USB-B 3.0 looks like two connectors in one, and is used for devices where higher speeds are important, such as external hard drives. These are becoming less common and are being replaced by USB-C.USB-C:
The new standard USB-C is the latest generation of USB, and the first USB type that is both reversible (connectors can be inserted either way up) and can appear on both ends of a USB cable. They can be used for anything from charging a laptop or phone to connecting to a monitor or powering a large external storage device. A USB-C is the only connector designed to manage speeds up to the USB 4.0 standard, though simply having a USB-C port does not guarantee this. It’s expected that USB-C ports will increasingly replace USB-A ports on modern laptops. In fact some laptops, including the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, already exclusively use USB-C ports. It’s worth keeping an eye on this if you want your laptop to work with your existing wired devices.
5 Great value peripherals
LG 29UM59-P 29″ Ultrawide 21:9 Full HD Screen
Connect this LG UltraWide monitor to your PC for an encompassing view of everything you work on, from video to documents. A 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time cut down on lag and ghosting, while IPS technology lets the screen be seen from virtually any angle. This lack of colour distortion creates true to live vivid colours that pop from the screen. Full HD resolution brings photographs and streaming video to life with realistic images and a crisp view. Choose to mount this monitor on the wall with the 75 x 75 VESA mount or use the included stand to set it up on a surface. With OnScreen Control 2.0, this LG UltraWide monitor lets you customise your display to maximise your experience.
Logitech Desktop MK120 UK Layout
Logitech Desktop MK120. A durable duo that brings comfort, style and simplicity together. You’ll be comfortable with the keyboard thanks to the low-profile, whisper-quiet keys and standard layout with full-size F-keys and number pad. With its thin profile, spill-resistant design, durable keys that can withstand up to 10 million keystrokes and sturdy, adjustable tilt legs, this sleek keyboard not only looks and feels good – it’s built to last. Plus, it’s got easy-to-read keys. The high-definition optical mouse puts comfort and control in your hands with smooth, accurate tracking and a comfortable, ambidextrous shape. And setup is simple – you just plug your keyboard and mouse into USB ports and start using them right out of the box.
Logitech G603 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse
HERO is a revolutionary new optical sensor designed by Logitech G to deliver class-leading performance and up to 10 times the power efficiency1. With HERO sensor, G603 also delivers exceptionally accurate and consistent performance across the entire DPI range, with zero smoothing, filtering or pixel rounding from 200 to 12,000 DP
Razer Kraken X Multi-Platform Wired Gaming Headset – Mercury
The ultra-light Razer Kraken X is a multi-platform gaming headset built with superior comfort, extended durability and crystal-clear sound. Harness accurate positional audio with 7.1 surround sound, while the soft ear cushions and adjustable headband lets you game in total comfort.
Experience 7.1 surround sound for accurate positional audio across any game environment – from explosive all-out wars or stealthy covert operations.
*Only available on Windows 10 64-bit.
Engineered to be extremely light at just 250g, experience superior audio as you game for hours without being weighed down by your headset.
Bendable Cardioid Microphone
The cardioid pickup pattern records sound from a tighter angle. It ensures your voice is heard clearly when you speak and rejects noise from the sides and back of your mic.
Oval Ear Cushions & adjustable headband slider
The oval design with leatherette creates a comfortable fit and plush feel. An adjustable headband slider provides greater flexibility while being durable to twisting and bending overtime.
Custom-tuned 40mm drivers
The superior sound clarity and punchy bass simulate a wide soundscape when gaming. From subtle footsteps to powerful explosions, in-game audio is delivered in lifelike detail.
Game across your PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. An extension splitter cable also provides full audio and mic access for separate output and input ports.
HP Officejet Pro 6230 Wireless Printer
Enjoy professional colour documents and eye-catching marketing materials – for up to 50% less cost per page than lasers. The HP Officejet Pro is designed for productivity and mobile printing to keep business moving – at work, home or on the go.
Make a professional impression with high-quality colour printing that can get your business noticed – for up to 50% lower cost per page than colour lasers.
Easily print from all your devices – smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected notebooks and PCs – across the office or on the go. It’s simple and direct with wireless and wired networking and HP ePrint.
Handle large print jobs without slowing down. Grow your business with an ePrinter you can count on to help you print what you need – at fast speeds – and move on to your next task.
Save energy without sacrificing performance with this ENERGY STAR qualified ePrinter.