What are Computer Hardware Components?

by Cameron EaseyUpdated September 28, 2017

Computer hardware components can be either internal or peripheral devices that connect directly to a computer. Typically, hardware components are devices that are designed for a specific purpose, such as inputting data. A hardware component can include a monitor, keyboard, mouse and memory modules.


The monitor is also known as the display. This is because the monitor displays the pictures and video that are seen. Older computer monitors used a glass tube and were referred to as a CRT. Newer models are known as a flat screen or an LCD and display a crisper picture.


The keyboard is the device that is used to input data. A keyboard can connect to a computer using an old-style serial connection or a newer USB connector. Keyboards can do more than just provide a way to type data. They can also contain controls for the audio as well as video, such as a DVD player.


The mouse is the standard component that is used the most with a computer. A mouse typically plugs into a computer's USB port. A mouse has a left and right button as well as a center wheel. The center wheel is used to scroll pages, such as Web pages.


The printer is a component that connects to a computer to send documents and photos to be printed on various types of paper. Most newer printers connect to a computer using a USB cable, but some may be equipped for a wireless connection. A USB printer typically does not need to have software loaded to print but does require software to be loaded to scan documents and photos.


Memory is an internal component that connects to slots that are in a motherboard. Memory comes in sizes that can range from 512 Mb to 4 Gb or more. Most computer motherboards have at least two slots in which to add or upgrade memory.

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