A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 3.6

A+ Exam Objective 3.6

3.6 Explain the purpose and use of various peripheral types.

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Welcome to Exam Notes by CertBlaster! In this article, we will cover Core 1 objective 3.6 Explain the purpose and use of various peripheral types.


Printers create hard copies of the content displayed on your computer’s display. This can be as simple as printing a note from your word processor. On the other hand, you can also take a screenshot of your display for troubleshooting purposes. There are several types of printers you are expected to know for the test.

You will be expected to know these different types of printers and how they operate.

Impact printers or Dot matrix use the impact method to create paper prints.

Inkjet distributes fluid ink on the paper by ejecting small amounts of colored dye from small ink containers.

LaserJet uses the electromagnetic properties of the ink, the drum, and the fuser to create the most stable output type. Moisture does not cause LaserJet prints to distort unlike other types.

ADF/flatbed scanners

Multi-function devices combine useful technologies into a single device. You may initially see an inkjet printer and on closer examination see that it is also a flatbed scanner. The scanner may have automatic document feed (ADF) which allows you to scan multiple documents and then either print them or save as a file on the network.

Scanners and Barcode readers

Practically all products sold today have a barcode somewhere on their packaging. The arrangement of the bars provides specific product information which is read by the barcode reader and passed onto a cash register or other payment device. This practice has been so successful that companies found that by changing its format, they could add more information to the barcode such as web links to the manufacturer’s web page. The QR (Quick Response) code was developed to satisfy this need and is read by the consumer using their smartphone. It is not unusual to see a shopper reading a QR code and comparing products using their phone.



The same principles that apply to CD-ROMs apply to DVD-ROMs, DVD-RWs, and DVD DLs. The capacity of the DVD disc increased to 4.7 GB. This is accomplished by increasing the density of the pits and lands while still using a red laser. It was discovered that the capacity of the DVD-ROM could be doubled to 8.5 GB by using two layers of recordable dye. The laser can then focus on one layer at a time. All of the DVD drives discussed will be either internal (PATA/SATA) or external. 


We start out with the keyboard and mouse. Believe it or not, the first consumer grade PCs did not have a mouse or even a graphical interface! Everything was command line driven. Originally, mice were connected through the serial port. They then upgraded to PS/2 and then ultimately to USB.

Keyboards followed roughly the same path. However, keyboards were originally connected using an XT connector, a DIN connector that was twice the size of the PS/2. Keyboard design evolved from an alpha numeric rectangular device, which reportedly caused fatigue and nerve damage after extensive use, to a curvy ergonomic design that was more natural. Newer keyboards and mice are wireless, allowing for user mobility during gaming and home theatre aplications.

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Touchpads & signature pads

How do we navigate through our operating systems without using a mouse? For 99% of situations, the solution is the touch pad. We will look at a well-worn laptop touchpad to illustrate how the device is used. Most of the action takes place at the large top section of the touchpad. Here, your fingertip uses capacitance to change the electrical properties of the touchpad, allowing you to navigate around your desktop using the touchpad surface.


Notice how centered the wear pattern which indicates a well configured pad. Left and right clicks are physical actions, requiring you to push down on the buttons. This can be considered a form of biometric input because the electrical properties of your fingertip create the connection point that influences the motion. Biometrics are most often found in security enforcement situations where an individual’s biological properties are used to identify them in a more definitive way than with a token or passphrase.

Signature pad

Another type of touch sensitive device is the glass-in signature pad. The signature pad, otherwise known as the digitizer, is composed of a three-piece electronic sandwich where the glass is the top layer. By pressing on the top layer with a stylus, you can electronically authorize a transaction with your digital signature.

Signature pad

• Monitors

Not so long ago, computers used CRT monitors to display graphical output. CRTs were bulky and heavy. A 22” CRT weighed over 50 pounds. LCD displays were first used in laptops and proved to be suitable for desktops. LCD technology is able to produce higher resolutions than CRTs and a 22” LCD can be carried with one hand.

Useful peripherals

Broadband access, now available to most users, made long distance meetings commonplace. In addition to your PC, all you need is a webcam and a microphone. If you have a newer laptop or a tablet, the webcam and microphone are built in. If not, your best bet is to get a USB webcam and microphone. Other items designed to make your life easier is the digital camera. There’s probably one built into your smartphone.

You can take the digital memory card in your camera and transfer your pictures to your PC using a smart card reader. This is also true of movies you create with a camcorder.


OK! Enough of the boring stuff. Let’s play a game! Let’s talk about a First Person (that’s you) Shooter (what you have in your hand) (FPS). In an FPS game, you walk around, shoot things, and collect items. To navigate and perform actions, you will use your mouse and keyboard at the minimum. You may also need a Game pad or a USB Joystick. Now let’s get some action.

The same first person shooter mentioned above can be moved into the virtual environment. Virtual reality (VR) headsets provide an immersive visual environment for gaming. Broadband internet allows multiplayer gaming and enables players to communicate and form teams using headset microphones, ear buds, and speakers. VR headsets are now being used for police and military training to combine safety with immersive virtual reality environments.

VR headset

Joystick & Gamepad

• Projector

One display type you may encounter is the projector. Screen output is backlit and projected onto a screen or even a clean white wall. This gives a great deal of control over the size of the projected image.

Brightness and lumens

The brightness of a display is measured in lumens and is the measurement of the candle power produced by an object. Let’s say lumens = brightness and more lumens is usually better. A low cost monitor, sufficient for office productivity, can be rated as low as 250 lumens while a high performance CAD/CAM or gaming monitor can be rated in the tens of thousands of lumens.

• External storage drives

Hot swappable drivesprovide storage flexibility for PCs and laptops through an external interface that allows hard disks to be added or removed without the need to power down the machine. Originally this was a complex operation, but the introduction of USB and SATA technologies combine to make this a reasonably safe process. The configuration can be a single drive or an enclosure that houses multiple drives that can be swapped in and out as necessary. It is a good idea to check the write caching status on your drive dock that you intend to swap drives on. This is disabled by default but it’s best to turn this on to allow recovery of last data. You will find this setting in Device Manager in the properties of the device.

KVM Switch

KVM stands for Keyboard Video Mouse. A KVM switch saves space by allowing one keyboard, monitor, and mouse to be used across multiple PCs. You can switch from one PC to another by simply pressing a button.

Magnetic reader/chip reader

ID badges

Security badges contain coded data that identifies you to the security system and includes a current picture and personal security challenges. Your security data can be stored on a magnetic strip or NFC contactless storage. The card should also have the company logo and be tamperproof. NFC is also the technology that supports tap and pay transactions.

Smart cards

Smart cards are another way to deliver security tokens to the system. Smart cards may or may not be combined with badge technology. One thing that separates many smart cards from other tech is its ability to both send and receive data. This enables mutual authentication, allowing each component to trust the other. Smart card readers scan for smartcards in range. When one is detected, communication can begin.


Well that’s it for objective 3.6. Stay with it! Good luck on the test!

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