Hardware components of a computer are the physical components that can be seen and touched. These components are connected or can be connected to the computer system through cables or wireless means.
The four main hardware components are the system unit, monitor, keyboard and mouse. They are the four main ones because without them, the computer may only function to a limited extent or may not function at all. Apart from the four main hardware components of the computer, there are other components that can assist the computer to carry out additional functions. Some of these hardware components are; joystick, printer, modem, projector, speaker, flash drive, scanner, webcam, microphone, external hard drive, etc which are also called computer peripherals because they are input and output devices that can be connected to the computer externally.
All these components have their functions to play in order to make a computer system completely functional. Now, the list of the hardware components and their functions below;
1. System Unit
This is the casing that contains very important internal components of the computer such as Central Processing Unit (CPU), Motherboard, Hard Disk Drive, CD-ROM Drive, etc. Its main function is to protect the internal components of the computer to avoid any form of unsafe physical contact.
Monitor is the part of the computer with screen that displays information from the computer in the form of visuals. Most of the modern LCD TV sets can also act as computer monitors. There are a few of them that have inbuilt speakers to produce sound but their main function is to display visuals as it is the main visual display unit (VDU) of the computer system.
This is one of the four main hardware components of the computer and also an input device. It enables the computer user to type as its main function. It can also be used to control the mouse pointer.
The computer mouse is another hardware component of the computer system. It is also an input device. It is used for selecting or clicking, double clicking, triple clicking and drag and dropping.
The speaker component of a computer can be inbuilt or external. Usually, all laptop computers come with inbuilt speakers but most of them are not loud enough. The main function of a speaker is to produce information in the form of sound or audio.
This is an output device. Its function is to make graphics or texts stick to the surface of a paper permanently.
This device produces output which makes it an output device. Its function is to project graphics or video onto a wider surface. Projectors become very useful during presentations based on the fact that presentations usually involves a large number of people. Projectors give wider view to help the last row of people in an auditorium to see what is going on.
It is an input device that can be used to control the mouse pointer. It is used to play computer games.
Modems can act as input and output device as most of them can read secure digital (SD) card. The word ‘modem’ is derived from the two words ‘modulator’ and ‘demodulator’. Its function is to connect a computer to a server over a network. It also receives analog signals and convert them into digital signals.
10. Flash drive
This is both output and input device. It can be used to feed the computer with data and can also be used to take information from the computer. Its main function is to be used by the computer user to transfer data or information from one computer to another. It can also be used as a bootable device to format or wipe a computer clean.
This is another hardware component of a computer which is used to capture images of printed files and convert them into computer readable files.
It is a digital camera that can be attached and connected to the computer. Its function is to stream images or video through a computer on the internet. Most laptop computers have inbuilt webcams.
This is an input device that can be connected to the computer through cables or wirelessly. Its function is to input audio waves into the computer’s system. It converts sound into electrical audio signal.
14. External hard drive
This type of hard drive is connected to the computer externally. Its function is to provide extra storage space for the computer. This mostly happens when the internal hard drive is running out of space for storing data or information. External hard drives are sometimes used to transfer data from one computer to another.