Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » D »

dot-matrix printer

A type of printer that produces characters and illustrations by striking pins against an ink ribbon to print closely spaced dots in the appropriate shape. Dot-matrix printers are relatively expensive and do not produce high-quality output. However, they can print to multi-page forms (that is, carbon copies), something laser and ink-jet printers cannot do.

Dot-matrix printers vary in two important characteristics:

  • speed: Given in characters per second (cps),the speed can vary from about 50 to over 500 cps. Most dot-matrix printers offer different speeds depending on the quality of print desired.
  • print quality: Determined by the number of pins (the mechanisms that print the dots), it can vary from 9 to 24. The best dot-matrix printers (24 pins) can produce near letter-quality type, although you can still see a difference if you look closely.
  • In addition to these characteristics, you should also consider the noise factor. Compared to laser and ink-jet printers, dot-matrix printers are notorious for making a racket.







    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    Taking Ownership through Digital Governance

    Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »

    Have We Become a World of Addicts?

    It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »

    13 Best Free Android Apps

    From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

    From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

    Network Fundamentals Study Guide

    A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

    Computer Architecture Study Guide

    This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »