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.

    Webopedia Staff
    Webopedia Staff
    Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

    Related Articles

    Software Environment

    A software environment is a collection of programs, libraries, and utilities that allow users to perform specific tasks. Software environments are often used by...

    ClickUp

    ClickUp is a cloud-based work and project management platform that enables teams to manage tasks, collaborate in real-time, gain insights via reporting, and more....

    Chunk (Data Chunk)

    A chunk, also called a data chunk, by RFC2960 SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) standards, is the term used to describe a unit of...

    Blog Search Engine

    A blog search engine is specifically focused on finding content in the blogosphere. Blog search engines only index and provide search results from blogs...

    Agile Project Management

    Agile project management enables business teams to approach their projects and tasks with...

    Private 5G Network

    A private 5G network is a private local area network (LAN) that utilizes...

    Rich Communication Services (RCS)

    Rich communication services (RCS) is a mobile messaging approach in which session initiation...