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Impact Printer

Example: "Dot matrix and daisy wheel printers are common types of impact printers."

An impact printer is a printer that strikes a print head against an ink ribbon to mark the paper. Common examples include dot matrix and daisy-wheel printers. Dot matrix printers strike the ribbon with a grid of metal pins, while daisy-wheel printers strike the ribbon with a "petal" from a wheel of characters and symbols.

Impact printers still exist, but they have been largely replaced by non-impact printers, such as laser and inkjet printers. These printers do not physically strike the paper and therefore are much quieter than impact printers. While dot matrix printers could be heard by everyone in the office, laser and inkjet printers allow you to print documents without distracting fellow employees.

First Published: May 26, 2010
Last Updated: May 26, 2010

Definition from the PC Glossary