A terminal consists of a keyboard and a screen so it can be considered an input device, especially some of the specialized types.
Some come as single units.
Terminals are also called:
|A dumb terminal or thin client has little or no ability to process or store data.
It is linked to minicomputer, mainframe, or super computer, which handles all the hard work. The keyboard and viewing screen may be a single piece of equipment.
The development of faster, smaller, cheaper computers did away with most uses for dumb terminals. But the trend is reversing somewhat with thin clients that are used with programs in the cloud. The documents are stored over the Internet and the programs that create and edit those documents are run from a browser.
|An intelligent, smart, or programmable terminal can process or store on its own, at least to a limited extent. PCs can be used as smart terminals.|
|A point-of-sale terminal (POS) is an example of a special purpose terminal. These have replaced the old cash registers in nearly all retail stores. They can update inventory while calculating the sale.
They often have special purpose keys. For example, many restaurants have separate touchpads for each food item available.
Other Devices for Input
Credit card readers, fingerprint scanners, and the like are special purpose devices that send data to a computer for recognition.