dot matrix printer - Computer Definition
A printer that uses hammers and a ribbon to form images from dots. Used to print multipart forms and address labels, the tractor and sprocket mechanism in these devices handles thicker media better than laser and inkjet printers. Also known as a "serial dot matrix printer." Hammers Hit the Ribbon The dot matrix printer uses one or two columns of dot hammers that are moved across the paper. The hammers rapidly press the ribbon into the paper, which causes the ink to be deposited. The more hammers, the higher the resolution. For example, 9-pin heads produce draft quality text, while 24-pin heads produce typewriter quality output. Speeds range from 200 to 400 characters per second (cps), which is approximately 90 to 180 lines per minute (lpm). See line matrix printer.