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A typewriter is a device that has a series of buttons or 'keys' typically with the letters of the alphabet imprinted on them.
When these buttons (or keys) are pressed, the corresponding character is transfered onto a medium, typically paper. These devices were traditionally used in business and by professional writers. However, beginning in the 1980's these machines have been gradually replaced by personal computers running word processor applications.
In the Resident Evil series, typewriters are used to save your game. In all Resident Evil games before Resident Evil 4 you needed to have an ink ribbon to save so saving was limited.