Optical Mouse vs Laser Mouse: Difference and Comparison

A computer mouse is an input device that is used for moving the cursor around the computer screen. Undoubtedly the mouse is one of the most important and convenient computer parts.

Choosing a proper mouse that can balance between accuracy and sensitivity. Optical and laser mice are better than traditional mice.

Key Takeaways

  1. Optical mice use an LED light source to track movement, while laser mice employ a laser diode.
  2. Laser mice offer higher sensitivity and can work on a broader surface range than optical mice.
  3. Optical mice are more affordable and sufficient for everyday use, while laser mice are preferred for precision tasks and gaming.

Optical Mouse vs Laser Mouse

An optical mouse is a special type of mouse that uses a digital signal processor, an optical sensor, and an LED instead of the normal mouse ball and electrotechnical transducer. A laser mouse is a special type of mouse that makes use of a laser beam as its light source for tracking movement.

Optical Mouse vs Laser Mouse
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The optical mouse is the mouse that uses DIP technology (digital image processing technology) for tracking the position of the mouse and translating the position to the cursor on the computer screen.

It has a small camera which can take 1500 pictures per second. The optical mouse is easy to maintain, and it is mostly used as a plug-and-play device with no software installation.

A laser mouse is a computer mouse that uses a laser beam instead of a ball to track the hand movement of the user.

The human eye can’t see the laser beam, and it is capable of providing a high resolution of over 8000 DPI, which translates into excellent sensitivity and precision.

A laser mouse is becoming popular as it can track better than other types of computer mouse.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonOptical MouseLaser Mouse
Light sourceAn optical mouse uses a blue or red LED as a source of light which can be seen by the human eye.
             
A laser mouse uses a laser beam as a source of light. The infrared laser light can’t be seen in the human eye.
SensitivityThe DPI (Dots Per Inch) of the optical mouse is 800, so it is less sensitive compared to a laser mouse.
             
The DPI (Dots Per Inch) of laser light is 3000, so it is more sensitive than an optical mouse.
Operation surfaceAn optical mouse can be used on any surface, but the glossy or reflective surface hampered its work. So, most of the optical mice are need to be used on the mouse pad.
             
A laser mouse can be used on any surface- be it glossy or not.
Buttons The optical mouse has two buttons and a scrolling wheel. 
             
The laser mouse has an extra button along with the two regular buttons. The extra buttons can be programmed manually by users. 
CostThe price of the optical mouse is low compared to the laser mouse.
             
The price of a laser mouse is higher than an optical mouse as it has extra features.

What is Optical Mouse?

The optical mouse is an advanced mouse that uses a LED, DSP (digital signal processing), and an optical sensor instead of the electromechanical transducer and traditional mouse ball.

An optical mouse tracks the movement by sensing the changes in light reflection. The mouse takes microscopic snapshots of the surface at a rate of above 1000 images per second. The image changes whenever the mouse moves.

The optical mouse has two buttons and a scrolling wheel. An optical mouse can be used on any surface, but the glossy or reflective surface hampers its work. So, most of the optical mice are need to be used on the mouse pad. 

The optical mouse has several benefits compared to the traditional mouse. One of the main advantages of the optical mouse is that no mouse ball must be cleaned often.

The optical mouse doesn’t need any cleaning as it doesn’t have any movable parts. Another advantage of the optical mouse is its digital processing technology resulting in a more accurate, smoother performance compared to a traditional mouse.

The optical mouse is popular in both businesses and homes. The optical mouse is easy to maintain, and it is mostly used as a plug-and-play device with no software installation.

The prices of optical mice have come down to affordable prices, similar to the traditional mouse, as competition and technology evolved. 

optical mouse

What is Laser Mouse?

Laser mouses are the mouses that use a laser beam as a source of light for tracking movements. The human eye can’t see infrared laser light.

In 2014 Logitech first brought it to the market. The laser beam emitted from the mouse moves with the hand of the user and triggers an optical system.

A laser mouse can be used on any surface, whether glossy or not. But the laser mouse faces problems while working on some tissue surfaces. The laser mouse has an extra button along with the two regular buttons.

The extra buttons can be programmed manually by users. The price of a laser mouse is higher than an optical mouse as it has extra features. 

Laser light’s DPI (Dots Per Inch) is 3000, so it is more sensitive than an optical mouse. Computer artists and gamers prefer a laser mouse due to its precise performance.

But if the system memory of the PC is bogged down, it can cause lag in the cursor.

A laser mouse is becoming more popular as they have better tracking ability. Additionally, this type of mouse never faces issues like gumming up and subsequent signal distortion as a traditional ball mouse.

The absence of movable parts also makes laser mice far less prone to damage.

laser mouse

Main Differences Between Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse

  1. An optical mouse uses a blue or red LED as a source of light that the human eye can see. On the other hand, a laser mouse uses a laser beam as a source of light. The human eye can’t see infrared laser light.
  2. The optical mouse’s DPI (Dots Per Inch) is 800, so it is less sensitive than a laser mouse. On the contrary, The DPI (Dots Per Inch) of laser light is 3000, so it is more sensitive than an optical mouse.
  3. An optical mouse can be used on any surface, but the glossy or reflective surface hampers its work. So, most of the optical mice need to be used on the mouse pad. A laser mouse can be used on any surface, whether glossy or not.
  4. The optical mouse has two buttons and a scrolling wheel. But the laser mouse has an extra button along with the two regular buttons. The extra buttons can be programmed manually by users.
  5. The price of the optical mouse is low compared to the laser mouse. The price of a laser mouse is higher than an optical mouse as it has extra features. 
Difference Between Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924424703002565
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6046228

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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