Difference Between Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse (With Table)

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.

Optical Mouse vs Laser Mouse

The difference between an optical mouse and a laser mouse is that the optical mouse uses a LED for illuminating the surface and providing higher accuracy. On the other hand, a laser mouse uses a laser diode and comes with a higher DPI. Optical mouse works perfectly on mousepads and non-glossy surfaces and is less expensive, while laser mouse works on several surfaces and is relatively expensive compared to the optical mouse.

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 laser beam can’t be seen by the human eye 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 the computer mouse.

Comparison Table Between Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse

Parameters of Comparison Optical Mouse Laser 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 hampered 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 there is no mouse ball which is required to 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. Prices of optical mice have come down to affordable prices, similar to the traditional mouse, as competition and technology evolved. 

What is Laser Mouse?

Laser mouses are the mouses that use a laser beam as a source of light for tracking movements. The infrared laser light can’t be seen in the human eye. 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- be it glossy or not. But the laser mouse faces problems while working on some tissue surface. 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. 

The DPI (Dots Per Inch) of laser light is 3000, so it is more sensitive than an optical mouse. A laser mouse is preferred by computer artists and gamers 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.

Main Differences Between Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse

  1. An optical mouse uses a blue or red LED as a source of light which can be seen by the human eye. On the other hand, a laser mouse uses a laser beam as a source of light. The infrared laser light can’t be seen in the human eye.
  2. The DPI (Dots Per Inch) of the optical mouse is 800, so it is less sensitive compared to 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 hampered 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- be it 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. 

Conclusion

Optical mouse and laser mouse are becoming popular day by day as it has several advanced features compared to traditional ball mouse. Both optical mice and laser mice are based on the light-based tracking process. But there are several differences between these mice.

The main difference between an optical mouse and a laser mouse is that the optical mouse uses a LED for illuminating the surface and providing higher accuracy. On the other hand, a laser mouse uses a laser diode and comes with a higher DPI. An optical mouse works perfectly on mousepads and non-glossy surfaces and is less expensive, while a laser mouse works on several surfaces and is relatively expensive compared to an optical mouse.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924424703002565
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6046228
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