Laser vs Optical Mouse: Know How These Mice Are Different (2022)

Laser vs Optical Mouse: Know How These Mice Are Different (1)Laser vs optical mouse might appear to be a simple phrase, but the same has been troubling users all around the globe for quite some time now. With both mice being promising when used optimally, there resides a lot of confusing elements, which makes deciding between optical or laser mouse a tough food to digest.

In case you’ve been wondering about something similar, don’t worry; we’ll describe who wins the battle as the article unfolds every aspect of laser vs optical mouse.


  • Comparison Table
  • What Is the Difference Between Optical and Laser Mouse?
  • What Is Optical Mouse Best For?
    • – Next Level Cursor Accuracy
    • – Perfect for Gamers
    • – Budget Friendliness
  • What Is Laser Mouse Best For?
    • – Convenience
    • – Fast Processing Rate
    • – Similarities
    • – Which Mouse Is Best For Gaming?
  • Conclusion

Comparison Table

FactorsLaser MouseOptical Mouse
Illumination SourceLaser beamLED
Surface RequirementsSurface independentCan’t be glossy or reflective
PricingUsually moreUsually less
SensitivityHigh (6000dpi to 15000dpi)Comparatively, low (3000dpi)
GamingThe high dpi may cause jitters and bring unwanted instabilityBagging low sensitivity, optical mice are preferred for gaming

What Is the Difference Between Optical and Laser Mouse?

The main difference between optical and laser mice lies in the working mechanism. While the availability of an LED light makes it important to use an optical mouse on a surface that isn’t reflecting, laser mice are free from surface constraints as the concerned laser beam can operate anywhere.

What Is Optical Mouse Best For?

An optical mouse is the best fit for anyone who is after a mouse that bags low acceleration. Unwanted acceleration that occurs during navigation can be really frustrating.

Individuals who intend to use computers majorly for gaming can encounter severe instability when a mouse with high sensitivity is employed. As a result, gamers still prefer optical mice irrespective of sheltering a low dpi value.

To help you understand better, let’s look at the features that make the optical mouse a perfect fit.

– Next Level Cursor Accuracy

When we talk about an optical mouse, we’re typically speaking of a highly accurate device. An optical mouse is capable of analyzing the alteration in positions at the rate of 700 mm/sec, which is pretty appreciable. Alongside that, the device can read somewhere up to 200 to 300 dots per inch.

(Video) Laser vs Optical Mouse - Which Is Better for Gaming? [Simple Guide]

In case these numbers confuse you a bit, you need to understand the easy route. The overall build of an optical mouse is such means that it reads its location really fast. Not just that, it does the same thing with high precision.

– Perfect for Gamers

Sensitivity in a mouse is a term that gamers can relate to. It is the speed at which the pointer operates. In easier words, the sensitivity of a mouse or a mouse pointer defines at what rate can the cursor corresponding to the concerned mouse pointer can move on the screen. It is usually measured in dots per inch or dpi.

An optical mouse has a relatively low resolution of 3000dpi as compared to other alternatives. Acceleration around mouse navigation occurs when the speed of the mouse sensor and movement of the mouse is not proportionate with that of the screen. Meaning that when the mouse sensor detects away too many movements on the surface, it causes instability.

You can visualize the instability when the cursor fails to reach the exact location as intended by the mouse’s physical movement. The optical sensor or the sensor of the optical mouse does not detect as many details. Hence, the optical mouse is not prone to jitters/acceleration.

– Budget Friendliness

Thanks to the recent marketing approach and the availability of products, we’ve started noticing drastic alterations over the years. For that reason, the pricing of almost any kind of mouse has started to dwell under the same roof. However, if you’re on a tight budget, in most cases, going for the optical mouse will turn out to be a deal-breaker.

Generalizing everything, LED mice stick around being the most affordable option. You can find a number of super-efficient options that won’t really hurt your budget much. But again, there do exist several options that can easily charge you hundreds of dollars. Better, you keep that in mind while making purchases.

Cutting short, if you’re after a mouse that can help you with your gaming sessions without hurting your budget much, an optical mouse would fit the best. However, at the same time, it will be crucial for you to have no issues regarding the lack of surface adaptability.

The LED light used as the illumination source can cause a problem in the image generation, especially when you operate the optical mouse on any glossy or reflective surface. Therefore, make sure you’ve got the surface issue sorted.

What Is Laser Mouse Best For?

Although optical mouse packs an advantage with a more controlled acceleration, the fact that the LED used as illumination source offers some sort of surface constrain diverges many users away.

(Video) Optical vs Laser Gaming Mice as Fast As Possible

Admit it!

Not everyone is after gaming; in fact, many look for a convenient solution that laser mice provide.

– Convenience

Remember the days when keeping the mouse steady was a real struggle?

Well, we’ve evolved quite a bit since then, and the laser mouse holds significant authority in this department. Unlike many other options, the laser beam in the laser mouse makes it a flexible, surface adaptable option.

In case you don’t know, a mouse features a small built-in, low-resolution camera that takes thousands of digital images per second. These images help determine the exact position and movement of the cursor. Moreover, it is these images that eventually track and help move the cursor to the desired location.

The illumination score for a laser mouse, as already mentioned, is a laser beam. For that reason, reflection isn’t concerning and does not pose a problem in the overall working scenario. Overall, you can use a laser mouse conveniently without even worrying about the surface you’re on.

– Fast Processing Rate

The sensitivity for laser mouse rests somewhere between 6000- 15000+ dpi. Well, that’s high and also one of the reasons behind fast processing rates. Look, there is no denying that high dpi can lead to jitters and acceleration, leading to some sort of trouble while gaming.

But do you think everyone is after a mouse that helps make the gameplay session smooth?

Of course not. For them, a laser mouse is a blessing.

(Video) The Difference between optical mouse and laser mouse

It won’t be wrong to say that using a laser mouse is like experiencing the best navigation and control ever. Those who are after a cool-looking mouse that only delivers a fast processing rate but is also capable of running smoothly on any surface must have their attention on a laser mouse.

Although the cost may play a role here, finding cheap options won’t be difficult either. What will be difficult tackling, though, is the jitters and acceleration when you sit on your laptop or PC for a gaming session. For that reason, a laser mouse is usually preferred for other situations that actually demand swift navigation over controlled sensitivity.

– Similarities

Besides packing a long list of dissimilarities, laser and optical mice do feature some similarities moving forward. When it comes to the mouse sensor, whether you’re concerned about optical or laser mouse, both use a CMOS sensor.

CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. These are integrated into the mouse and are responsible for detecting movement and speed. Basically, the CMOS sensor or the mouse sensor collects information in the form of light and converts it into electrical current, which is then further used to generate the exact location of the mouse pointer on the screen.

Therefore as you can see, alongside the differentiating factors, there are many instances that put both laser and optical mice under the same roof. No doubt, these can play a critical role in the final decision-making process.

Laser vs Optical Mouse: Know How These Mice Are Different (2)

– Which Mouse Is Best For Gaming?

Given the similarities, deciding optical mouse for gaming or laser mouse for gaming can be a quite challenging. However, the differences can help present a clear winner.

The better option is to opt for an optical mouse for gaming.

Wondering why?

(Video) What is the Difference Between Laser and Optical Mice?

Well, the answer can be many. Acceleration in a mouse can be really frustrating in the gaming scenario. Having discussed moments back, you know that the optical mouse is more responsive and does not suffer from jitters or acceleration problems. So, that’s a plus.

Furthermore, gamers tend to be situated in a setting complete with mouse pads and smooth surfaces; hence the surface for optical mouse is never a problem.

Laser mouse lovers don’t need to get disappointed, though. There are many companies that are working to develop laser mice that fit gaming purposes. A laser mouse has an increased resolution and sensitivity.

Additionally, it also can detect greater and more precise movement, which is crucial for gamers. The problem of acceleration in laser mice for gaming can be easily solved by using a mouse pad which is already a common practice many gamers stick to.


That’s pretty much everything that wraps the laser vs mouse review. The usability of a laser mouse is surface independent, while optical mouse users need to have a mouse pad or a non-reflecting surface for proper functioning. We can say that the debate of laser vs optical mouse for which one to choose more or less depends on the user itself.

The optical mouse comes with a low dpi compared to its laser counterpart. However, loaded with other seamless functionality, this flow is something that goes unnoticed by the average user.

A gamer may find the increased dpi of the laser mouse beneficial, but the acceleration issue may be a put-off. Gamers may prefer to use an optical mouse for gaming. Nonetheless, using something as simple as a mouse pad can solve most of the acceleration issues of the laser mouse, giving you an optimal gaming experience.


What is the difference between optical mouse and laser mouse? ›

The difference between an optical mouse and a laser mouse

The key difference between an optical mouse and a laser mouse is their illumination source. An optical mouse uses an infrared LED light to illuminate the surface. A laser mouse illuminates the surface with a laser beam.

Why are optical mice better than laser? ›

Optical mice have a resolution of around 3,000 dpi, while laser mice have a resolution between 6,000 and 15,000+ dpi. Since laser mice have a higher dpi, these devices track more dots per inch and are more sensitive. This may have been an issue in the past, but the average user probably can't tell the difference.

How does an optical mouse analyze movements? ›

An optical mouse is a computer mouse which uses a light source, typically a light-emitting diode (LED), and a light detector, such as an array of photodiodes, to detect movement relative to a surface.

What is the difference between an optical mouse and scroll mouse? ›

Button Functionality: Optical mice come with a manufacturer setting of two buttons and one scrolling wheel or three buttons. Laser mice, on the other hand, carry much more functionality features as they have extra buttons which can be programmed by the user. The number of buttons on a laser mouse can go as many as 12.

Why is optical mouse better? ›

Laser-based mice offer high sensitivity, but they tend to cause jittering. On the flip side, optical mice use LED technology with lower sensitivity, allowing for more accurate movement.

What is the benefit of an optical mouse? ›

Optical mice have several benefits over wheeled mice: No moving parts means less wear and a lower chance of failure. There's no way for dirt to get inside the mouse and interfere with the tracking sensors. Increased tracking resolution means smoother response.

Which is better optical mouse or ball mouse? ›

In this regard, the laser mouse is the more high-tech choice because of its fast processing rate. While both of them are much more advanced than a trackball mouse but the laser mouse has the added edge of a faster operation.

What are the different types of mouse? ›

Different Types of Computer Mice
  • Wired Mouse.
  • Wireless Mouse.
  • Bluetooth Mouse.
  • Comparing Wired vs. Wireless vs. Bluetooth Mice.
  • Trackball Mouse.
  • Laser Mouse.
  • Comparing Trackball vs. Optical vs. Laser Mice.
  • Magic Mouse.

What is optical mouse in computer? ›

An optical mouse is an advanced computer pointing device that uses a light-emitting diode ( LED ), an optical sensor, and digital signal processing ( DSP ) in place of the traditional mouse ball and electromechanical transducer.

How does a laser mouse track movement? ›

What surfaces do laser and optical mice work on? In order to track movement, optical and laser mice shine a light, the CMOS sensor records the pattern, and the process is repeated while comparing the pattern to the previous image. This can happen thousands of times per second.

How do optical sensors work? ›

Optical sensors have the ability to detect light, typically at a specific range of the electromagnetic spectra (ultraviolet, visible, and infrared). The sensor detects either wavelength, frequency, or polarization of light and converts it into electric signal due to photoelectric effect.

What is the difference between a mechanical mouse and an optical mouse Class 9? ›

question. A mechanical mouse works with the help of a rubber ball and optical mouse use light to detect movement. One part of the computer used to enter information into the system is the mouse.

Is optical mouse good for gaming? ›

It is evident that an optical mouse might be the better choice when it comes to gaming. Offering better tracking ability, accuracy and at a much better cost. Reliability and consistency is key to success in competitive gaming titles and you want every edge of the competition.

How can I make my laser mouse work better? ›

If you have an optical mouse (LED or laser) with erratic behavior, the optical eye may be blocked. Hair or fuzz can block the sensor on the bottom of the mouse, preventing the optical sensor from working correctly. Turn the mouse over and make sure there is no debris blocking the hole.

Can the laser from a mouse damage your eye? ›

So, can a laser mouse hurt your eyes? Laser mouse emissions are not dangerous and therefore not harmful to your eyes. The class of laser used in mice is the class 1 laser, which is considered to be the safest laser of all other lasers.

What is the most accurate mouse? ›

The best mouse available now
  1. Logitech MX Master 3. The best mouse for creatives overall. ...
  2. Logitech MX Anywhere 3. The best mouse to use on the move. ...
  3. Razer Pro Click. ...
  4. Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse. ...
  5. Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse. ...
  6. Logitech MX Ergo Wireless. ...
  7. Microsoft Surface Mouse. ...
  8. Logitech Pebble.
Jul 27, 2022

How many buttons does a optical mouse has? ›

Scroll wheel

The wheel can both be rotated and clicked, thus most mice today effectively have three buttons.

Does laser mouse have red light? ›

The optical mouse has a blue light under it right or wrong? An optical mouse uses a light on the bottom, typically a red LED not blue at all. Because Red is most capable of reflecting a surface in any ambient light to detect movement of the user relative to a surface. It is a cheaper and suitable color for a mouse.

What are the types of mouse answer? ›

Top 9 Types of Mouse
  • Wired Mouse. The pointer or cursor on a display screen is operated by a mouse. ...
  • Optical Mouse. It is the mouse that lifts Joe, you see everywhere today. ...
  • Laser Mouse. ...
  • Gaming Mouse. ...
  • Trackball Mouse. ...
  • Stylus Mouse. ...
  • Presentation Mouse. ...
  • Wireless Mouse.

What are the 2 types of mouse? ›

The Different Types of Computer Mice
  • Mechanical mouse: Houses a hard rubber ball that rolls as the mouse is moved. ...
  • Optical mouse: Uses an LED sensor to detect tabletop movement and then sends off that information to the computer for merry munching.
Mar 26, 2016

How many different types of computer mouse are there? ›

14 Different Types of Mouse for your Computer.

Which of the following is used in optical mouse? ›

Answer. Answer: An optical mouse is a computer mouse which uses a light source, typically a light-emitting diode (LED), and a light detector, such as an array of photodiodes, to detect movement relative to a surface.

Does optical mouse have ball? ›

These differing technologies are identified by examining the bottom of the mouse. As shown, the optical-mechanical mouse has a ball, and the optical mouse has a light instead.

When was the first laser mouse invented? ›

2004 – First Laser Mouse

Logitech introduced the first consumer-marketed laser mouse, the MX1000, in 2004. Until then, optical mice relied on LEDs for surface illumination and tracking. Using a laser allowed mice to be much more responsive and resilient on various surfaces.

Does laser mouse work on glass? ›

1 of 2 | The Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX with DarkField Laser Tracking can be used on glass surfaces. Optical mice usually have trouble tracking not only on glass, but on most any surface that's extremely smooth or highly glossy such as lacquered surfaces.

Why optical sensors are used? ›

Optical sensors are electronic components designed to detect and convert incident light rays into electrical signals. These components are useful for measuring the intensity of incident light and converting it into a form readable by an integrated measuring device, depending on the sensor type.

What is optical sensor example? ›

Optical sensors are integral parts of many common devices, including computers, copy machines (xerox) and light fixtures that turn on automatically in the dark. And some of the common applications include alarm systems, synchros for photographic flashes and systems that can detect the presence of objects.

How many types of optical sensors are there? ›

The optical sensor types include Point sensor, Distributed sensor, Extrinsic sensor, Intrinsic sensor, Through Beam Sensor, Diffuse reflective Sensor and Retro-reflective sensor.

What makes an optical mouse different from a mechanical mouse? ›

A mouse that uses light to detect movement. Introduced in the late 1990s, optical mice superseded mechanical mice because their sealed bottom surfaces do not absorb dust and dirt. They work by emitting light from an LED or laser, and a CMOS sensor detects the light reflections as the mouse is moved.

How can one distinguish between an optical mouse and mechanical mouse? ›

Answer: mechanical mouse has a rolling rubber ball under the case . and the movement of pointer is controlled by ball. Explanation: while opto mechanical mouse is similar with mechanical mouse but it uses optical sensors to detect motion of the ball.

What is the difference between mechanical mouse and opto mechanical mouse Mcq? ›

What is the difference between mechanical mouse and opto-mechanical mouse? Mechanical mouse is connected with wire but opto-mechanical mouse are wireless Mechanical mouse has a ball on its underside but opto-mechanical don't have Mechanical mouse has only 2 buttons while opto-mechanical mouse have 3 buttons.

Do you need a mousepad for laser mouse? ›

Optical mice can struggle with highly-reflective and glass surfaces due to their low level of penetration. However, a laser mouse doesn't have this issue and can work on any surface, including glass. Bottom line: Optical mice need a mouse pad if your desk or table is reflective or glass, but laser mice do not.

Which is better optical mouse or ball mouse? ›

In this regard, the laser mouse is the more high-tech choice because of its fast processing rate. While both of them are much more advanced than a trackball mouse but the laser mouse has the added edge of a faster operation.

What is optical mouse? ›

An optical mouse is an advanced computer pointing device that uses a light-emitting diode ( LED ), an optical sensor, and digital signal processing ( DSP ) in place of the traditional mouse ball and electromechanical transducer.

What is the best type of mouse? ›

The best mouse available now
  • Logitech MX Anywhere 3. ...
  • Razer Pro Click. ...
  • Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse. ...
  • Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse. ...
  • Logitech MX Ergo Wireless. ...
  • Microsoft Surface Mouse. ...
  • Logitech Pebble. A low-cost option for use on-the-go. ...
  • Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600. The best budget mouse for creatives.
Jul 27, 2022


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