The Difference Between Optical vs Laser Mouse

Optical vs Laser Mouse
By Gopal Sengar Updated

The mouse is a really essential part of the system. If it runs away, then there is no way to catch it back. HAHAHA. Sorry for the Pun. We have heard of many types of mouses like tailed (with wire), not – tailed (wireless) but the laser or optical one is a fairly new concept for us. Nevertheless, I am sure there are people out there who are quite intellectual than us and would know about it and some may not.

So, here we are today listing a bunch of differences between the optical and the laser mouse which will clear out the doubts. Let us start –

First of all, there is one thing which you should know, the normal mouse that you use or go and simply buy from any electronic store without asking of any specifications etc. are optical ones and are less costly. Plus if you are not a tech savvy and literally do not care much about the technology as long as it does the job for you (typically like me, do not tell anybody) you won’t find much difference between the two. But if you are a tech guy then you will feel that there is a vast difference between the two.

The following are the differences between

Optical vs Laser mouse

Light (Illumination) source difference

One of the many differences between optical vs laser mouse is the illumination source that is used by them. The optical mouse’s use a simple LED (light emitting diode) for lighting whereas the laser one uses a laser light for the same purpose.

Except for the light both use the same CMOS sensor which is a very small low-resolution camera which is found in our smartphones too to click photos of the surface that it is operated upon and sends it to the computer which then analysis its movements accordingly.

Dots per inch

This is one of the major difference between the optical vs laser mouse. Laser mouse takes the cake in this category and has a high dpi figure. Dpi is the short form of dots per inch which have a direct relationship with the sensitivity of the mouse that you are using. Higher the dpi the more sensitive is the mice. Though in the past both the optical and the laser had problems with his part but now had developed accordingly and are taking over the market.

The best section of the people who are really concerned with the dpi are the gamers and the graphic designers. Laser mice stand at almost double that is 6000dpi figure whereas the optical one stands at a mere 3000.

Surface sensing

Optical mouse lacks a proper surface sensing technique and only senses the top layer of the surface it is operated on, meaning that if you work it on a table top then the mice will only sense the table top and nothing beyond it. Laser mouse, on the other hand, uses a laser to detect the surface they work on and can detect way more than the surface. These mice are capable of detecting the layers of the surface, its irregularities, dirt etc. But somewhere in this test optical mouse takes the cake as the laser one observes way too much information which affects its speed.

The next test being variation. The optical mouse has one or less than one variation percentage as compared to the five percent variation in the laser mouse. Meaning that the optical mouse is way steadier than its opponent. But laser mouse is not far behind, an advantage of a laser mouse is that it can literally be used on every surface whereas optical ones are most useful on a mouse pad or a matte surface.

Moreover, to add to the fall – backs of the laser mouse it senses movement way too quickly which results in an undesirable action and the makes the cursor move too quickly. This is the thing that is hated by graphic designers and gamers.

Usability and cost

If you need a mouse that does the job for you in the simplest way and does not need it for any specific or particular job than the optical mouse is the one for you. But we aware that optical mouse is a little bit slow and is not as sensitive as the laser one. Go for the laser one if you are a gamer or a graphic designer or simply does not like slow speeds and want good sensitivity.

Coming to the cost part, it must be clear by now that the laser mouse provides higher speed and quality that is why it is a little expensive than the optical one. But you can consider it as a one – time investment as it works for a relatively long time than the other.

Battery backup and buttons

The optical mouse struggles to maintain a battery backup in spite of continuous developments and upgrades. Whereas the laser mouse can provide really good battery backup for up to eight weeks on moderate use.

Coming to buttons, the standard optical mouse is loaded with two normal buttons with a ball in the century or three buttons at max. The laser mouse can be customized for as many as up to 12 buttons with each functioning differently.

Final Verdict

This decision was a really tough one. We had to think on many aspects before giving out the final verdict. There was a tough competition between the two of them but the winner is always one. Both of the sides (optical vs laser mouse) had positive as well as negative aspects.

In order to make it fair, we have decided to leave it to you guys. Please help us decide who won the battle and comment down the winner in the comment section below. The one which gets the most comments wins and we will add it in the article above after a few days. So, do comment your winner and let us see who is more powerful between the two.