Lisa Johnston is a previous writer and also an editor who covers computer system peripherals and other customer electronics since 2004.

You are watching: Difference between laser and optical mouse


Uses one ​​LED light together an illumination source.

Uses CMOS image sensors.

Has a resolution of roughly 3,000 dpi.

Senses the peak of the surface it's on.

Works well on a mouse pad or non-glossy surface.

Inexpensive, generally price $10 and up.

Uses a laser as an illumination source.

Uses CMOS image sensors.

Has resolutions between 6,000 and 15,000+ dpi.

Senses peaks and valleys in a surface.

Works on any kind of surface.

More expensive, yet the price gap has narrowed.

Though the internal technology in optical mice and also laser mice differs, the median user may not notice a distinction between the devices. Price provided to be a element when choosing between an optical mouse and also a laser mouse, yet the price space has narrowed.

Other determinants may drive your choice, for example, if details applications or situations call for particular features. Hardcore gamers may need a mouse with specific functionality. If you need flexibility, pick a mouse that functions on any type of surface.

Optical and also laser mouse differ in the types of modern technology used to track movement. The optical computer mouse uses an ​​LED light together an illumination source. The laser mouse, as its surname indicates, provides a laser.

Optical mice have actually a resolution of about 3,000 dpi, when laser mice have actually a resolution between 6,000 and 15,000+ dpi. Since laser mice have a greater dpi, these devices track much more dots per inch and also are more sensitive. This may have actually been an problem in the past, however the average user more than likely can"t tell the difference.

Some users, however, such together gamers and graphic designers, may notification the difference and also prefer a laser computer mouse or a committed mouse.

Both optical and also laser mice use CMOS sensors. These sensors are likewise used in low-resolution video cameras in smartphones. The CMOS photo sensors take it photos the the surface the computer mouse is on and also use those photos to determine movement.

Senses the top of a surface.

Smooth feel at slow speeds.

Works ideal on a computer mouse pad or non-glossy surface.

Few acceleration problems.

Senses much more deeply right into surface.

Jittery feel at slow-moving speeds.

Works on any kind of surface.

Can be at risk to acceleration problems.

An optical mouse generally senses only the peak of the surface ar it"s on, such together a towel mouse pad. But the laser light looks an ext deeply, so it"s perceptible to peaks and valleys ~ above a surface.

The sensitivity of a laser mouse has a downside. It's breakable to speed-related accuracy variance, or acceleration. If you conveniently run her mouse throughout its computer mouse pad and slowly lug it back to its original position, the cursor top top the display should also return come its early spot. If the doesn’t, the computer mouse suffers from acceleration. 

Optical mice aren't together sensitive together laser mice, so you can't usage them on as many surfaces, however they room not as fragile to acceleration.

An optical mouse works well on a mouse pad or any kind of non-glossy surface. A laser mouse works on any kind of surface. If you arrangement to usage your mouse on glossy surfaces, you might want a laser mouse.

It"s feasible to adjust the speed of a mouse, whether it"s laser or optical. However, this shouldn"t impact how the mouse sees the surface ar it"s on.

Prices vary.

Not together expensive as they supplied to be.

Gamers and graphics species may need added mouse features.

Laser mice used to be much more expensive 보다 optical mice. This price space has narrowed, v both laser and optical mice retailing everywhere from $10 to $40. Specialized mice can cost more.

The higher-priced mouse have additional features for specific functions. These included bells and whistles journey up the cost an ext than interior tracking technology. Because that example, giant multiplayer digital role-playing video game fans, or those into hefty multimedia editing and enhancing or graphics applications, take advantage of mice with extra buttons ~ above the side. Various other uses may prefer a certain color or design.

last Verdict: you Can't lose With either One

If you're trying come decide between an optical mouse or a laser mouse, the great news is the you can't go wrong. Laser mice supplied to be much more expensive, but the price space has narrowed. Optical mice have actually a lower dpi, however this isn't something an average user would notice.

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Both varieties of mice perform well, though assorted brands and models might appeal to individual uses. If you want to usage a computer mouse on a selection of surfaces, opt because that a laser mouse. Pick an optical mouse if you're comfortable with your mouse pad.