Xtremegaminerd.com is a participant in Amazon Associate Program and is supported by the readers. The qualifying purchase you make through our links may get us some commission and doesn't cost you an extra penny.
The mouse is a key component of your PC and no matter what you use your PC for, it will be needed. PC gamers especially try to get a mouse that will give them an advantage during their gaming sessions. There are many factors that differentiate a normal mouse from a gaming mouse such as features, responsiveness, type of surface best suitable for it, and many more.
There are two types of mice that are available these days out in the market. They are most commonly referred to as Optical Mouse & Laser Mouse. Now, if you ask a normal user, what is the key difference between these two types, that users might not be able to give you a proper answer. So, before you are going to get your new mouse, it will best for you to go through the topic once so that you will be able to determine which one you should get.
Speaking technically both mice are optical which takes us to explain it with a simple definition.
An optical mouse is a computer mouse that 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 and provides you with the response in your system.
However, in the case with that of Laser Mouse, the use of light source is replaced with a laser beam instead of an LED.
So what is the key difference between these two types? For the appropriate answer, we will break the difference into a few steps which will help the user to understand them better.
Source of illumination
An optical mouse uses an LED light as an illumination source that uses a complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor to record the reflection from the laser or LED. Whereas a laser mouse, well you might have already guessed it, uses a laser as an illumination source. The mouse analyzes each image’s unique light variance and then tracks its movement from image to image.
Dots per inch (DPI) is the measuring term that is used to determine the sensitivity of a mouse. Optical mice come with an average DPI of 3000 whereas on the other hand Laser mice come with an average DPI of 15000. A mouse having a polling rate of 500Hz means that it is sending its position to your PC 500 times every second. Having a higher polling rate means you’re getting more accurate tracking and response. So to keep it short, laser mice are supposed to have higher accuracy and sensitivity than optical mice.
Accuracy matters a lot when it comes to gaming. It is how the mouse can analyze properly the surface it is on and when it is moved. An LED cannot penetrate the surface it is placed on, however, a laser can and due to this factor, it can analyze the movement more precisely. But it also comes with a downside as a laser can over analyze the movement causing input lags.
The surface on which you are using your mouse matters a lot when it comes to the point of precision and accuracy. Thus an optical mouse needs to be placed on a non-reflective surface to be accurate as it uses light for illumination but if it is used on anything that has a glossy surface or it reflects light then it will not be able to track the movement resulting in loss of accuracy. However, on the other hand, a laser mouse can be used on any surface it can track even extremely small irregularities.
If you are looking for a mouse that excels in games that needs accurate response and precision then a laser mouse, in theory, will be ideal. However, one might face some issues related to over accuracy that occurs due to the over tracking of the mouse movement. Thus, indeed laser mice are a good option for such a fast-paced gaming session, however, you need to have a good mouse pad for that purpose or you can fine-tune the sensitivity so that it doesn’t give you tracking error or input jitters. But, ideally, for normal gaming sessions, you can go ahead with an optical mouse and use a proper surface that reflects less light.
When it comes down to pricing, there is not much difference in pricing between these two mice. There are plenty of optical mice that cost even more than a laser counterpart due to the features they are offering. however, in past, the laser mice were higher in the price range. The price of standard mice whether it’s an optical or a laser ranges somewhat between 10$ – 50$ but if you need some extra added features then the range can climb quickly.
Our Gaming Mice Recommendations
As we said earlier, we have pointed out the key difference between an optical mouse and a laser mouse. The factors that we pointed above are the most key difference that matters for a user. Hence if you are planning for buying either one of them, do go through the text as it will definitely help you to decide which one should you get.