Optical vs Laser Mouse: Which One Will Fit Best In Your Use

Optical vs. Laser Mouse

PC mouses were simple until there was only one option to go for, i.e., the mechanical mouse. It had a rubber or metal ball in the bottom and was perfect for moving the cursor here and there. However, the old mouse does not fit in for the modern-day needs, especially for gamers. So, the developers came up with two concepts: Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse. Both of these technology pieces have their own pros and cons. That is why it would be wrong to say that one of them is the best. But you can use one mouse at a time. Therefore, we have created a comparison of Optical vs Laser Mouse that will help you understand how they work and which one fits best in your needs. 

Optical vs Laser Mouse: Working

Optical vs. Laser Mouse

Both Optical and Laser Mouse uses the CMOS sensor for analyzing the underlying surface and moving accordingly. They take thousands of digital images every second to determine the speed and distance of the movement. But how this process gets done is different in the two devices. 

Optical Mouse: These models use infrared, or red LED to project light on the underlying surface. In order to convert the illumination of the LED into a beam, an angled lens is mounted in front of it. Once the images get collected through this method, they are compared with one another to see the movement. 

Laser Mouse: Unlike Optical models, Laser ones use infrared lasers, as the name itself indicates. These rays are not powerful, so they do not harm your eyes. The follow the same procedure, but with the laser infrared instead of the LED. 

Optical vs Laser Mouse: Sensitivity 

When the Laser Mouses came into use, they were supposed to be far better than the Optical models. The reason for this assumption was a fast movement and more surface compatibility. As Lasers had a precise detection with its light, they were able to collect more images and compare them immediately. This resulted in better moves within less duration. At the same time, Optical Mouses were not able to fit in these features due to their LED. 

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But with time, Optical options got better, and they left the Laser ones behind with their more precise movement. Due to their fast and more in-depth imaging, the Laser Mouse sometimes collected unnecessary information and went for wrong moves. That became a big problem for gamers, as they often had to go for small motions. So an Optical Mouse came handier for them regarding better actions and moves. 

Optical vs Laser Mouse: Surface Compatibility

Optical Mouses uses LED to detect the surface and collect images. Now for this imaging, they need an expressive surface from where the light can be reflected. This factor brings down the range of surfaces on which these models can work. If you use a glassy or any similar plane for the mouse, it will not be able to work. That is why most people used to have a trackpad under their mouses. 

For overcoming this problem, infrared lasers came into use. The technology had more detailed imaging systems, so they were able to collect more information. It enabled them to work on a better range of surfaces, including glasses. But as said earlier, this more detailing ended up in making the mouse more sensitive and less accurate with movements. 

Optical vs Laser Mouse: Pricing

Pricing plays a crucial role while deciding on computer peripherals. As mentioned above, Laser Mouses were stated to be better than the Optical ones. That is why their prices were much higher when they were introduced. It created a massive difference between the two options, and people made a decision quickly, based on this factor. But with technological advancements, even Optical Mouses got better. So the price difference became narrower, and the comparison factor increased. 

Now, the price matters more on what brands you opt for and the quality of the mouse. Therefore, you will have to consider all the factors and your use, if you want the best option. Plus, the brand you are going for should also be given a thought. More reliable companies need one-time investment from your side, which goes for a long way. If you opt for some local company product, the device may not run for much time. 

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Optical vs Laser Mouse: Maintenance

Optical vs. Laser Mouse

Almost all modern-day technologies require some kind of maintenance. It is because of their technologically advanced features that are more prone to failures. The same thing goes for Laser Mouses. They incorporate some moving parts that tend to collect dirt over-time. So you can expect some cleaning every now and then. 

At the same time, no such problem will be faced if you opt for the Optical Mouse. They are less susceptible to failures and can run for a longer time without any issues. 

Optical vs Laser Mouse: Which Is Better?

It would be wrong to state that one of them is better than the other, as they both have competitive features. However, you can select one depending on your usage. 

General Use: If you use your PC mouse for general or business purposes, then a Laser model would be recommended. The reason being, these can be used on any surface and anywhere. So if you feel like leaving your office to work in any other environment, you will not have to worry about carrying the trackpad with you. 

Gaming Use: No hardcore gamer would ever recommend you to use a Laser Mouse for the purpose. As stated above, these models tend to collect unnecessary information and move inaccurately. Accurate movement is the most crucial factor in gaming. That is why an Optical Mouse would work better in this case. 

You can also decide the model based on your movement with the mouse. If you have to change its location frequently, then the Laser one will work better. But if the mouse is mostly kept at one place, then Optical one will work correctly with a trackpad. 


There is no superior and inferior in the competition of Optical vs Laser Mouse. You can compare their working and features and then select one according to the use. Also, whatever model you choose, they will offer you some optional features that you can choose based on your usage. 

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