A computer mouse is a pointing device, which works by discovering a 2D motion, which is proportional to its supporting surface. Its structure is such that a user can hold it under one of his hands, and click the buttons on top with his fingers. Usually, there are only two buttons needed to work with this device, but extra features or buttons are sometimes added to provide more convenience to the user. Over the years, with the advent of technology, a computer mouse has evolved and transformed from using a trackball to a laser or LED light, for moving the pointer on the screen.
The optical as well as the laser mouse have successfully replaced the trackball technology. Any person who wants to buy a new mouse, or wants to change his old one, would be interested in knowing that which one of these types would emerge as victorious against the other. But, before moving on to that, it is important to understand the functions of both types.
It works by the optical technology, and is independent of the surface beneath it. It consists of an optoelectronic sensor, which is responsible for taking pictures, irrespective of the surface it is used on. These pictures are then processed with the help of specialized chips. An LED fixed at the bottom of the mouse lights up the surface beneath, and because of this, the image-processing chip is able to analyze this light, which is reflected from the surface. It uses an optical flow algorithm to interpret it as the movement on the X/Y axis. This is how it is able to take successive pictures.
In simpler words, an optical mouse has a very small camera integrated in it, which can take about 15,000 pictures per second, and these images are transferred to the digital signal processor via LED light. This processor has a high operating speed, which can read about 18 million instructions per second, detect patterns of images, and finally determines the distance traveled by the mouse since its previous change. All these co-ordinates are transmitted to the computer, which then transforms the information into the cursor movement.
In this device, an infrared laser light is present, instead of LED light. This is the main difference between these two devices. The laser mouse was launched by Logitech in the year 2004. Its working is similar to that of an optical mouse; the invisible laser beam reacts with great precision to even the slightest of hand movements of this device. This beam passes through the base ring, and light that is reflected from the surface travels to the sensor, which has the capacity to take pictures worth 5.8 megapixels per second.
|Optical Mouse||Laser Mouse|
|It uses LED light to detect and interpret movement.||It uses laser light to detect and interpret movement.|
|It can sometimes face problems, while working on black or shiny surfaces.||It works well on almost any surface except tissue paper.|
|The DPI (dots-per-inch) is 400-800.||The DPI is 2000.|
|It is best and sufficient for working on a daily basis.||It is highly useful for computer artists and gamers, because of its speed.|
|This device is cheaper than the laser one.||It is more expensive than the optical type.|
From the above distinction, it is evident that a laser mouse is better and technologically more advanced than an optical mouse. However, it is a matter of personal choice, and the amount of money that a person is willing to spend, which will help him to make the right decision.