The Best Choice For Gaming: Optical vs Laser Mouse

When it comes to the world of gaming, we have seen gamers benefit from the evolution in technology of mice. The classic trackball mice have developed into modern-day laser and optical technology, thus increasing options for gamers. Yet, the option has aroused curiosity within the gaming community. So, which of these two mice technologies is best for gaming purposes?

Both of these technologies are quite exciting in modern-day tech. The laser technology is the recent innovation between both the machineries but optical mice are more up-to-date to the market requirement. It is important to get in the depth of understanding of both technologies.

How Do these Mice Work?

The revolution of mice from lesser accurate trackballs to modern-day laser and optical mice has been made possible by usage of cameras and CMOS sensors. These powerful cameras constantly dispatch light over surfaces, and then sensors analyze the surface through reflections. These sensors interpret the movement of mouse and help it translate into the movement of cursor on computer screens. These sensors and cameras are extremely fast in deciphering the physical movement of your mouse in the visual movement of cursors over the screen.

What is the Difference Between the Two Technologies?

The core technological difference between both these technologies is that laser mouse uses the VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Self Emitting Laser) to illuminate the surface while the optical mice rely upon red light to flash the base surfaces. Laser mouse technology is more recent than optical mouse but the latter has improved into an advanced infrared light. So, both these technologies are neck to neck in development.

The laser technology, of course, is more powerful as compared to the typical optical mouse technology in terms of penetration and are able to track most movements. These penetrating beams are much more informative than standard infrared optical mice and more likely to detect little details from the base surface.

The Best Choice For Gaming: Optical vs Laser Mouse

Comparing both these mouse technologies, they vary in terms of sensitivity, accuracy as well as value of the technology.

Which One is More Sensitive?

Lasers, with high penetration, adds more sensitivity to mice than a standard infrared beam. Mouse sensitivity, being an integral component of competent gaming, provides an edge of importance for laser mice.

Unlike trackballs, the modern mice technologies are based on light sensors and their sensitivity is measured in terms of dots-per-inch (DPI). However, DPI stat was far important back when both optical and laser mouse had major technological gaps. With significant advancements in optical resolution, even budget gaming mice can have DPI in thousands. Moreover, critical growth in CMOS sensors over-time has achieved much accuracy even in mice with less DPI ratings.

The Best Choice For Gaming: Optical vs Laser Mouse

Read more about Mouse DPI & Polling Rates

Modern-day laser mice have a range of about 200-12000 dpi with averaging at 6000 dpi while optical mouse average at around at only about 3000 dpi. Hence, the laser technology is more sensitive than optical mouse.

Which One is More Accurate?

Accuracy is an important aspect when it comes to gaming and both these technologies have been improving over accuracy in recent times. Optical mice use an LED light contrary to laser mice and are less accurate on smooth surfaces.

The real difference can be vividly seen with the variation in surfaces. Laser technology is far too penetrating than a LED light, and quite often translates unwanted data from irregular surfaces sending false signal to the computer. These signals are not in accordance to 1:1 ratio of the physical movement of your hand and produce a sense of acceleration. This will move your cursors to different distances over different speeds. Optical mice tend to sense the top of the base surfaces and does not sense this noise in the surface. This variation in laser technology can lead up to five percent while optical mice varies only one percent.

Meanwhile, lasers are very accurate over smooth surfaces and will create more accurate pointer movements than an optical mouse. Furthermore, laser mice are capable of working on all surfaces while optical mouse is quite limited in these terms. The fact that optical mice uses light for illuminating surfaces limits it to non-reflective surfaces. The glossy surfaces readily reflect light and the mouse ends up being inoperative.

The Best Choice For Gaming: Optical vs Laser Mouse

Which One is Cheaper?

A few years back, optical mouse and laser mouse had a technological as well as monetary gap and the former was a budget gaming accessory. Both these gaps are getting smaller in the span of time. A laser mouse is still expensive than an optical mouse.

As you go towards the high-end options, you will find advanced, well-equipped mice with additional buttons along with artistic lighting schemes but not necessarily better in performance. The price range of 30$ – 70$ will find you a good laser or optical mouse.

So, Which One is Better?

From gaming point of view, although laser mouse seems to be more accurate and sensitive than optical mouse, the latter still has an edge over the former. An optical mouse proves to be more responsive and reliable in most cases than a laser mouse. The only disadvantage is that you would a mouse pad or any other non-reflective surface.

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Unlike optical mouse, laser mouse would not require any mouse pad. Instead, it can function over all surfaces and be handy with your gaming device. But the over-analysis of the surfaces, especially jitters on slower movements, can become a major problem during gaming. Hence, optical mice still have an edge over the laser mice.

In conclusion, laser mice are quite handy when it comes to limited choice of surfaces but with a smooth dull surface, an optical mouse will be a more stable choice as compared to laser technology and would definitely be cheaper than a laser mouse.