Optical Mouse vs. Laser Mouse: Which is the Best For You?

There is no question that a mouse is one of the essential components of a computer (PC), and this is especially true for gamers, isn’t it? There has been a lot of debate over the relative merits of optical and laser mice, the two primary contenders for the best mouse.

The progression of technology has provided us with a diverse selection of mouse options, whether a mouse for desktop PCs or a separate mouse for laptops. Because of this, when selecting the appropriate mouse for your requirements, most likely between an optical and a laser mouse, you should be aware of the characteristics and distinctions between the two types of mice.

On the market today, we have access to a variety of mice that are suitable not only for gaming but also for general use, even though each of them can be presented differently depending on the technology used in their sensors.

Because of this, we now have access to two distinct types of mice: one uses laser technology, while the other utilizes LED technology. In this post (Optical Mouse vs. Laser Mouse), I explain the differences and characteristics and demonstrate the comparison between optical and laser mice, which undoubtedly gives you an idea as to which one suits you best and helps you decide which one to purchase. Which type of mouse sensor is superior, an optical sensor or a laser sensor?

What is an Optical Mouse?

On the market, the optical mouse is the most commonly expanded product. It is also the most convenient mouse for all kinds of people who use computers, such as casual users, typists, or even those looking for the mouse that is best suited for gaming.

Its name, which refers to optical functions, is an indication of the functionality it possesses. It is equipped with an optical sensor that is based on an infrared LED, and this sensor captures the movement of the mouse on the surface to indicate to the computer where the position of the movement is.

In other words, these infrared LEDs cast light over the moving area to collect analog information, which is then converted into binary code, resulting in digital images being collected at a rate of one per second.

After that, these images are analyzed to determine the precise location of the mouse to send the final data to the personal computer to locate the cursor on the computer’s screen; this is how an optical mouse functions. Another significant disadvantage of the optical mouse is that it performs less effectively on reflective surfaces.

What is a Laser Mouse?

Due to the fact that the LED sensor has been replaced by laser technology, a laser mouse is a new form of mouse that has been introduced in recent years. However, the laser mouse is more advanced in terms of sensitivity and precision than an optical mouse.

In the same way that an optical mouse does, a laser may detect movement by simply sliding it across a surface. However, now that it has been superseded by the laser, it offers increased steadiness and sensitivity.

Because they use laser tracking technology, high-end laser mice have excellent tracking capability, particularly in first-person shooter games (FPS).

The laser beam is not visible to the naked eye and can also provide a resolution of more than 8000 DPI or more, as is the case with the Logitech-G9X. This naturally translates into an increase in precision and sensitivity that is greatly appreciated by its users.

When working on glossy surfaces, the laser mouse provides better stability and sensitivity, making it an extremely easy device to use (if you are primarily concerned with the surface.)

Optical Or Laser Mouse: 4 Important Factors

Now, familiarize yourself with the four criteria that define the kind of difference that may be found between optical and laser mice.

1. Precision and Resolution

It is a well-known fact that laser mice have a resolution far higher than optical mice. When compared to laser mice, optical mice have a dpi range of 1,200, while laser mice have a range of 3,000.

Those who enjoy using graphics editors or playing video games—particularly first-person shooter games in three dimensions—and design professionally. Regarding positioning accuracy, the mouse movement speed during gaming and the camera rotation during design are the most crucial factors to consider.

For these kinds of tasks, a higher resolution mouse with a DPI range of between 1000 and 2400 is required in most cases. Therefore, it is advisable to acquire a computer mouse with a greater DPI, whether it is a laser or an optical mouse.

If someone has no idea what it is or is clueless about what it is, I will tell them that the precision and smoothness of the cursor hovering directly depends on them and that it is their responsibility.

In PC games, the resolution matters because it determines how sensitive the pointing of your mouse is. This is especially important since if the resolution is too low, you will not be able to strike anyone.

This is especially relevant for people who play video games and those who work in graphic design. They should choose a mouse with better resolution and sensitivity if they want the best results.

2. Speed and Response Time

Laser mice with a dpi of 1600 or above will come in handy if you are an online streamer or a professional gamer who uses a screen that is at least 4 kilobits in height.

The mouse’s responsiveness is an additional feature that is most significant for gamers. It makes absolutely no difference what kind of mouse you’re using. While gaming devices have a response time of 1 millisecond, standard models have a response time of 10 milliseconds.

Laser mice have impressively fast speeds, although their optical equivalents have slightly slower speeds. In its simplest form, the speed is determined by the size of the monitor’s resolution, as well as the resolution of the sensor. For instance, even though the FHD display and the 4K monitor both have the same sensor resolution, the movement pace will differ.

In this particular scenario, the performance of a quality laser mouse is superior to that of an optical mouse. For instance, moving the cursor along the diagonal of the screen from one corner to the next with an optical mouse will take 4-5 centimeters. However, with a laser mouse, it will only take 2-3 centimeters. In addition, when you move the last mentioned, the cursor’s shape will move in the same way.

However, remember that the laser sensor offers a level of sensitivity that is significantly higher than that of optical mice. However, while it is true that they are capable of pushing further, the fact that this is also their greatest weakness should not be overlooked.

The laser sensor reads the information significantly more accurately than the optical one. This is because the laser sensor contains a semiconductor laser, which emits light in the infrared region that is invisible to the human eye. The speed and accuracy of hovering with a mouse are both strongly impacted by this sensitivity setting.

3. Design and Backlit

The design patterns of laser mice and optical mice are slightly different from one another. Laser mice have a more elaborate appearance, featuring a rich design, backlighting, additional buttons, and RGB.

The LED optical mouse, which is noticed by many users, is the shine (most commonly red, less frequently blue or green color), in any case. Even when the computer is turned off, the red light on the optical mouse continues to shine. This LED light is not handy and is not pleasant to the eye in most situations, especially at night or in a dark room.

As was indicated, laser mice have the distinct advantage of not shining on their undersides (or, to be more precise) because the light they emit is infrared, and our eyes cannot see it. This is an exciting feature. Since no light is emitted, our eyes are not put in danger by using a laser mouse.

Despite the fact that some models include additional buttons, a design of grips that features an ergonomic touch, and an RGB light, it has come to my attention that several people find it appealing when the mouse shimmers with all of the colors of the rainbow. The encouraging news is that makers of both optical and laser mice are working on developing features like these.

4. Price

Laser mice are not always significantly more expensive than optical mice on the market, although this is generally the case (Optical vs. Laser Mouse). Especially those mice that concentrated on fantastic design, editing, and in the gaming industry. Laser mice are typically considered to be on the medium-to-high end.

The optical mouse does not work appropriately on reflecting surfaces like a mirror, which is one of the few drawbacks of using this type of mouse. You should therefore consider purchasing a laser mouse if you want to use your mouse on any of those two surfaces. For this use case, the rubber base of the optical mousepad ought to have an excellent grip if it is to have the best possible surface.

A laser mouse is now commercially available, although its price tag is significantly higher than that of a regular optical mouse. However, optical mice have also developed with excellent capabilities like wireless connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, and macro buttons that provide value in the same way that a laser mouse does.

Differences Between an Optical Mouse and a Laser Mouse (Pros and Cons)

Let’s begin our exploration of the distinctions between optical and laser mice by contrasting their respective benefits and drawbacks.

1. Optical Mouse
Affordable price.Not as accurate as a laser mouse.
Best for the newbie computer users and very useful for everyday and office use.Does not work on glossy surfaces like glass and mirrors.
A perfect mouse for gamers.Wireless optical LED models consume more power.
It is economical and more valuable when precision is not needed as much.
The gap between the mouse and the work surface is not critical.
2. Laser Mouse
High precision and pointing speed.It may be expensive for new computer users.
Able to work on any surface, even on mirrors and glass.Sometimes its sensor becomes too sensitive, which affects the performance and accuracy.
High sensitivity with the ability to control the resolution.
Lower power consumption than another type of mouse.
Best for gaming and graphic designing whenever higher sensitivity is needed.

What is the main difference between optical and laser mice?

The differences, except for the shiny surface, are not nearly noticeable enough. If you use an optical mouse on a glossy surface, you can experience a poorer reaction, but this is not the case with laser mice, which can function normally regardless of the surface they are used on.

Is a laser mouse best than an optical mouse?

It has been common knowledge for a very long time that laser models are incomparably superior to their optical counterparts. However, as of right now, that is not the case at all. The performance of optical mice has improved dramatically over the years, and they can now function accurately in various environments and scenarios.

What is the biggest drawback of laser mice?

The disadvantage of laser-based mice is that they can be overly accurate and sometimes become overly sensitive. This happens when they pick up too many imperfections on the surface, which results in a lot of data that is not really useful for their operation. This can sometimes affect the performance and accuracy of the mouse.

How do I know if my mouse is laser or optical?

An optical mouse can be identified by the presence of a light emitting diode (LED) on the underside of the device. On the other hand, a laser mouse does not have a light emitting diode on the bottom because it uses laser technology, designed to be undetectable by human sight.

Which type of mouse is best for FPS and MOBA games?

Optical mice are used more for first-person shooter games, while laser mice are used more for multiplayer online battle arena games. Even though there are so few differences between the two types of sensors, and they are highly configurable, you can use the type of sensor that is in any game or task without any issues.

How long do optical and laser mice last?

The lifespan of a laser mouse is often between 3 and 5 years, which is significantly shorter than an optical mouse’s, typically between 5 and 10 years.

Optical vs. Laser Mouse: Which Is Better?

In recent years, manufacturers have significantly improved optical mice’s sensors and overall performance. As a result, these mice can now fulfill the role of a decent mouse in terms of performance, even though it is necessary to use a mousepad of the appropriate size to achieve the best possible sensor behavior.

There is no longer any shadow of a doubt that the overall performance of an optical mouse for gaming is really good; in fact, many professional gamers prefer to use it. The issue of sensitivity, which is a problem with laser mice, is not present with optical mice, which is another advantage of these mice.

The one and only drawback they have is that they can only be utilized on surfaces that are neither made of glass nor are very reflective. If you are going to use your mouse on one of those glossy surfaces, then the only time I would suggest getting a laser mouse is in that specific circumstance.

Because laser mice do not work on nearly all surfaces, they will not function properly even if you use them in front of reflective surfaces such as mirrors.

Which mouse is used by the gamers the most?

Most gamers use mice with optical sensors. These kinds of models are more useful because they lead to more stable and predictable behavior, which is important in games in general. High DPI may not always be an important factor in shooters.

Is optical mouse better than laser?

At first, people thought that laser mice were much better than optical mice. But the optical mouse has come a long way in the last few years, and it now works very accurately in many different situations. Also, it doesn’t have the problem with the sensitivity that lasers do. Most manufacturers choose this type because of this.

What is the difference between the sensors of optical and laser mice?

Even though it’s more common to talk about sensors, it’s important to note that. In reality, all mice have the same kind of sensor. The only difference is that one lights up with an infrared LED, and the other uses a laser.

What is the average DPI of optical and laser mice?

The average dpi for an optical mouse is between 800 and 1,200, while the average dpi for a laser mouse is between 2,000 and 4,000.

Which mouse has the most DPI optical or laser?

Laser Mouse has a DPI of 2000–4000, which is 3–4 times higher than an optical mouse. Even so, there are now mice on the market with a resolution of 16000 dpi. Yes, they usually have more precise and sensitive controls. Also, most gaming mice have between 1000 and 1500 dpi.

Which mouse weighs more optical or laser?

If you care about how much the mouse weighs. Then, generally, a mouse’s weight depends on how it’s made and what it’s made of. However, laser mice weigh more on average than optical mice.

Which mouse consumes the power most?

In general, the mouse doesn’t use up much energy, so it wouldn’t be wise to worry about that, but “Yet.” At the moment, wireless mice use a lot of power.

If you are a bit confused about selecting an ideal gaming mouse, you can check out the Guide on Top Recommended Gaming Mouse for Beginners.


From a technical point of view, the laser mice are better than the optical LED mice. After all, optical mice have also been able to do the job well up until now. Since it’s made in large quantities, it’s better than laser ones, and many people love it.

This is the end of our article about laser mice vs. optical mice. Hopefully, it helped you choose a new mouse. Don’t forget that you can share it on social media to help more people who need it.

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About Author

Samuel Afolabi is a lazy tech-savvy that loves writing almost all tech-related kinds of stuff. He is the Editor-in-Chief of TechVaz. You can connect with him socially :)