A computer mouse seems very general in day-to-day tasks in this digital age. But this 60-year-old technology has made our job so much easier, that it looks almost irreplaceable with any other pointing device. Even, laptop users can relate that the performance of a mouse is something which is hard to obtain from the trackpad/touchpad.
But have you ever wondered how many types of mouse are there?
well, here is a list of different types of computer mouse.
Different Types of Computer Mouse
Here is a list of different types of computer mouse based on the different technologies and purposes.
Based On The Connectivity:
Connectivity is the mode of communication between the mouse and the computer’s processor, following which you see the output on display. In this category, there are 2 different types of moue available in the market, which are wired and wireless. But, the latter has further 2 types of mouse according to the different modes of communication.
This is the conventional type of mouse since its inception. Although the size and weight have been reduced significantly, the mode of communication is similar to what it used to be.
It is as simple as anything like walking in the park to connect a wired mouse to your PC. The simple plug-and-play option makes it handy for any user irrespective of their knowledge of computers.
Wireless mouse (with USB adaptor)
The wireless mice are made for the purpose of easy portability and longer distance of operation. Unlike the wired mouse, which is prone to damage to the cables due to repetitive curls and twists, the wireless variant gives you freedom from the tangles of cable.
Moreover, a wired mouse is meant to be laid on your desk all the time. Which makes them bulkier in size ( sometimes heavy as well) than the wireless mouse. Mostly the mouse with a USB dongle offers a simple plug-and-play operation. The mouse communicates with the computer through the connected USB dongle. There is no need to install an application to finish up the pairing and unpairing process.
You will get a fast enough response in the wireless mouse for all normal activities apart from the action-packed, challenging video games. Where a delay of a millisecond could be a reason for a win or loss. So, professional gamers prefer wired mice over wireless, when it comes to gaming.
A Bluetooth mouse is a wireless input device that connects to a computer or other compatible devices using Bluetooth technology. This eliminates the need for a physical cable or USB dongle, providing greater freedom of movement. The mouse communicates with the device through Bluetooth, allowing for a convenient and clutter-free user experience.
However, the way of pairing requires a bit of knowledge about the process of pairing/unpairing Bluetooth devices. Moreover, some old PCs don’t have in-built Bluetooth adaptors, which limits their scope and makes them less compatible.
But, the biggest issue with the Bluetooth mouse is the lower polling rate. Which is a vital factor during intense gaming action.
Whether it is a wired or wireless mouse, each has its own uniqueness and advantage. But the bottom line is there is a sheer chance of sudden battery drainage in the wireless variant, which leaves you helpless in between an important task. So, you should always have a backup battery, wherever you carry a wireless mouse.
Also Read: What is the range of a wireless mouse?
Based On The Sensors:
Sensors are the most vital part of the mouse, which records its whereabouts to communicate with the input source of the computer. A responsive sensor offers you a faster output as well as more controlled action during graphics designing and gaming.
According to the sensor types the mouse are categorized as Optical, trackball, and laser mouse. Here I have briefly explained about these 3 types of mouse.
As the name suggests, the optical mouse works on the principle of optics (i.e. lights). You may have noticed the glowing red lights at the bottom of the mouse. Which is the infrared light used to track the movement of the mouse. The light converges and acts as a point when you place the mouse on an opaque surface. But there is a catch! When you put an optical mouse on a reflective surface like glass, the light beam gets scattered and the movement can not be tracked accurately.
Here is an article about the requirement of the mouse pad for an optical mouse.
So an optical mouse demands an appropriate surface or a mouse pad to function responsively.
Here are some key differences between the optical mouse and the mechanical/trackball mouse.
The trackball mice are often referred to as Mechanical mice. Unlike the light sensor, they use a trackball which rolls all around the surface to sense the movement and register the input.
Nowadays there are some advancements in the technology of the trackball mouse, where the trackballs are mounted on the top and could be rotated by the thumb or index finger to move the cursor.
Usually, the balls have a smooth surface and are made up of glass, plastic or sometimes rubberised material to provide a better grip. Trackball mice feel more ergonomic and often require no space to move the mouse as the movement is controlled with your fingers.
But, that doesn’t make it a great choice for users who expect better accuracy and controlled response. Moreover, the design of a trackball mouse is such that it accumulates more dust and oil particles easily. So, it requires more cleaning and maintenance frequently.
Just like the optical mouse laser mouse works on the same principle of optics. But, unlike the optical mouse, a laser mouse doesn’t have any surface preference to work accurately.
As the laser beam is more powerful than LEDs, it can penetrate any surface easily. So, these mice can work on reflective or glossy surfaces. Moreover, the laser beams are strong enough to bounce the light off the surface with more variance, resulting in more accuracy in tracking the underlying surface layer as the output.
Here are some differences between Optical and Laser mouse
- Both variants have different sources of light. An optical mouse uses Infrared LED light whereas, a laser mouse illuminates the surface with the laser beam.
- The optical mouse requires a more opaque surface, whereas the laser mouse has no surface preference to work properly.
- Due to higher responsiveness, the laser mice are sometimes hard to control in intense gaming activities. As it can detect a minor movement or shakiness of the hand, the laser mouse is not preferable for beginners.
- Due to more responsiveness, the laser mouse is more expensive than the optical mouse.
- The laser mice tend to have a higher DPI and are more prone to acceleration.
Based On The Purpose:
Well, not every mouse is made for everyone. There are certain tasks that require a certain kind of mouse. Different mice are designed with specific features, ergonomics, and target users in mind. This article will walk you through the process of picking the mouse, that is best fit for your need.
Moreover, many manufacturers optimise the mouse for specific operating systems to provide more sophisticated output. Here are some different computer mouse types based on different purposes.
A Gaming mouse is made specifically for gaming purposes. Unlike a regular mouse, it features more buttons than just the left, right and scroll buttons. Many gaming mice also feature dedicated programmable buttons to customise them as a trigger for specific or series of actions during the game.
You will find more DPI, polling rate, customisation and faster response in the gaming mouse than in the average mouse. The gaming mouse tends to come in both wired and wireless setups, but professional gamers prefer the wired variant more than the wireless one.
Also Read: Are Mouse Pads Necessary for Gaming Mouse
Apple has the trend to keep the user in their own ecosystem. The magic mouse is yet another part of this ecosystem which is made compatible with MacBooks and iMacs. These are rechargeable mice and come with a wireless connectivity feature. Unlike the regular mouse types, a magic mouse comprises unique gesture and multi-touch controls which are optimised specifically for Apple devices.
Moreover, the single recharge can give you weeks, even a month of backup which makes it a special tool for your Apple machine.
Also read: Do we need a mouse pad for a Magic Mouse?
The foldable mouse is the lightest portable mouse option, which is designed for easy transportation and convenience.
By incorporating a folding mechanism, a foldable mouse can be easily folded or unfolded, allowing users to quickly set up their input device whenever needed.
Although not that popular amongst regular users, the foldable mice can be the game changer in the coming days for their easy portability and compact design.
Although they are nowhere closer to the build and functionality of a mouse, they make the task a whole lot easier for digital artists. Doing precise work in the graphics or drawing minor details is a cumbersome process to do with a mouse. So, a pointing device like the stylus pen is made specifically to solve this problem.
It offers you a more comfortable holding position which is suitable for a prolonged operation with more detailed input.
Here is an informative video on different types of computer mouse.
So, there is an overview of the 10 different types of the computer mouse. Hope you get some valuable information from this article. If you have any suggestions or opinions regarding this topic, share them in the comment below. For more content regarding the computer mouse, keep checking the mouse section here. Till then happy clicking and typing ✌️.
Roy is a seasoned technical blog writer with a passion for unravelling the complexities of cutting-edge technology. With a background in Electronics Engineering, he has a keen interest in writing about the intricacies of keyboard and mouse in a simple way.