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The Different Kinds of Computer Mice

May 1, 2012 IADT Online, Information Technology 0 Comments

Information Technology - Computer MouseWhether you use a desktop computer or a laptop, your choice of mouse types is based on your personal preference. All types of computer mice manipulate the cursor on the screen in the same way. The differences occur primarily in the way the mouse detects your movement and translates it onto the screen.

Ball Mouse

The ball mouse is the oldest type of mouse and is no longer used often since newer models are available. This type of mouse uses a rubber ball positioned inside the body of the mouse to track your movements. As you move the mouse, the ball rolls along the surface and tells the cursor where and how to move. A mouse pad is typically needed to use this type of mouse. One of the biggest issues with this type of mouse is dirt. When the ball or its encasing becomes dirty, the mouse operates slowly and sporadically.

Optical Mouse

An optical mouse uses a small LED sensor on the bottom of the mouse to detect the movements along the surface. The LED sensor lights up when the mouse is functional so you can tell if your mouse has connection issues. The light is often red, but some optical mice can have lights of different colors as well. The sensor may become dirty or blocked, but it is easy to clean with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. Its speed and precision are improved over the ball mouse. No mouse pad is needed.

Laser Mouse

Similar to the optical mouse, the laser mouse uses a small laser to monitor the movement of the mouse and translate that movement onto the screen. Lasers are precision instruments, making the laser mouse highly sensitive but able to move quickly and accurately. This type of mouse also doesn't require a mouse pad to operate effectively and can be easily cleaned if the laser eye becomes dirty.

Special Mice

The mice mentioned above are the most common types you will handle. However, several specialized types of mice are available. Wireless mice, for instance, give you the advantage of a mouse without being limited to the reach of a wire. A trackball mouse looks similar to a mouse that has been turned upside down. Instead of sliding the entire mouse, you roll the ball with your fingers to move the cursor on the screen. Learn more about the types of computer mice and other computer devices by enrolling in an information technology degree program.

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