What is computer mouse and its types

types of computer mouse

Most computer users are unlikely to be able to use the capabilities of their computer without a device such as a computer mouse, because it is much easier to do work and play computer games with it. Of course, the question of what a computer mouse is is not of concern to many, because everything is clear, but not everyone knows about the types of computer mice and their differences.

Computer mouse is an integral part of a computer. It allows the user to control the cursor, which is displayed on the screen, by moving the mouse itself on the table surface.

Simply put, a computer mouse is a means by which we can select and control objects on a computer screen. Such actions include: copying, opening documents, highlighting and text, and much more. When using a computer, a person practically does not release the device from his hands, which proves the importance of this device.

Management principle consists in moving around the mouse pad, on the table or on any other surface (this can be done by devices for which the mouse pad is not required).
Information about the offset or current location is transmitted to the operating system or program, which causes a response to the execution of some actions (for example, displaying additional expandable menus or lists).
But the design of the device also provides for the presence of special buttons that are responsible for choosing a specific action.
When using the standard settings, a double click with the left button is provided for opening files or programs, a single click for selecting an object or activating interface elements, a single right click for accessing the context menu.
But this only applies to classic designs. Today, on the market for such equipment, you can find many models that are fundamentally different both in design solutions and in operation principles. We will dwell on them separately.


Types of computer mouse

By design features, several types of computer mouse are distinguished: mechanical, optical, laser, trackball, induction, gyroscopic and sensory. Each type has its own unique characteristics that allow you to successfully use the mouse in a particular situation. So which computer mouse are better ? Let’s try to understand this issue by examining each type in detail separately.

Mechanical mouse

This is the type with which the history of computer mice began. The design of such a mouse involves the presence of a rubberized ball that slides on the surface. He, in turn, makes special rollers move, which transmit the result of the ball’s movement to special sensors. Sensors send the processed signal to the computer itself, as a result of which the cursor moves on the screen. This is the principle of operation of a mechanical mouse. This outdated device had two or three buttons and did not differ in any features. Connection to the computer was carried out using the COM port (in earlier versions) and the PS / 2 connector (in later models).

Mechanical mouse

The weakest point of a mechanical mouse was precisely the same ball that “crawled” over the surface. It was very quickly polluted, as a result of which the accuracy of the movement fell. I often had to wipe it with alcohol. In addition, mechanical ball mice categorically refused to glide normally on a bare table. They always needed a special rug. These mice are currently obsolete and are not used anywhere. The most popular manufacturers of mechanical mice at the time were Genius and Microsoft.

Optical mouse

The next stage in the evolution of computer mice was the emergence of optical models. The principle of operation is fundamentally different from mice equipped with balls. The basis of the optical mouse is a sensor that detects the movement of the mouse by photographing at high speed (about 1000 images per second). Then the sensor sends information to the sensors and after appropriate processing, the information enters the computer, forcing the cursor to move. Optical mice can contain any number of buttons. From two in regular office models to 14 in serious gaming solutions. Thanks to its technology, optical mice are able to provide high accuracy cursor movement. In addition, they can glide perfectly on any flat surface (except for a mirror).

optical mouse

Now optical mice are the most popular among most users. They combine high DPI and reasonable price. Simple optical models are the cheapest mice for the computer . In shape, they can be very different. By the number of buttons, too. There are also wired and wireless options. If you need high accuracy and reliability, then your choice is a wired optical mouse. The fact is that wireless technologies make the user dependent on batteries and wireless communications, which is not always up to standard.

Laser mouse

These mice are an evolutionary extension of optical mice. The difference is that a laser is used instead of an LED. At the present stage of development, laser mice are the most accurate and provide the highest DPI value. That is why they are so loved by many gamers. Laser mice don’t care what surface “crawl” on. They work successfully even on rough surfaces.

Due to the highest DPI among all mice, laser models are widely used by gamer’s. That is why laser manipulators have a wide range, aimed at game fans. A distinctive feature of such a mouse is the presence of a large number of additional programmable buttons. A prerequisite for a good gaming mouse is only a wired connection via USB. Because wireless technology can not provide proper accuracy. Gaming laser mice usually do not differ in low cost. The most expensive laser-based computer mice are available from Logitech and A4Tech.

Trackball mouse

This device is not at all like a standard computer mouse. At its core, a trackball is a “vice versa” mechanical mouse. The cursor is controlled using the ball on the upper side of the device. But the device’s sensors are still optical. In its form, the trackball does not resemble a classic mouse at all. And it does not need to be moved anywhere in order to achieve cursor movement. The trackball is connected to the computer via USB.

Trackball mouse
Trackball mouse

The merits and demerits of the trackball have been debated for quite some time. On the one hand, it reduces the load on the brush and ensures the accuracy of cursor movement. And on the other hand, it’s a little inconvenient to use the trackball buttons. Such devices are still rare and not finalized.

Induction mouse

Induction mice are a logical continuation of wireless devices. However, they are deprived of some of the properties characteristic of tailless models. For example, induction mice can only work on a special mat connected to a computer. It will not work to take the mouse anywhere from the mat. However, there are pluses. High accuracy and no need to change the batteries, because they do not exist in such mice. Induction mice get energy from the mat.

wireless charging mouse

Such mice are not very common, as they have a high price and are not particularly mobile. On the other hand, these are the most original mice for the computer . Their originality is the lack of batteries.

Gyroscopic air mouse

air mouse

These mice do not have to slide on the surface at all. The gyroscopic sensor, which is the basis of such a mouse, reacts to a change in the position of the device in space. Of course, this is convenient. But this method of control requires a fair amount of skill. Naturally, such mice are distinguished by the absence of wires, because with their presence it would be inconvenient to control the mouse.

Like induction models, gyroscopic devices are not widely used due to their high cost.

Touch mouse

Touch mouse

The concept of the Touch Mouse is that on the top of the mouse, instead of buttons, there is a touch zone that can track the movement of several fingers.

First of all, associations with touchpads and multi-point input technology on the touch panel, i.e. multitouch, come to mind. Moreover, multitouch technology itself has existed for a long time, but Apple has become its active promoter, with whose light hands they began to implement this technology everywhere, with or without reason. However, within the framework of this material, Apple is much more interesting to mention not only and not so much as a popularizer of multi-touch.

The fact is that they have a very similar product in concept and functionality: Apple Magic Mouse. This mouse entered the market in mid-2009.

It was developed just in the wake of the popularization of multi point input, and even got the name “mouse with multi-touch.” In this Apple model, all controls are removed from the case, and their functions are assigned to the touch surface of the mouse. There was only the functionality of the button, but the entire body of the front of the mouse was pressed. However, the functionality of the touch panel in that mouse is not amazing. Scrolling back and forth, moving through galleries on the Internet, photos, etc., if you use two fingers. You can still scale the picture, but for this you need to clamp the button on the keyboard. In general, there are too few interesting features.

Types of mouse connector

Various types of connection methods, including wired / wireless, have emerged as methods for connecting a mouse to a terminal such as a PC / tablet.

  • USB connection
  • PS / 2 connection
  • Serial connection
  • Apple Desktop Bus connection
  • USB wireless connection
  • Bluetooth (wireless) connection

From the current mainstream connection method to the one that is almost no longer used, we will first explain this connection method.

USB mouse connection

A mouse connected via USB , which is a general-purpose port for connecting peripheral devices .
Most of the mice used in 2019 are this USB connection type, including the USB wireless mouse (described later).

PS2 mouse connector

The “PS/2” connector was used before USB connectors became popular, and was used to connect mice and keyboards for computers such as Windows and Unix. It is said that it was first called the IBM “PS / 2” computer released in 1987, and was therefore called the PS / 2 connector.

PS2 connector

Green was colored for mouse and purple for keyboard, and it was used in many PCs, but the USB standard has appeared, the versatility of the connection has increased, and many PCs will have multiple USB connectors In the 2000s, the number of PCs equipped with PS / 2 connectors gradually decreased.

As of September 2019, if you purchase a USB mouse or keyboard, a conversion adapter for PS / 2 connection may be introduced.

conversion adapter for ps2 mouse connection

Apple Desktop Bus connection mouse

” Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) ” is a connection standard for peripheral devices used in Apple Macintosh. The shape was similar to PS2 and the S terminal of the video connector.

With one connector, up to three units could be connected in a daisy chain , so connections such as the main unit → keyboard → mouse were also possible.

Power Macintosh G3 released in 1999 is the last model with “Apple Desktop Bus”. Since then, Apple computers have also switched to USB connections.

Serial (RS-232C) connection mouse

When a GUI (Graphical User Interface) was introduced into the OS and used as a new input device for a mouse in addition to a keyboard, a general-purpose connector ” RS-232C serial port ” that was mounted on a PC at that time The mouse was connected with.


As the connection using the PS / 2 connector described above has spread, it has declined and is almost extinct as of 2019. In everyday life, you will rarely see a mouse with a serial connection.

USB wireless mouse

A mouse that connects wireless by attaching a receiver to the USB connector .

wireless mouse

Since the battery is attached to the mouse body, it becomes heavier than a wired mouse and stops responding when the battery runs out.

pro gamer’s and heavy users who can’t be alert for a moment don’t use it to avoid the risk of running out of battery.

Bluetooth mouse

Bluetooth mouse

A mouse that uses the Bluetooth function to pair and connect the computer. The advantage is that the USB cordless handset does not occupy the USB port compared to the necessary wireless mouse .

In particular, if you want to use a mouse on a terminal that does not have a USB connector (smartphone, tablet, space-saving laptop, etc.), you need to select a Bluetooth-compatible mouse.

Of course, even if you have a USB connector, you can use this type of mouse with a PC, smartphone, or tablet that has a Bluetooth function.

Classification of modern computer mouse

simple computer mouse are usually the simplest and cheapest, have a low cost, a minimum number of buttons and one scroll wheel.

Office mouse are also simple and cheap, but they can already have two scroll wheels and additional buttons to help you work with documents. Can have ergonomic design and programmable functions.

Gaming mouse are the largest class of “rodents”, ranging from cheap models with a simple sensor and differing from home models in a slightly larger size and elaborate design. And ending with top solutions worth several hundred dollers and used by professional e-sportsmen. Usually they are distinguished by a high cost, a very accurate sensor, the maximum number of programmable buttons, one scroll wheel. Usually for gaming mice it is possible to write your own macros – programs that allow you to launch a series of commands by clicking on a specific mouse button. In practice, they are used quite rarely and this function is used mainly for marketing purposes.

Also, many gaming mice have a backlight and a DPI switch key (sensor sensitivity changes). In this case, in each mode, the scroll wheel will glow in a certain color. More budget models offer DPI switching without color displays.

Special mouse are the rarest type of mice, which can be both inexpensive and have an impressive price tag. They are distinguished by high accuracy of the sensor and often the presence of a trackball, two scroll wheels, programmable buttons. Used in the work of designers, constructors, architects, photographers.

An important point: All types of mice are wired and wireless. Wireless representatives are the least in the gaming segment, since the technology itself increases the response time, which is critical for most players.

Mouse buttons

Various types of mouse buttons and shapes are sold by various manufacturers. It is difficult to cover all of these in this article, but here are some representative ones.

2 button + wheel mouse

One button for right click and one for left click. And a mouse with a wheel for scrolling and clicking in the middle. The operation is as simple as clicking, wheel clicking, and scrolling.
As of 2020, most of the mice that come with the manufacturer’s computer and that are sold at low prices are still based on this type.

2 button mouse

PC / AT compatibles and Windows-based mice were two-button mice from the time of their appearance.
As of 2019, you can hardly find a simple two-button mouse without a wheel.

One button mouse

Apple’s Macintosh series was designed and sold with a one-button mouse for wired simplicity from the beginning .
Since 2005 (Mighty Mouse release), it has been a mouse with two buttons and wheels, but it is one of Apple’s great points that it has a “simple & high quality” design.

Mouse with multi-function button

In addition to the two buttons + wheel, there are also mice with additional buttons.
In addition to everyday operations such as “forward” and “return” of the web browser, various products are sold, such as the ability to scroll the wheel left and right, and the super-multifunctional ones for gamers.

By installing a special driver, you can set the operation of the additional button independently, it is a mouse for users who want to increase the efficiency of work and games.

Ergonomics mouse

Ergonomics design is a product designed to reduce the burden on the body when used. A typical example is the asymmetric mouse found in high-performance mice from third parties such as Logitec.

Ergonomics mouse

Compared to a simple egg-shaped mouse, it is designed to fit easily into the hand, reduce the burden on fingers, wrists and shoulders, and reduce the physical and mental burden on users who work long hours.

Vertical ergonomic mouse

Some ergonomic mice have bold designs that look almost vertical.

Since it can be operated without pointing the palm directly below, it seems that the burden is less.

Ring mouse – finger mouse

A mouse with a slightly different ergonomics (?) Design includes a ring mouse and a pointing device called a finger mouse.

Ring mouse

Rather than using it on a desk, it is a product that you hold in your hand and operate with your fingers, so it is not strictly a mouse, but the product name is a ring mouse.

It seems to be useful when you stand and give a presentation or in special situations.


From the connection method of the mouse, the type and shape of the sensor were roughly explained.

Originally, mice seem to have begun to be called like this because the shape of this input device to which the cable was connected resembled a mouse . In recent years, wireless-type objects have become popular, and all cables are mice without a tail, but in the future, unless they are too big breakthroughs, they will continue to be called mice.

We hope this article helps you choose the mouse you need. If you have a request for additional writing, a clerical error, or a place that is difficult to understand, if you can contact us from the comment column, we will respond at any time.

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