Technology has advanced and improved a lot in the last decade and we have become accustomed to using components with features that we do not question, although we do not always fully understand how they work. For this reason, today we explain how the optical sensor of our gaming mice works, what benefits it brings to your games and what other technical features you should take into account to get the most out of your mouse
The first thing to address is the concept of "optical mouse". In 1999 we said goodbye to those mythical mice with a little ball at the bottom, which made it possible to move it, and that we had to clean from time to time, so that it would work smoothly. In that year, Agilent Technologies launched the optical mouse, which included a small camera capable of capturing the position of the mouse, taking hundreds of images per second. These mice have a red light diode, which bounces off the surface where we are using it, to report the position more clearly, and was a breakthrough in using mice on any surface. Remember when you went crazy looking for a mouse pad, sheet of paper or similar, where your mouse would work properly? Well, maybe you're not that old, but yes, that used to happen and it was an odyssey
Thanks to the introduction of the optical sensor in mice, all these problems became history, so it was a really important revolution, especially in the world of gaming
Infrared or laser optical sensor
There are currently two types of optical mice, one that works with infrared and one that works with laser. Both have their advantages and disadvantages over the other, but both are great options
The common features of both types of mice are as follows: the light diode, a sensor and a camera or lens that essentially work the same for both. The red LED or diode reflects off the surface you rest the mouse on - yes, it's that little red light you can see when you pick it up. When you reflect, it goes through the camera or lens, and thus reaches the sensor, which obtains the image and locates the mouse, sending the information of its position to our PC
Now let's go to the differences, which are minimal, but can make you opt for one or the other type.
Infrared optical sensors cover quite a lot of space, since the angle of the diode or LED is oblique. It doesn't have excessive detail when it comes to taking images to position the mouse, but its wide range makes it great for any activity. If you have the mouse positioned on a mouse pad or table, which is common, there should be no problem with this small lack of detail
In the case of the optical sensors with laser, they have much less range than the previous ones, however, the diode or LED has a higher power and this translates into images with a high level of detail. If your plan is to use the mouse on surfaces such as glass or highly polished tables, this may be the best option
Currently, all the mice in our catalog at Newskill work with infrared, but there are more technical features to consider if you want your mouse to fit what you are really looking for
The importance of the sensor
It is not only relevant whether the optical sensor works with infrared or laser, but you should also take into account something that practically all of us overlook: the polling rate, also known as refresh rate or polling rate
This characteristic, measured in Hz, is the rate at which your mouse will report its position to your computer. The rate is very simple to calculate, as the Hertz corresponds to the number of times per second the mouse makes that report. For example, if a mouse has a polling rate of 135Hz, this means that it will send the information 125 times per second to your PC or, in other words, once every 8 milliseconds
As you might have guessed, the higher this polling rate, the more accurate your mouse will be, which is why our range of gaming mice have the highest polling rates. Eos and Helios enjoy 500Hz and Lycan, Habrok and all Arakne models, 1000Hz.
It is important not to confuse the polling rate with the DPI. The DPI corresponds to the speed at which the cursor moves, and we have a very complete post for you to understand what they influence and how many DPI your gaming mouse should have for certain games
how to know the polling rate of your mouse?
If you want to know the polling rate of your mouse and know if you are playing with the mouse you really need, you have several options: usually in the instructions or info on the packaging of your mouse should appear the polling rate of it. You may also have the option to change the polling rate from the bottom of your mouse, or even from the software, if it has it. This happens on many mice, because it is becoming more and more common to allow customization to the maximum. The mice of Newskill allow it, in its majority, since they have software, that will allow you to personalize its different characteristics.
This way here is the guide to choose the best gaming mouse for youdepending on the use you are going to give it, and your preferences