What Is A Computer Mouse? Parts, Types, Pricing, Explained!

Mouses? Is there such a thing? Well, the plural for a mouse is mice. But, as per dictionaries, a mouse in plural form can also be mouses. So, I’ll probably use mouses for now. Okay, so, mouse’s. Mouses are that half-sphere you see beside the keyboard.

what is a computer mouse
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In your smartphones, technically speaking, your fingers are the mouse. And for some devices, like the Samsung Note series, it has a stylus pen included in the device, which is also some type of navigating device. And then comes the laptops. Laptops are furnished with a flat touchable thing called trackpads.

It’s used to navigate your pointer on your computers. Technically, not every device you have is equipped with mouse’s. For example, your smart TVs only use the up, down, left, and right buttons when navigating the whole screen. The trackpads are the mouse’s for laptops, although laptops can also read mouse’s as an alternative to the built-in trackpads, primarily when you work on big projects.

What Is A Computer Mouse?

A computer mouse is a portable hardware input device that is used to point, move, and select buttons, words, objects, documents, and folders on your computer, and of course, it will still depend on the program. Computer mouses help you click those certain functions and navigate through the program. A mouse driver must be installed for the mouse to work on your device. Most operating systems already come with it; even your phones can read those.

Computer mouses help you move the cursor, point, open a program, select, drag, drop, hover, and scroll. These functions are already included in the programs you use or navigate; the computer mouse relies on you physically on where and what you want to do. Some mouses or most mouses have a wheel in the middle of the left and right buttons, which are used to scroll the page than to scroll using the scroll bar manually.

How Do Computer Mouses Work?

In a graphical user interface, a mouse generally controls the movements of a pointer in two dimensions. The mouse converts back and forth, left and right motions into corresponding electrical impulses, which are then utilized to move the cursor, which is replicated on your device. The relative movements of the mouse are matched to the cursor’s location on the monitors, which marks where the user’s actions occur. Thus the pointer mimics hand movements.

The most famous and still used mouse today is the wired mouse. In order to use a wired mouse, you must connect it directly to your computer or laptop through a USB connection.   Firstly, a wired mouse provides faster reaction times since the data is delivered instantly via the connection. Their design accuracy is also superior to other designs. Because of this, wired mice are ideal for gamers, digital artists, and other professionals who need a high degree of precision.

History Of Computer Mouses

Douglas Engelbart came up with the idea for the first computer mouse in the early 1960s. The mouse was just a tiny part of a much broader experiment that began in 1962 with the goal of enhancing human intelligence in some way. Bill English, who had been working in another SRI lab when Engelbart received the concept, was recruited to develop the gear when Engelbart obtained it.

1964The first computer mouse prototype was invented by Doug Engelbart
1967Doug Engelbart applied for a patent for his invention
1968TelefunkenThe Rollkugel computer mouse was invented
1970Doug Engelbart’s patent was approved
1970ARCThe first wooden ball computer mouse was invented by Bill English
1971Xerox PARCInvented the first rolling-ball computer mouse
1972Xerox PARCIntroduced the rolling-ball computer mouse for Xerox Alto computers
1984Xerox PARCMarketed the first wireless computer mouse for Metaphor computers
1980DeprazIntroduced the three-button computer mouse
1981Steven Kirsch designed the first optic computer mouse
1988XeroxInvented the first optical computer mouse
1998AppleDeveloped the first USB computer mouse for iMac computers
1999MicrosoftDesigned the LED computer mouse
2000QuantelIntroduced the multi-button computer mouse
2004MicrosoftLaunched the S+ARCK computer mouse
2005SonyReleased the flip phone-computer mouse
2009AppleSimplified their computer mouse into a more sleek looking designed
2010MicrosoftDeveloped the Arc computer mouse

Types Of Computer Mouses

The following is a list of the many kinds of computer mouses and pointing devices. Optical mouses with USB ports, sometimes known as USB mouses, are the most popular choice for desktop computers nowadays.

Air MouseControls the cursor using motion-sensing technology
Wireless MouseUsed to transmit information electromagnetically
Foot MouseLets a user control the mouse cursor with their feet
Wheel MouseHas a wheel between the left and right buttons for scrolling up and down a web page
Mechanical MouseContains a metal or rubber ball on its underside
Optical MouseUses LEDs or a laser to track or detect movement
TrackpadAllows the user to move a cursor with their finger

All Computer Mouse Manufacturers

Computer mouses vary for almost every activity you can do on a computer. There’s definitely a perfect one for you, especially for things like daily use, gaming, creativity, or office work. And there are also brands out there that can serve and give you the best one for your activity.

LogitechHas the best computer mice for creativity uses.
RazerHas the best gaming computer mice.
MicrosoftHas the best surface computer mice for everyday use.
AnkerHas the best ergonomic computer mice.
HyperXHas the best budget gaming computer mice.
Mad CatzHas the best high-end computer mice.

Components And Parts Of A Computer Mouse

The things listed below are the general overview of what a mouse consists of. And it is all just what you think. It is simply made up of fewer components since it is a small input device. Now, let us check what I am talking about.


These days, practically all computer mice feature at least two buttons, one on the left and one on the right, which may be used for clicking and manipulating objects and text, respectively.

Ball, Laser, Or LED

If it’s a mechanical mouse, it utilizes a ball and rollers; if it’s an optical mouse, it uses a laser or an LED. A desktop mouse may be either mechanical or optical. These components monitor the movement of the mouse along an x-axis and a y-axis and then adjust the mouse pointer’s position on the display.

Mouse Wheel

The mouses you see in the market has a wheel in the middle of the left and right buttons. The mouse wheel is used to navigate a page up and down as you scroll the wheel instead of manually clicking and dragging the scroll bar. 

Circuit Board

The mouse has to have a circuit board with integrated circuits so that it can communicate (input) all of the information that the mouse has, including clicks, highlighting, drag-and-drop, and other functions.

Cable Or Wireless Receiver

Wired mouses have a cable with a plug that connects to the computer, which is why they’re called that. Today, the majority of corded mice are USB-powered. If you have a wireless mouse, your computer’s mouse will not work correctly without a USB receiver (or any type of port compatible with your computer) to pick up and send the wireless signal to your computer.

How Much Does A Computer Mouse Cost?

Computer mouses can range from as cheap as $5 to $150. The range is significantly lower than other components of your computer. The $5 ones are the mouses best for daily use. With its low price, it is still very reliable. If it’s just for streaming, surfing the internet, or just for typing stuff, you can go with mice that cost $5 to at least $10.

For the most part, the price of a mouse depends on what you want to use it for. When you spend more than $40 to $50, you get access to better quality and more features in mouses. In addition to scroll wheels and other capabilities, it has programmability and secondary buttons for additional functionality. Stuff such as graphic design and gaming usually works best with mice that cost $50 and above. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

I have been fond of technology ever since the rolling-ball mouse era. I used to play games in Y8 with that too huge of a mouse for my tiny hands. I probably have been outgrowing computer mice as I become older. Writing this was a little nostalgic for me. I still remember playing in internet cafes with kids my age; we all smell like sweat and sun. 

Enough of the reminisces. I hope you had your knowledge fed to you by this blog. If you are looking for different computer mouses or just simply reading, I hope this helps.

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Anna Bonilla
Anna Bonilla

Anna isn't just any ordinary Computer Hardware Expert, she's highly skilled and multi-talented. She's a graphic designer, a writer, and a social media expert. At ErrorBook, she helps her readers in understanding the purpose of different hardware components and also helps pick the best PC Parts for their money. She also loves babysitting her nephews, baking, and crafting coffee.

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