Does a Laser Mouse Need a Mouse Pad?


A mouse is the device used to direct the cursor on the monitor screen of a personal computer. As a mouse moves up and down and left to right, so the cursor moves up and down and left to right. There are two designs of a mouse; one uses a trackball and another uses a laser. A mouse pad is a thin, flat pad that enhances the mouse's mobility.

Original Mouse Pads

  • Trackball mouses and mouse pads have been around since before laser mouses existed. Before laser mouses, trackballs at the bottom of a mouse rolled comfortably on the surface of a mouse pad, increasing the ease and usability of the device. While these mouses could be used without mouse pads, this would usually wear down the mouse and cause stickiness on the trackball.

First Laser Mouses

  • Laser mouses removed the trackball entirely, using only a laser that needed a specific kind of mouse pad in order for it to work. These mouse pads had optical patterns on them that the laser mouses would read. These became obsolete in the 1990s.

Modern Laser Mouses

  • Laser mouses today do not require mouse pads. They can be used on a desk surface, a book or piece of paper, and even on a person's thigh or knee. The lasers mouses of today are even more convenient if they are cordless. These mouses interact with the computer through a wireless connection, offering the greatest amount of freedom one can have with a mouse.


  • While modern laser mouses do not need mouse pads, many people still use them. One of the main reasons mouse pads are still commonly used is simply due to the comfort they provide the user. Not only due they feel like essential accessories to a computer, they are usually quite soft and cushioned, giving the user's wrist something pleasant to rest on.


  • Even though most mouses made today do not need a mouse pad, some people use the pads to protect the surface area they use their mouse on. A plastic laser mouse could scratch certain desks or surfaces, and a mouse pad will prevent this.

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  • Photo Credit "Trooper with Arc" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: bfishadow (Julien Min GONG) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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