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Glossary of Mouse Related Terms

Glossary of mouse related terms sorted by alphabetical order. Hit CTRL + F to quickly search through.

Mouse is a computer peripheral device that converts 2D surface movement into display pointer 2D movement

Mouse type
Mice are built using different technologies and purposes. On this site we refer to mouse type from the purpose type e.g. gaming mouse, business mouse, upright mouse and so on…

Sensor type
Mouse sensor type is the part of the mouse that detects movement. Modern mice uses optical sensors and laser illuminated optical sensors, but in the past mice used mechanical movement sensors.

Laser sensor
Laser sensor refer to an illuminating type rather than a type of sensor. Laser sensors are actually optical sensors. Laser mice use laser to shine surface where the mouse move and then analyze bounced light to detect movement.

Optical sensor
Optical sensor shine surface with the infrared or red LED diode. Currently optical sensors are superior to laser optical sensors.

Mouse shape can have varying ergonomy. On this site (in current iteration) under ergonomy term we consider is the mouse intended for right handed, left handed or ambidextrous persons.

Grip is “how you hold the mouse”. There is no right way to do it. Every grip is good if you use it long enough. People tend to hold the mouse on different ways… Main ones are palm grip, fingertip grip and claw grip. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Palm grip
Palm grip is the most popular type of grip and is preferred for biggest number of models. This is basically when you lay your whole hand on the mouse in relaxed position.  This grip is suitable for long glides but you need to take more time to develop muscle memory for precise movements.

Claw grip
Claw grip is when you hold your mouse like a predatory bird. Your palm reside on the mouse but fingers are arched heavily for fast clicking. This allows you quicker reactions but less accuracy. It also causes more strain on your fingers.

Fingertip grip
Fingertip grip is when you hold your mouse with your thumb and pinky fingers while fingers residing on mouse buttons. This grip allows fastest reaction time for clicks but it can strain and influence reaction time for glides and precision movement.

Flawless Sensor
Flawless sensor (or sometime perfect sensor) used to be very rare occurrence in the past. However, since gamers prefer flawless sensors, more and more mice come with it… Flawless or perfect sensor refer to sensor which convert movement on the pad, to movement on the screen in 1:1 ratio and does not have any filtering or hardware acceleration. This allows player to predict more accurately movement of his mouse and build muscle memory over time.

Mouse resolution is measured in counts per inch (CPI), however due the marketing and somewhat practicality reasons many brands refer to it as DPI (dots per inch) which in literal sense is the wrong thing to do.

Counts per inch (CPI) is a measure used to report mouse movement to a computer.

See above.

Maximum Acceleration
This number represent maximum linear acceleration in G’s before mouse stops working properly.

Polling Rate
Frequency at which mouse reports data to computer (how often). 1000 Hz is standard value, which means that your mouse reports movement every millisecond. 500 Hz is half slower reporting, which means 2 milliseconds.

Maximum Tracking Speed
This number represent movement speed up to mouse software can record movement successfully. It’s measured in IPS (inches per second).

Lift Off Distance
Lift off distance represent height between the mouse and the mouse pad, up to which mouse can track successfully. This vary from sensor to sensor, and with some sensors lift off distance is adjustable.

PTFE or Teflon is a material used for mouse feets due the low friction coefficients. Some cheaper mouses uses plastic feets although PTFE itself is not very expensive.

Smoothing or interpolations happens when mouse either on sensor or controller level inserts movement data. In practice mouse movements seems elastic and stretchy.

Hardware acceleration


Angle snapping