Mouse vs Trackpad vs Trackball – Difference and Comparison

What is Mouse?

A mouse is a small handheld device that is used to control a cursor on a computer screen. It is an input device that is essential for most types of computer usage. The mouse allows a user to point and click on objects on the screen, which makes it an essential tool for many tasks such as web browsing and word processing.

Optical and mechanical mouse are the two main types. Optical mice use a light-based sensor to track movement, while mechanical mice use a ball that rolls against a surface to track movement. Both types of mouse have their advantages and disadvantages, but optical mice are considered to be more accurate and precise than mechanical mice.

What is Trackpad?

A trackpad is a device that is used to control the movement of a cursor on a computer screen. It is a flat surface that is sensitive to pressure and temperature, which allows a user to control the position of the cursor by simply moving their finger across the trackpad.

There are many advantages of using a trackpad over a mouse, such as the fact that they are much easier to use for precision tasks such as photo editing or graphic design.

Overall, a trackpad is a great option for those who need a more precise cursor control than a mouse can offer, but it may not be the best choice for everyone.

What is Trackball?

A trackball is a computer input device that is used to point and click on a graphical user interface (GUI). It is a type of pointing device that is similar to a mouse, but instead of having a mouse ball that is rolled across a surface, a socket that holds a ball in place.

The user moves the ball with their finger or thumb to move the cursor on the screen. Trackballs are used in laptop computers and desktop computers. It is an alternative to a mouse, touchpad, or joystick.

Difference between Mouse, Trackpad, and Trackball

  1. A mouse has a dedicated area on your desk that you can move it around, whereas a trackpad is built into your laptop and doesn’t require any extra space.
  2. A mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel, whereas a trackpad only has one button.

  3. A trackball is a pointing device that is used by moving a ball with the thumb, fingers or palm of the hand. The trackpad is a pointing device that is used by moving a finger along a surface.
  4. A trackball is best for desktop computers, while a trackpad is best for laptop computers.
  5. A trackpad is integrated into a laptop, while a mouse is a separate peripheral device.
  6. A trackpad is a flat surface that is sensitive to pressure and gestures, while a mouse has a physical ball that rolls to register movement.

Comparison Between Mouse, Trackpad and Trackball

Parameters of comparisonMouseTrackpadTrackball
SensitivityLess sensitivity – more movement is requireda ball-shaped fixed pointing device with a top or sideHigh sensitivity – less movement is required to move the pointer
PrecisionPrecise but not more than a trackballDepends on the userHighly precise
SpeedTakes less time to move the pointer from one point to anotherThe speed of the trackpad depends on the userA trackball is faster than a mouse
Ease of UseA mouse is simple to useEasy to useIt is simpler to perform tasks with a trackball than with a mouse
PortabilityPortableSmaller and more portableLarger and less portable


  1. Computer mouse and track-ball operation:: Similarities and differences in posture, muscular load and perceived exertion – ScienceDirect
  2. TOOLS OF THE TRADE – ProQuest