Though model and design vary by manufacturer, the most notable difference between a notebook mouse and a regular mouse is that a notebook mouse is specifically designed for travel. Size and tracking style are specifications to consider.
Because a notebook mouse is a peripheral for a computer that users carry anywhere, they are designed to be especially lightweight and compact.
Whether for a desktop or notebook computer, manufacturers design mice to fit easily in a user's hand. A notebook mouse is usually smaller in size, however. Size does not affect mouse functions. A notebook mouse does everything a regular mouse does. The smaller size of a notebook mouse translates to requiring less space in a computer bag and a lighter weight. A notebook mouse also will require less space at a workstation.
Precision is a specification that retailers will provide for consumers when making purchases. It is measured in movement resolution of dots per inch. Regular and notebook mice may provide equal dots per inch values, depending on the model. Some models of regular mouse are designed for artists or design professionals who require higher dots per inch.
Additional Features in Regular Mice
A regular mouse design may include additional buttons for users who will use the mouse over many hours in a single location--buttons for the thumb or additional roller wheels for navigation. Some notebook mouse designs incorporate these additional features, but on a smaller scale.
Where manufacturers emphasize travel features in notebook mice, manufacturers of regular mice emphasize comfort. Some models have ergonomic features--ergonomic fit and position-- for consumers who are likely to remain stationary and use a mouse for work sessions longer than an hour. Consumers are more likely to find ergonomic designs in regular mice. Some regular mice also may include trackballs, which are rarely seen in notebook mice.