What characteristic best describes a mouse?

  • the first type of input device used to navigate the graphical user interface
  • an input device allowing users to pay for a product by tapping their credit card or smartphone on another device
  • an input device that reads barcodes affixed to most retail products
  • an input device that reads encoded information from the back of plastic cards
Explanation & Hint:

The characteristic that best describes a mouse is:

The first type of input device used to navigate the graphical user interface: A mouse is a peripheral input device primarily designed to interact with a computer’s graphical user interface (GUI). It allows users to point, click, drag, and scroll with ease, facilitating navigation and selection within the GUI. The mouse has been a fundamental component of personal computing since the popularization of graphical interfaces, providing an intuitive way to interact with computers.

Now, let’s explain why the other options do not describe a mouse:

  1. An input device allowing users to pay for a product by tapping their credit card or smartphone on another device: This describes Near Field Communication (NFC) devices used in contactless payment systems. Users can make payments by tapping an NFC-enabled credit card or smartphone against an NFC reader. This function is not related to the capabilities of a computer mouse.
  2. An input device that reads barcodes affixed to most retail products: This is a description of a barcode scanner. Barcode scanners are used to read the information encoded in the barcodes found on retail products and other items. This technology is distinct from that of a mouse, which is used for navigating and interacting with a computer’s GUI.
  3. An input device that reads encoded information from the back of plastic cards: This refers to magstripe (magnetic stripe) readers. These devices read the data stored in the magnetic stripes on the back of cards like credit cards and key cards. Unlike a mouse, which is used for GUI navigation, magstripe readers are used for processing card-based transactions and access control.

In summary, a mouse is best characterized as a pioneering input device for computer GUI navigation, offering precise control for pointing, clicking, and executing commands within a graphical environment.

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