It is the only known battery-powered UNSC weapon, and is the most powerful infantry weapon fielded by UNSC forces. It is capable of penetrating multiple targets, including tanks, unlike the Sniper Rifle, which can only penetrate infantry. It is alternatively known as the Galilean, or, in player lexicon, the "Splaser".
Despite the name, the Laser can be used by regular humans, such as UNSC Marines and ODSTs. The name could have been derived because of its weight or sheer destructive power.