Entropy. The law that ensures that if you have cords, they will tangle. Enter the wireless mouse. These things are handy, clearing up desk space and following you on business trips. But depending on the technology, user-friendliness, response time, and sensitivity will differ. So what mouse is best for you?
This time around, we’ll tell you how to pick out a mouse and then look at a few best-sellers. Let’s sift through big names like Apple, Logicool, and Anker and find the ideal mouse for you.
How to Choose a Wireless Mouse – Buying Guide
Let’s start out with things to watch out for when choosing a wireless mouse.
Choosing Based on Connectivity
When it comes to the wireless mouse, you have a choice between radio-frequency and Bluetooth. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of each, and then you get to decide which is better for you.
Skip Set-Ups Altogether: the Radio-Frequency Mouse
Radio-frequency (or RF) devices come packaged with a USB dongle, which acts as a receiver. To use the mouse, all you have to do is slide the dongle into its port and flip the ON switch. As simple as that. No lengthy set-ups. A range of up to 30 feet. It’s even compatible with devices that only have microUSB ports, such as smartphones, with the use of an adapter.
Of course, now you’re stuck with one less USB port. There’s also the fear of losing those tiny dongles. If you’re always out on business trips, we recommend models where the dongle attaches to the mouse. If you lose the dongle, the rest of the device will be useless.
Connect to Multiple Devices at Once: the Bluetooth Mouse
When it comes to the Bluetooth mouse, you can connect it without the use of a dongle. If you don’t have many USB ports to spare, or you want to pair your mouse with multiple computers, tablets, or smartphones, that kind of feature will come in handy. But, of course, for computers that aren’t already Bluetooth compatible, you’ll have to get a separate receiver.
Then, there’s the hassle of having to set up Bluetooth pairing. However, it’s a one-time setup on each device, and if this mouse is going to be making its rounds, going Bluetooth will save you time in the long run.
Utility and Precision: What Sensor to Use
If you want a precise mouse, you should pay attention to the sensor. Let’s talk about the strengths and differences between the four main types.
Ditch the Mouse Pad: The Sensitive Blue LED Mouse
Highly accurate and easy on the eyes, more and more of these blue mice are trickling onto the market. It picks up on the tiniest irregularities–yes, that includes house dust–so you can say goodbye to mouse pads.
It’ll work on almost every surface, even reading through the luster of glass and film and traveling gamely over cloth. Its only weakness is perfectly clear, suspended surfaces. If you’re going to be working atop a transparent table, then we recommend investing in a nice mouse pad.
King of the Market: The Ubiquitous Red LED Mouse
This used to be the epitome, the be-all-end-all of optical devices. In part because there are so many on the market, this purveyor of red light is your cheapest choice.
Because it’s easy on the wallet and widely available, the red LED mouse is a great gatekeeper into the wonderful world of mice. But if you’re going to be working on a lustrous or its opposite–a pitch-black–surface, as well as any surface with a regular pattern–checkers, stripes, and so on–it’ll be a choppy ride, so keep a plain mouse pad handy.
It Just Keeps Going: The Energy-Saving IR LED Mouse
Just as attentive to detail as its optical counterparts, the infrared mouse drains less power as well. Once you switch out the batteries, the mouse will run for anywhere from six months to an entire year. If you’re a traveler or just someone who has to constantly make pharmacy runs for batteries, try looking into the IR LED.
The Most Accurate of Them All: The Hyped-Up Laser Mouse
Generally speaking, the laser mouse is more sensitive than your optical mouse. It’s at a level, however, that only hardcore gamers would really care about. It emits a laser outside of the visible spectrum and works smoothly on glossy and reasonably uneven surfaces.
However, if you put it on a see-through surface, it does have trouble responding. So, just like with the blue LED mouse, glass-table owners, get a mouse pad.
When Considering Cost, Don’t Forget About Batteries
Because wireless mice need to also work as transmitters, they, of course, require their own little power bank. And you have a choice between battery-operated or rechargeable devices.
If a battery-operated mouse runs out of juice, as long as you have spare batteries, you can pop them in and be done. Buying batteries can run up cost over time, but the mouse itself tends to be cheaper. Then you have the rechargeable type. It’s more expensive initially, but may save you more in the long run.
Then You Have Size, Weight, and Feel
If your hand is pretty much glued to the mouse 24-7, you’re going to want one that feels good in it. Your hand is, of course, bigger or smaller than that of the guy next to you–the way you grip the mouse will be too. So make sure the mouse fits. Recently, there’s been a new spate of ergonomic mice, which fit snugly into and support a human hand. They’re meant to reduce wrist discomfort and your chances of coming down with carpal tunnel. These are designed separately for right- and left-handers, so check that dominant hand before purchasing.
Finally, weight also affects performance. There’s no consensus on mouse weight–some people like them feather-light, some like them brick-heavy. Figure out your preferences. It might help to visualize the mouse you’re using now–would you like it to shed or gain a few grams?
Resolution Is How You Communicate with the Mouse
When you click or slide your finger across scroll wheel, does the mouse perfectly respond to you? Now we’re talking resolution. Resolution is the amount a cursor moves on screen when the mouse itself is dragged an inch in any direction. The common units of measurement are DPI (dots per inch) and CPI (counts per inch). They’re basically interchangeable. The rule is this: the higher the DPI or CPI, the less you have to move your mouse to get it to respond.
If you’re a gamer and need your mouse to be in just the right place at just the right time, then you’re going to want a high-resolution mouse. If you’re a web-surfer, then a mouse with a DPI between 800 and 1600 will be sufficient. Some things to keep in mind: a higher DPI doesn’t mean a better mouse–it’s a matter of personal preference. (Some people don’t want their cursor swimming all over the screen.) To get a feel for each mouse, try giving the reviews a glance beforehand.
For Convenience, Check for Additional Features
Sometimes, wireless mice come with shortcut keys pre-installed. Not all mice are made equal–with buttons ranging from “back” to “forward” to “search”–so keep your eye out for a model that speaks to you.
Some mice also come with tilt wheels, so you can scroll horizontally by pushing the wheel to the right or left. Recommended for those who’d like to explore an entire web page or a miles long Excel spreadsheet with a single finger. Finally, if you’re going to be clicking away in a library or through business meetings, consider getting a silent mouse.
Top 10 Best Wireless Mouses to Buy Online
And now let’s take a look at the handiest mice out there. There’s a mishmash of all different types here, so look out for one that’s a good fit for you.
10. Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse
A Little Bit of Everything for One Low Price
A mouse with smooth tracking, ergonomic design, and practical features that won’t break the bank. Quite a pretty package. The M510 sports rubber grips and cradles your palm, so you don’t cramp up. It also comes with customizable buttons on the side, but it does require you to download the Logitech Options software. (It takes a mere five minutes!)
There are a few cons. No way to adjust the DPI, for one. And users reported bugs after a few months of use. The M510 is very much a general purpose budget mouse. However, if you need something good, cheap, now, then it’s definitely worth a shot.
9. Logitech MX Master 2S
A Pillow for Your Hand
Another beautiful day of desk work, and your wrist feels like a rusty gear. May or may not hold up for another 10 years. Enter the ergonomic Logitech MX Master 2S–sculpted to keep your wrist from having to bend into impossible positions.
You can also customize buttons. The thumb rest itself is what Logitech calls the “gesture button”; you simply hold it down and slide the mouse up or down, left or right, and do almost anything. Word of warning, though: the Bluetooth is known to be choppy. If you only need to pair it with a single device, know that it does come with a dongle that offers better connectivity.
8. Anker Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse
A Budget Mouse that Follows the Shape of the Human Body
Let your hands hang down next to you. Your wrists are facing inwards, right? Operate a conventional mouse. Now you’re twisting your wrist so that it faces downwards, which can, over time, wear down your body. With Anker’s vertical mouse, your wrist is oriented in a more natural position–a relief for people with carpal tunnel and orthopedic injuries.
For smaller hands, though, it will be difficult to wrap your fingers around the device–not to mention that the buttons are a bit stiff. Overall, it’s not a one-size-fits-all-option. However, when this mouse does slip snugly into your hand, it’s one of those Cinderella and the glass slipper moments.
7. VicTsing MM057 2.4 Wireless Mouse
A Starter Item for Casual Gamers
So it doesn’t look like a giant fighting robot. But the MM057 is contoured, sturdy, and under 10 bucks. There’s no fancy frills: forward and back buttons on the side, and a DPI button up top, which flashes red when activated. The DPI can be set to 5 levels, running from 800 to 2400. But if you’re a video editor or a precision gamer, know that the cursor doesn’t respond well to subtle movements, lagging and jumping a bit.
Something else to watch out for : it’s designed only for right-handers, and it’s small. But it definitely gets the job done. If you’re looking for a gaming mouse (that comes in 9 colors, by the way!) and aren’t ready to flip your wallet inside-out, then the MM057 doesn’t disappoint.
6. Logitech G602 Lag-Free Wireless Gaming Mouse
Climbing up the Gaming Ladder
So the two buttons on the MM057 weren’t enough for you. The G602 offers 11. They’re built into the left side of the mouse, above the thumb rest that makes the G602 look a bit like the Millennium Falcon. You program these through the Logitech Gaming software, which will store multiple profiles for you–eliminating the need to painfully reset your controls again and again.
There’s also a battery life indicator on top of the mouse. Just in case you’ve ever panicked when your character suddenly stops responding in the middle of the game. Unless you’re asking for the sky and earth in a mouse, the G602 really won’t let you down.
5. Apple Magic Mouse 2
The Epitome of Apple Design
So we all know Apple has some hardcore fans out there. The sleek, minimalist design, the functionality, the artsiness of it all. Well, Mac user, you won’t be left out in the cold. The Apple Magic Mouse 2 epitomizes everything that made Steve Jobs a household name.
This mouse is actually one little pad–you can swipe across the top, as you would with a Mac touchpad for a variety of commands. But something to look out for: the charging port is on the underside of the mouse, which means you have to lay the device on its side to give it some juice. It’s a small trade-off between design and practicality. Which wins out for you?
4. Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
A Companion for Those with Wanderlust
The MX Anywhere 2S lives up to its moniker. Light and made to slip into bags or even your back pocket, it doesn’t compromise on features, either. There’s also a button on the underside of the mouse, allowing you to seamlessly switch devices, from desktop to laptop to tablet.
And Logitech somehow managed to fit seven buttons on this tiny thing. Like with many other devices, it requires some set-up through the Logitech Options software. But it’s a painless process. And this mouse is supposed to keep going for two months on end. Definitely a reliable partner.
3. Logitech Wireless Trackball M570
Supporting You in the Remotest Corners of your House
The frustration of trying to force your mouse over the hills and furrows of your bed. We’ve been there, done that. The M570 doesn’t need space to glide; it stands there as you manipulate the cursor via the trackball.
This is, of course, another huge mouse from Logitech. The pros: it offers wrist support; some users have reported that by adding wedges underneath, you can adjust the incline for maximum comfort. The cons: if you have tiny hands, you’ll likely end up overworking your thumb. Not to mention most of us usually drag mice around, so you’ll have to get used to the M570. But come on, with this price tag, it may well be worth a try.
2. VicTsing Silent Wireless Mouse
Your Silent Shadow
This mouse was made for afternoon trips to the library or overseas business meetings. First of all, it’s skinny, light, and you can slip the dongle in to and out from the bottom of the mouse. It is, as advertised, completely silent–buttons, scroll wheel, and all. And despite that beautifully low price tag, it tracks smoothly on most surfaces, no mouse pad required. Perfect for dumping into a travel bag.
The VicTsing Wireless comes in five colors–though the grey and red are (unfortunately) a buck more expensive than the rest. Also, you can adjust the DPI level between 800, 1200, and 1600, and tailor the sensitivity of the mouse to fit you. A real force when it comes to cost-performance.
1. Logitech G903 LIGHTSPEED
A Gamer’s Paradise
First, can we just talk about how cool this mouse looks? Getting some Storm Trooper vibes here. And those fins aren’t there just to sit pretty; you can snap in two extra mouse buttons to the right, or two to the left, or all four, for those righties, lefties, and button fanatics.
But perhaps the coolest feature is not even in the mouse itself. Logitech upgraded the G903 from its earlier cousin, the G900, for pretty much one purpose: compatibility with the PowerPlay pad. PowerPlay is Logitech’s mouse pad that also doubles as a charger–all you need to do is keep your device on top of it. This means your mouse will never die on you mid-game again. Main con? A much skinnier wallet.
Cursor Not Responding? Before You Panic
When your mouse isn’t working, check these things out before calling a support center. Are there batteries in the mouse? Are the batteries facing the right way? If the mouse is rechargeable, does it have any power left?
If there aren’t any problems there, turn your mouse off and on again. Next, check your wireless connection, and try re-pairing the mouse with your device. Many of your rodent problems can be solved with these steps, so give them a try.
Hardcore and casual gamers, businessmen, students, artists. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that one of the things that connects us all in the 21st century is the need for a good mouse.
Think about where, when, and why you’ll be using yours. There are as many mice out there as fish in the sea, so we hope we’ve helped you figure out how to find one that’s right for you.
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