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What to consider when buying a mouse


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Since the advent of the graphical user interface (GUI), the mouse has become one of the most essential PC peripherals. It’s only relatively recently that alternatives have challenged the mouse’s efficiency and accuracy for manipulating items on the screen. Even those alternatives, such as touchscreen displays, pens, and voice control, are often used to supplement the mouse rather than replace it.

PC mice have an entire industry dedicated to making them, and the one that came with your PC might be a low-cost version that’s inhibiting your experience. New and improved mouse options are constantly being introduced, creating a difficult choice for anyone looking to replace a poor-performing mouse.

The guide provides an overview of some of the key things to keep in mind as you browse Newegg’s hundreds of mouse options.

Prices and availability of products discussed were accurate at the time of publication, but are subject to change.

You could also examine your mouse click speed with a free auto clicker. You can auto-click your mouse with this Free Mouse Clicker software.

Wired vs. wireless


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When choosing a mouse, it’s important to determine whether you want a wired or wireless mouse. The mouse does not have to be connected to a cable and can be freely moved. If you stay within a wireless range, you can go wireless and enjoy complete freedom of movement.

Why would anyone choose a wired mouse over that? Before you make this decision, you should consider a few factors.

To begin with, all wireless mice have some latency, which means that there is a split-second delay between a mouse action and its impact on a PC. A key benefit of wireless technology over the last few years has been reduced latency. If you’re going to be playing modern gaming titles, you’ll probably want to get a high-performance mouse (more on that in a bit), since wireless mice now generally have low enough latency that they’re usually fine for casual and productivity use.

Secondly, wireless mice require power. The batteries in some devices are replaceable, while those in others require a plug-in charger to recharge them. Typically, these devices use a USB cable for charging, and they can be plugged into a PC to act as a wireless mouse while the battery is being recharged.

Lastly, wireless mice can interfere with other wireless devices. Since mice have migrated toward Bluetooth wireless technology, which uses frequencies that aren’t as likely to interfere with other devices, this is no longer an issue. Nevertheless, it is still possible.

Wireless connectivity options


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When it comes to wireless technologies, there are two main types. With most contemporary notebooks including Bluetooth radios, Bluetooth mice are a safe choice. If the mouse does not come with a Bluetooth dongle, you may have to purchase one if you use a desktop PC.

Radiofrequency (RF) adapters are another technology typically used with wireless mice. A popular example is Logitech’s Unifying protocol, which operates at 2.4GHz and supports up to six Logitech wireless devices. The Unifying adapter comes with Logitech mice (and keyboards), and you can connect the one Unifying receiver to a PC and then connect multiple Logitech devices.

Wireless mice have a few important advantages over wired mice, and they are also generally more expensive. Therefore, wireless mice have become a popular choice that can work well for you as long as you are able to live with the mouse being powered up and you can find one that provides you with the performance you require.

Gaming vs. general use


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As you decide whether to go wired or wireless, you should consider how you intend to use your mouse. You’ll want to consider performance in your list of important specifications if you plan on using your mouse for gaming.

A performance consideration for gaming is latency. You’ll want the lowest latency possible. It is also known as “input lag,” and it can kill you in today’s fast-paced first-person shooter games. When you’re on the trigger, latency can cause you to fall behind your competitors, making you an inch slower.

Manufacturers define mouse sensitivity in terms of dots per inch (DPI). A higher DPI means a smaller physical distance between the mouse and the surface to register movements. Gamers can particularly benefit from sensitivity. Others prefer smaller hand gestures as they can move faster across a screen, while others prefer large gestures that do not have such an impact on the screen.

Because of this, some mice allow the user to adjust the DPI on the fly, from 1,200 DPI to 6,400 DPI and even higher. Game players can customize their mousing experience for each game, and even for different in-game scenarios, with this adjustability.

Certain manufacturers optimize mice for certain kinds of games, with buttons and keypads that make playing certain games, such as massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, easier. Game mice often come with software to optimize them for games, and they can even be customized to allow for physical changes, such as adjusting button response and palm rest angle.

For users of PC applications that require very precise movements, sensitivity matters as well. Computer-assisted design (CAD) applications, photo editors, and 3D rendering software are examples.

In contrast, if you aren’t gaming, choosing a mouse will be much simpler. Consider things like size, ergonomics, and other non-gaming features. Next, we’ll discuss each of these topics.


Sensors

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Earlier mice used balls and infrared sensors to measure movement. On the other hand, today’s mice use one of two kinds of light sources to take images of a surface, comparing one image to the next as they move.

These mice use LED lights that shine on the very top of a surface, and they work best with nonglossy surfaces, such as fabric mousepads. Laser mice work on more surfaces and are more precise.

However, laser mice can be more expensive than most other options. In addition to being more sensitive, these devices produce more noise and can cause more variation in tracking. Furthermore, they are more likely to register movement on a mouse pad if they are lifted and moved at a distance from a surface.

This can cause unwanted on-screen movement that is especially frustrating when playing video games. If you’re not a gamer, you’ll probably be happier with a laser mouse due to its ability to work on just about any surface.


Physical design

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There are a variety of mice available, from small travel models to monster-sized models with enhanced features and ergonomics. Choosing the right mouse depends on a number of factors, including your hand size, where you’ll be using it, and whether you’ll be carrying it around.

Size


A mouse’s size is the first characteristic to consider. Mice intended for portable use tend to be smaller, and mice intended to sit on a desk tend to be larger. That makes perfect sense, of course. Your choice comes down to your hand size - someone with smaller hands might choose a portable mouse just because of its smaller dimensions - and your personal preference.


Ergonomics

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The ergonomic mice, or those that are designed to reduce hand and wrist strain, tend to be on the larger side. They conform to the hand, and they encourage users to hold their fingers, hands, and wrists at angles that allow for more comfortable long-term mousing sessions. Unfortunately, only a small number of mice are designed specifically for lefties - they’re typically made for right-handed users.


Grip

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The way a mouse is gripped is one of its distinguishing features. The three most common grip types are palm grip, claw grip, and fingertip grip.

The design of some mice is optimized for laying your palm across the top and pushing the most with your entire hand. Often, smaller mice are designed to be gripped with the fingertip, so that the user can guide it using their fingertips. Another design of narrower mice is one where the fingers rest on top of the palm of the mouse, forming a claw.

What grip works best for you depends on your personal preference, as well as the size and shape of your mouse.

Other features


Once we’ve covered the basics, we can consider some of the other features that you’ll find on modern mice.

There are usually at least two buttons on a mouse, commonly referred to as the left and right buttons. In most operating systems, the left button handles primary actions like selecting objects and clicking on screen items, while the right button handles secondary actions like opening menus. There is one exception: Apple’s line of mice, which have a single button and use various tricks to emulate a right-click.

Additionally, there are mice that include additional buttons on the top, side buttons for accessing special actions, and wheels that scroll and perform other functions. Some of these multi-button mice have software that enables the buttons and wheels to be customized and remapped, enabling a wide range of customized functionality.

With the right mouse, you can decide if you will be more productive or frustrated. It might be beneficial for you to have a mouse with a range of buttons that can be mapped to various functions if you use complex software.


Lighting


Another feature found on gaming mice is LED lights. Additionally, they provide feedback during gaming systems. Such mice are usually equipped with software that allows the lighting to be customized to match the user’s installed games.

Other input options


You don’t have to use a mouse to control your PC. There are several other options that can work in different circumstances. In the case of a tablet, you’re almost certainly going to be using a touchscreen solely. In addition, you can write and draw on the display using a stylus or digital pen.

Touchpads are used on notebooks to measure finger movements across a flat surface. There are touchpads with physical buttons, touchpads that support light taps with one or two fingers to register left and right clicks, and touchpads that support multitouch gestures. In Apple’s latest MacBook Pro touchpads, 3D sensors mimic physical buttons by providing haptic feedback.

Among the most popular types of portable devices today, 2-in-1s can convert from traditional notebooks to tablets. In these machines, you’ll often switch between using a touchpad and a touch display, depending on the situation. Additionally, some newer traditional notebooks also offer touch displays.

As a final input device, there is the trackball, which is essentially an inverted version of the old ball-style mouse. To register movement, the user spins a ball within the top of the device, rather than rolling the ball around.

And finally


As you can see from the list above, there are some important factors you should consider when purchasing a mouse. You should check out Newegg’s mouse section because it offers a wide variety of mice you can compare side-by-side to find the right one for you. The right mouse can make your PC experience greatly more productive, efficient, and enjoyable.

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What to consider when buying a mouse