Buyer's Guide – Mice
This guide will allow customers to make an informed decision on what mouse at the Tech Store is best suited to their needs.
Mice are a great purchase for anyone who wants more computer navigation options available to them than what a laptop trackpad offers alone! It may surprise you to find that something as simple as a computer mouse could have so many different selections. Wired mice are the best choice for a cheap and reliable input device without the hassle of buying batteries. Wireless mice are recommended for someone who wants a flexible, on-the-go device and no cord management. Both come with either optical or laser tracking for high performance needs! First, when choosing what kind of mouse is best for you, let’s look at specifics that fall under both wired and wireless categories:
Number of buttons
When you imagine a computer mouse, you probably imagine the standard configuration of a 2-button mouse with a middle scroll wheel (which will often act as a third button). However, there are many more options than this 2-3 button configuration. Of course, if you are used to the three button format, there will be a bit of a learning-curve necessary to fully utilize this new setup effectively.
If your mouse does have a fourth and fifth buttons, they are usually on the side (such as on the Logitech M500 Corded USB Mouse, pictured right) as thumb buttons. These thumb buttons are often preset to be page forward and page backward buttons, but they can be programmed with included software. Having four, five or more buttons may be desired by those invested in computer gaming, in that the higher number of mouse functions capable could make navigating gaming interfaces and macros much easier.
Alternatively, you could select a mouse with no buttons at all. Chief among these is the Apple Magic Mouse (left). The top of the mouse is completely smooth, and it can act as one button or two, and is also the dedicated space for 360-degree scrolling. In other words, this has all the perks of the 3-button format, but with more freedom for you to choose where those buttons are.
If you believe that the increased number of buttons would be a distraction for you as a user, then the standard mouse format will certainly be suitable for you. But if you’re interested in seeing how your computer use, web browsing and/or gaming could become more efficient, consider looking into models with 4+ button formats.
Specialized Shape / Use
Again, most computer mice that you encounter are probably the mice with 2-3 buttons, and they lay flat on a desk top. But, though the most common, this is by no means the only way. Some mice, such as the 3M Ergonomic Mouse (right), are at first glance indistinguishable for what they are. If you ever feel persistent amounts of joint wrist pain after extended use with a standard mouse, perhaps an ergonomic mouse would be a better option for you. They function in the exact same way as standard mice, but are designed to relieve or eliminate the joint pressure that other mouse layouts may cause by contouring to the natural shape and positions of the human hand.Additionally, another niche form of the mouse is one that is flexible in terms of range and utility. The Gyration Air Mouse GO Plus is perfect for those who know that they will be making many presentations or lectures with their laptop or desktop computer. This mouse works both flat on the desk and handheld, away from your computer, allowing for a seamless transition in an interactive presentation. It has a long enough range for nearly any size presentation room, but will act as a high-performing mouse for your everyday use as well.
Wired vs. Wireless
A big choice in choosing your mouse is whether to get a wired or a wireless mouse. Like most things in life, they both have their benefits and their drawbacks, but they both can be excellent choices depending on your needs.
A wired mouse will always be connected to your computer via USB, so you must be sure that you have an available USB port before you buy. Wired mice are largely cheaper than their wireless counterparts, because it takes more to manufacture a wireless connection than it does a wired one. They are also going to be cheaper in the long run because wired mice do not need batteries in order to operate, unlike the wireless mouse. Additionally, because of the wired utility, there is no chance for a lost or interfered connection to the computer.
However, with these products, you have a wire. This could be a hassle for some who do not want to deal with yet another wire among many. This also means that there will be more product to carry, should the user have to take the mouse with them.
In summation, wired mice:
- Are usually cheaper
- Require no batteries
- Are reliable—no chance for lost connection
- Require a USB port to connect the wire
- Wire can be a hassle—not the best for travel
Wireless mice are also often connected through a USB port; however, some wireless mice also have Bluetooth capabilities as well. Non-Bluetooth mice will have a small USB plug-in, (such as seen next to the Gear Head MP2225RED Mouse, right) that acts as the wireless receiver for the mouse. You will have to keep track of this small plug-in whenever you unplug it and transport your computer. For this reason, you may desire to get a Bluetooth-capable mouse which won’t need this extra part.
Wireless mice do require batteries in order to operate, but many times the necessary battery/ies will be bundled with the purchase. Depending on how much you use the mouse, you may not have to replace the batteries for 6+ months.
Again, one of the prime benefits of a wireless mouse is the lack of a wire to deal with. This makes very easy to set up and put away the mouse when you are finished with it, especially if you are traveling (such as using the mouse during class or at a library).
In summation, wireless mice:
- Are more expensive
- Require batteries, though they have a decent battery life
- May lose connection, though not frequently
- Require either Bluetooth access or a USB port for the receiver
- Are excellent for those often away from their desk
Hopefully you are now more equipped to make a decision about what kind of mouse you would like to buy, whether that mouse follows the standard 3 button, flat-top mouse format, or if it utilizes new innovative technology such as ergonomics, or is wired, or is not. All of the mice at the Tech Store are great potential choices, so the question is only to choose the one that will be best for you. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us in-person at our various Tech Store locations!