A mouse is a handy accessory if you use a laptop, PC, or even a TV. They help you be more productive than if you were using just a trackpad. Even gaming consoles support mice which makes gaming more immersive. If you haven’t already purchased a mouse, perhaps we can help you choose one. There are wired mice and there are wireless mice. That is the easiest of the choices to make, but there are a bunch of other factors that make a mouse great. We list them out for you.
Choosing between a wired and a wireless mouse
The first choice to be made is whether you need a wireless mouse. If you’re going to use a mouse with a TV, a wireless mouse is a no-brainer. Laptop users who don’t want the mess of cables all around their desk should opt for a wireless mouse too. Wired mice meant for laptops, are smaller in size, and if they are wired, they have short cords. Those are options worth considering especially if you are on a tight budget.
If you are a gamer, then a wired mouse is preferable because it offers the best possible performance in terms of smoothness and reliability over years of use. They also are more ergonomically designed. Of course, there are also wireless gaming mice but they’re often very expensive.
Types of wireless mice
Wireless mice are often based on RF technology, and in some cases, Bluetooth. Bluetooth mice can usually be connected to the laptop, PC or TV without the need of a USB dongle, as long as the TV or laptop supports Bluetooth and the specific standard as your mouse. Regular RF wireless mice come bundled with an adapter that plugs to your laptop, computer or TV.
Choice of batteries and recharging
Most affordable mice use one or two AAA batteries to operate. You are very rarely required to replace these batteries. Most of these mice can run for months on end without having to replace batteries. AAA batteries are affordable to replace. Slightly more expensive mice have built-in batteries that can be charged using a bundled charger or dock. Choose one that’s convenient for your use.
Quality of cables
If you opt for a wired mouse, there are factors such as the length of the cable are important. Laptop mice tend to have shorter cables whereas desktop mice have long cords. The PC chassis that the mouse needs to connect to, maybe placed a few feet away and it’s important to have a cable long enough to reach it. The quality of the cable is also important. Some of the premium mice have braided cables that don’t entangle easily or break.
Types of sensors and their importance
Most of the popular mice use optical sensors, while some of the premium ones may use laser technologies. As mice have evolved, the differences between the two technologies has become indistinguishable. While brands might advertise and market their products different, the differences are minimal in similar price ranges.
DPI and Sensitivity
Besides just the sensor, it’s also the sensitivity of the sensor that matters. This is usually denoted by DPI (dots per inch). Most mice range from 800dpi right up to 6000 and above. The higher the DPI, the more sensitive it is. For most users, a mouse with a DPI ranging from 800 to 2000 is perfectly fine. Higher DPI mice are preferred by gamers who want extreme sensitivity where little movement is needed through the mouse to the move the pointer on the screen.
Another element to do with mouse sensitivity is being able to switching across the DPI range, depending on the application or game you’re playing. While most mice come with software that let you switch between them using software, some mice even come with a button to toggle between them. This makes switching across sensitivities really simple.
Shape of the mouse
Not everything about a mouse has got to do with specifications and numbers. The shape of the mouse is important, depending on how we use them. While mice for laptops are small so they are portable, desktop mice can be larger and heavier. Certain shaped mice are preferable for a certain segment of users. For example, some of us prefer using the mouse using our fingers, while some of us might rest our palm on it. A low-profile mouse is preferred for those who use the thumb and the ring or little finger to hold the mouse. A more bulky mouse is better for those who rest their palm on the mouse.
Quality of mouse buttons and feet
The mouse buttons are what we interact with the most when you’re using a laptop or PC. Every mouse click has its own distinct feel and sound. Although not critical, it may be worth checking out before you pick up a mouse. The quality of the button is also important so you don’t run into wear-and-tear problems later in its life. Common problems tend to be a button clicking erratically. If you’re a gamer, more buttons on a mouse help you access your in-game items a little quickly. Where response time is everything, this can be difference between winning and losing a game.
The padding at the bottom of the mouse that helps it glide over your mouse pad are called mouse feet. Very small and thin feet can get worn out easily over time. Slightly thicker and wider feet will last longer. If you’re buying a high-end mouse, these are things to watch out for.
Lights and weights
Some of the premium mouse offerings have added feature, some of which are aesthetic, others functional. Lights for example, can help your mouse stand out if you take it to a gaming LAN party. Customizable lights are also handy when you switch between sensitivity profiles and button assignments for different applications.
Some of the gaming mice have the option to add weights to the mouse to change the way they behave. More weights can make the mouse a little more stable and this can be a trait some players want while gaming. Some others want very light-weight mice than can be flung across the mousepad with little effort.
Most mice work fine without having any software installed. Some brands bundle software with their mice that do a whole bunch of things. Some of these feature allow tweaking of the colour of the lights on the mouse, while others let you tweak the assignments to different buttons, even add macros that let you to do multiple tasks with a single button press. Some others can store the settings you tweak into the mouse itself. This is useful when you move the mouse from one PC or laptop to another. You don’t need to re-configure settings since the mouse carries all the user profiles with it.
These are some of the important things to keep in mind before buy a mouse for your PC or laptop. If you have any queries or suggestions on mice, please do post in the comments section below.