Despite PCs being equipped with touchpads / trackpoints or, more recently, touch-screens, the ubiquitous mouse is still – for many at least – the most direct and user-friendly way to control their device (in conjunction with a keyboard).
Incorporating a tracking sensor, two buttons on top and a scroll wheel, the basic design of the mouse is universally familiar, although it has evolved in recent years to become more ergonomic, as well as enjoying the freedom of being untethered in wireless versions.
The simplest (and cheapest) mouse type are mainstream desktop / laptop mice, designed for use at a desk or table. Aside from the usual right and left mouse buttons, common features include a tilt function / scroll wheel along with customizable thumb buttons to allow forward and backward web-navigation. In some cases, a desktop mouse can feature all of the above with an additional trackball built in for good measure.
Travel mice offer many of the same features, but are more diminutive in size, easily fitting into suitable pockets of a backpack or laptop bag. In general, travel mice are usually cordless requiring connection via Bluetooth or a USB port receiver (with wireless devices using 2.4 GHz wireless technology). As with non-travel versions, you’ll need a spare set of AA or AAA batteries if used intensively.
To make the best mice for gaming, mouse designers go to town, amplifying the ergonomic elements of ordinary versions and adding a variety of special features including customizable buttons (which can total 13 depending upon the style of game i.e. multiplayer role playing, first person shooter etc). With these specialized features, comes a higher price – although the most extreme gaming mouse designs are sure to make heads turn.
The most conventional way of connecting a mouse to your PC is through a wired USB connection. Long gone are the days when drivers had to be installed after detecting new hardware. And, for wired mouse types, the device is powered via the USB port – meaning you’ll never need to periodically change batteries
Wireless mice are most popular nowadays, with Plug-and-Play mice transferring commands via USB receiver, or via Bluetooth. The USB dongles offered by most brands are nano-sized, unobtrusive and can generally be left plugged into their designated port. Companies like Logitech also use their own proprietary connections allowing connectivity to more than one device.
Bluetooth mice avoid use of a USB port altogether - being popular with mobile devices owners using tablet PCs (which quite often also make use of Bluetooth keyboards). Check out our Bluetooth mouse range, including the ground-breaking Microsoft Arc Touch mouse.
A great round-up of popular mice (current as of 2016) can be found at: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wireless-mouse. You’ll see that key factors in deciding which mouse to choose are its ergonomic design, speed and sensitivity, sensor quality (optical vs. laser mice) and also the ability to work efficiently on a range of surfaces - including glass.
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