Work and school from home has become a common occurrence now more than ever. As a result, many of you have been looking for laptops and computers to do said work. While a trackpad is easy to use and convenient when you’re on the go, using one for an extended period of time can be troublesome, and travel is not at the top of everyone’s list at the moment. The mouse is often an overlooked part of your workstation since it only serves the primary function of pointing and clicking. However, there are many things to consider when choosing a mouse because not only are high quality mice more accurate and durable, but many of their features can even improve your workflow or make your life easier in day to day use.
What To Look For
So if we’re going beyond the basic idea of pointing and clicking, what other types of features should we be looking for in a mouse? Depending on your profession and what you’re using your computer for, the answer to that question can vary. Other deciding factors like for how at a time you’ll be using the mouse can also change what type of mouse is ideal for you.
Ergonomics – The main deciding factor that you should always consider when looking for a mouse is ergonomics. This is particularly important if you are susceptible to hand conditions like carpal tunnel or other nerve related issues. When using a traditional mouse, your hand is resting in an unnatural position horizontally which slightly pinches the nerves in your hand running through your wrist. Prolonged exposure to this pinching can cause swelling and other symptoms of nerve related conditions which can have adverse effects on your ability to use your hands normally. Ergonomic mice are designed for your hand to rest on them at a more natural angle which allows you to use them for extended periods of time without risking injury.
Programmable Buttons – Another feature to look for when deciding on a mouse is programmable buttons. Most mice have your standard left click, right click, and middle click with scroll wheel. Even just one or two extra buttons on top of that can add a wide variety of versatility to your workflow. These buttons can perform actions that you perform often and if you have a mouse from a manufacturer such as Logitech or Razer, you can even apply macro commands to perform complex actions that can usually take multiple clicks or keypresses such as applying a formula in a spreadsheet or changing the format of text in a word document. These types of button appear most frequently in gaming mice but can be incredibly useful outside of gaming as well.
Sensitivity (DPI) – Although not as important of a factor, DPI (dots per inch), or sensitivity, can be a deciding factor in specific use cases. Similar to programmable buttons, DPI does matter a lot for gaming, but graphics, modeling, and any other precision focused work can really benefit from a mouse with good DPI control. A mouse’s sensitivity determines how much you need to physically move the mouse to move your cursor across your screen. In the case of graphical work, for large sweeping actions that just require covering a large area quickly, you want a higher DPI while detail work would require a lower DPI so that you have more control over the actions you perform. A majority of users will experience the most comfort using a DPI anywhere in the range of 800-2,000 DPI, most people being in the lower end of that range, while any DPI over 3,000 can tend to be overkill a lot of the time but that’s not to say there aren’t cases where extremely high DPIs aren’t helpful and the resolution of your screen also affects how your mouse operates at different DPI’s.
Wireless – As an added bonus, but not completely necessary, a mouse that offers wireless capability can contribute to the quality of life when operating your computer. Wireless mice usually connect to your computer through either a Bluetooth connection or with a wireless dongle that you plug into an available USB port. While much more convenient to use since you’re not dealing with a cable that can potentially tangle or get in the way, unless you’re using a good quality mouse such as a Logitech mouse with their Lightspeed technology, there is the risk of reliability issues with the connection to the computer intermittently cutting out to a complete disconnection. There’s also the issue of battery life and while many higher end wireless mice offer rechargeable batteries with long single charge use times, if you have a lower budget, you may have to keep some AA or AAA batteries handy in case you run out of juice.
The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse is a great budget option for an ergonomic mouse and offers a wireless Bluetooth dongle connection so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of wires. Your hand can rest at an angle that makes it easy to use for long periods of time and all of the buttons are easy to naturally reach without any discomfort. It comes with three preset DPI’s from 500 to 1,600 which will allow you to switch between high speed and high accuracy mouse use with ease and also has two side buttons which are not programmable, but are handy for moving forward and backward between pages if you’re browsing the internet. The best aspect of this mouse is the price, coming in at under $30, perfect if you’re working on a budget.
The Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse takes using an ergonomic mouse to the next level. Although it comes at a much higher price tag, closer to $100, there’s a reason why Logitech is one of the best manufacturers in the computer peripheral market. The MX Vertical is larger and feels much more full in hand compared to the Anker Wireless Vertical Mouse while still offering that natural rest position. You can take the DPI of the MX Vertical to the next level with a 4,000 DPI sensor meaning less movement overall required for your hand if you prefer to navigate that way. The MX Vertical takes advantage of Logitech’s GHub software to allow you to fine-tune the DPI of your mouse and also remap the programmable buttons to any button or macros you want. The battery is rechargeable and can stay powered for up to an amazing 4 months on a single charge.
The Razer Mamba Elite gaming mouse offers sensitivity up to an incredible 16,000 DPI allowing for very snappy movement if the situation calls for it. Although the Mamba Elite is a wired mouse, the high quality braided cable keeps it from tangling while offering high accuracy and performance. While made for gaming, the high sensitivity and 9 programmable buttons can prove very useful for work cases that require a lot of detail and with Razer’s Synapse software, you can create multiple profiles for your mouse to use different DPI’s and button mappings depending on what you’re doing. Coming in at $90, you’re getting a lot of mouse for a price that doesn’t quite break the bank.
Logitech G502 Lightspeed
The Logitech G502 Lightspeed gaming mouse is as balls to the wall it gets for gaming mice coming in at a whopping $150, but like the MX Vertical, there’s a reason why people keep buying Logitech mice. Like the Razer Mamba Elite, the G502 Lightspeed offers DPI’s up to 16,000 but the G502 uses Logitech’s 16K Hero Sensor for maximum accuracy and preciseness across their Lightspeed connection, one of the most reliable connection types on the market. With 11 programmable buttons, the G502 offers all the versatility you need in a mouse while keeping all the buttons in very natural and easy to reach positions. With a 60 hour battery life, you can get a ton of work or gaming in on a single charge and paired with Logitech G Powerplay Wireless charging Mouse Pad, your G502 will never need a cable plugged in again.
The Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced wireless mouse is the G502 Lightspeed’s workhorse cousin. While the G502 excels at a quality gaming experience, the MX Master 3 is designed for the premium workflow. The 70 hour battery life makes it no slouch when it comes to reliability and just charging for a single minute can get you 3 hours of use. The magspeed scroll wheels and intuitive placement of the programmable button make the MX Master 3 an amazing experience to use and has been the go to choice for professionals in many fields for many years. From graphics, to video editing, 3D modeling, and any other creative workflow, the MX Master 3 is designed with accuracy, ease of use, and reliability in mind.
Find The Perfect Mouse For You
There are many other mice besides the ones listed here that suit a wide variety of needs. The mouse has always been overlooked as an afterthought or simple accessory to the digital workflow but investing in the right peripheral can make an enormous difference in your quality of life and even your work output. Find more general mice here, or gaming mice if you want a mouse that can be used for both work and leisure, and even professionally focused mice to achieve that ultimate workflow.