Mouse Buying Mini Guide

Mouse Buying Mini Guide


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Alongside your keyboard, the mouse is the primary way that you interact with your computer. Superficially one would say that any mouse will get the job done, but there are in fact a wide variety of options available, so it’s worth having a think about what would suit you best.

Wireless mice are great for having an uncluttered workspace with no cords to tangle with anything else… until they run out of battery just as you’re racing for a deadline. If you choose a wireless mouse, make sure you have plenty of batteries to hand or choose one that has its own recharging dock. Some wireless mice also have an on/off switch to save power. A wireless mouse also needs a receiver attached to your computer, either a standard receiver or a nano one. Nano receivers are more expensive but will allow you to fit your laptop in its case without having to remove it, decreasing the chances of losing it.

The quality of mouse tracking is measured in dots per inch (DPI). An optical mouse tracks between 400 and 800 DPI, and a laser mouse at 2000 DPI+. It may seem tempting to go for the higher number, but in fact unless you’re a keen gamer or graphic designer, you don’t really need that sensitivity.

When choosing a mouse, you really need one that fits your hand and wrist well, preventing repetitive strain injuries. Unfortunately, you won’t really know if it suits you until you’ve been using it for some time. Do try and experiment with your potential purchase in person beforehand, either in a computer store or by borrowing one from a friend or colleague.

Size is another option to consider: mice frequently are available in regular or travel size. To be honest, the space-saving of a travel-size mouse is minimal, but they are worth considering if you have smaller hands or limited storage space.

Finally, you might want to consider a mouse with programmable buttons on the side that can be set to perform a particular task, e.g. to activate the back button on your browser. If you have specific actions in your work or gaming that you frequently repeat, this can be a very useful feature.