You’ve done your research. You knew what you are looking for based on what you’ll use the mouse for. You’ve decided between a wireless mouse or a wired one. You’ve considered the dimension and the size. And of course, you’ve chosen the right shape and color for you (or maybe overlooked them because you decided they’re the last things to worry about). So now you might ask, can I proceed to the counter now? You can. If those are the only things you want to cover. Wait, there’s more? Yes. More specific criteria that is.
Mouse, like other parts of your computer, is still a machine. It has its technical and mechanical aspects. And if you are more on the picky side, then you might appreciate this article.
Sensors. The sensor type will depend on the manufacturer of the mouse.
From Razer’s “Dual Sensors” to Microsoft’s “BlueTrack” and Logitech’s “Darkfield,” advanced sensors offer a lot. On the gaming side of things, most companies offer calibration for different surfaces, insanely high DPI (covered later in this guide) and improved precision. And for the always-on-the-go office worker, some mice offer to work for you even on shiny surfaces like glass, marble and more.
The positioning of the sensors is also crucial. The sensors must be positioned in the center of the mouse.
The off-center sensor, however, resulted in extremely poor accuracy when making sharp flicks to the left or right.
Unless you are using your mouse for casual browsing only, do watch out for sensor placement. Look for a photo of the bottom of the mouse before your purchase. If the sensor is positioned too far from the center of the mouse – stay away!
Buttons. The different types and placements are vital as well. Again, it comes down to what you’ll use the mouse for.
Depending on how you use your mouse, you may need to consider the types of buttons and switches used. For late night web surfing or a busy office, you may want to consider a silent mouse. But for gaming or anything else where you really want to feel your clicks, you may want a mouse with more tactile feedback.
Aside from the feel of the buttons, there’s also the question of how many buttons you need. Some will be more than happy with a three button mouse (left, middle and right). Others… well, let’s just say they can never get enough.
Some advice when buying a mouse with more than three buttons is to make sure every button is easily within reach. If it takes you a few seconds to re-position your hand, it’s probably faster to use a keyboard shortcut instead. This will also have to do a lot with the size of the mouse and the way you hold it.
Like your gram is curated for you, a mouse should know what you need at the moment. Here’s when DPI and On-The-Fly Profiles come in.
People are smart – they change their behavior, attitude and looks based on different social situations. So why shouldn’t mice do the same with apps and games? Higher end mice (most notably gaming ones) often come with programmable profiles.
The term DPI (dots per inch) refers to how sensitive the mouse is to movement. Although this is a feature most praised by gamers, on-the-fly DPI has many more perks. For instance, you can use a low DPI when doing high-precision work, and high DPI when wanting to navigate quickly between multiple high-resolution monitors.
The mouse’s software can be the cherry on the cake.
Having lots of buttons and features on your mouse is great unless customizing them feels awkward and nonuser friendly. The software is often overlooked when buying a mouse since it’s not a physical property of the mouse. But with manufacturers like Steelseries adding features like customizable lift distance to the software or even their most baseline models, it’s worth recognizing software as an important part of a good mouse.
And last but not least, the price of the mouse based on how it works.
The idea is simple – only spend the money if it’s worth it. If a temporary replacement is all you’re after, or you’re chasing budget solutions, then obviously there is no reason to go for a more expensive mouse.
The same goes for finding the best mouse in the high-end price range. For every piece of gear I’ve purchased where I’ve tried to cut the costs, I’ve usually ended up being disappointed. Sometimes you need to save up just a little bit more money to get exactly what you want. In the long run, it’s all worth it.