20 Tips for Buying a High-Quality Computer Mouse
The humble mouse forms the basis for our most enjoyable computing experiences. Despite this, users of all kinds take these miniature movers for granted. Select the wrong mouse, and it becomes abundantly clear how important they are for not only gaming control but also for delivering general workplace productivity.
While a cheap, simple mouse can technically get the job done, a fully decked-out unit loaded with buttons and features will definitely amp up the experience. To that end, you will want to watch for these essentials as you shop for your next computer mouse:
1. Ergonomics and Comfort
No mouse, no matter how advanced, will get the job done if it's not comfortable to use. To that end, some ergonomic models feature funky shapes designed for maximum comfort. Other units rely on special materials that allow for a better grip. If possible, try before buying to determine if a particular mouse is comfortable enough for regular use.
2. Sensitivity and DPI
DPI (dots per inch) measures how far and how fast the mouse pointer travels across the screen. The higher the DPI, the quicker the movements. While a higher DPI is great for gamers looking for fast-twitch movement in a competitive game, some users require a slower, more precise experience. A mouse with adjustable DPI settings is always worth the investment.
3. Wired vs. Wireless Mouse
Personal preferences should be top of mind for the wired vs wireless debate. There are distinct positives and negatives for each option. A wired mouse, for example, never needs new batteries and can always be firmly connected to the computer. That being said, limited mobility may be an issue for some. On the other hand, a wireless mouse is portable and dynamic but also prone to sudden battery life issues or poor Bluetooth connections.
4. Sensor Technology
The modern computer mouse will typically fall into one of two categories: optical or laser. While both types technically use lasers to sense their location, each functions a bit differently. An optical mouse is better used along with a mouse pad, while laser models get the job done on pretty much any surface. Optical mice are more affordable than their laser counterparts, which may give them a leg up for some consumers.
5. Buttons and Customization
Brands like Razer specialize in wireless gaming solutions that are loaded with buttons and switches. While these are fantastic for PC gamers who crave more control, these models really aren’t necessary for other users. Artists, graphic designers, and everyday professionals may prefer trusted brands such as Logitech — a clear leader in computer peripherals.
6. Scroll Wheel
The simple scroll wheel can accomplish a lot if given the chance. It can serve as an additional right-click, turn the cursor into a multi-directional pointer, and even act as a trackball in some high-end units. A good mouse should possess a dynamic scroll wheel that can put added functionality at the user's fingertips.
7. Build Quality and Durability
Any device that is used every day must be able to stand up to abuse. This reality begs the question: how can shoppers know if the Bluetooth mouse they want will still be working years from now? Reviews are a good place to start. Keep in mind that trusted brands like Logitech have a reputation for building devices that last.
Remember to evaluate the warranty options offered by not only the manufacturer but also the retailer selling the product, as these could play into the decision-making process. Another necessity? Marking each model with high-quality MightySkins mouse skins or wraps can provide valuable protection while offering a dose of personalization.
8. Brand Reputation
Tech companies like Apple and Microsoft live off their reputation, so it’s only natural that peripheral manufacturers should as well. Brands such as Razer and Logitech serve as the titans in the gaming mouse world, so be wary when considering a device from other companies.
9. Budget Considerations
While some PC gaming fans have a seemingly endless budget for peripherals, others aren’t so fortunate. Sometimes, a bargain price outweighs all other considerations. Thankfully, there are dozens of options available for shoppers on any kind of budget.
10. Gaming vs. Productivity Mice
Gamers require programmable buttons, low latency, and high DPI settings for the ultimate in control and performance. For office workers, however, less is sometimes more. When in doubt, look for a mouse that can be paired to multiple devices via Bluetooth. Consider how many extra buttons or customizable macros are needed before making any final decision.
11. Size and Weight
Small hands call for a mouse that is lightweight and nimble. On the opposite side of the spectrum, heavy-handed operators will want a mouse that feels sturdy. Some models feature removable weights that can be used to tailor the experience to the user’s liking. This is a nice touch for consumers who require more tactile feedback and weight.
12. Connectivity Options
Wired models rely on standard USB connections, but wireless devices run the gamut from Bluetooth to USB-A to USB-C and beyond. Keep these connectivity issues in mind, as a poor connection can ruin an otherwise great experience.
13. Surface Compatibility
As mentioned earlier, optical mice have a hard time with reflective surfaces such as glass. As such, a laser mouse is a must for operating a mouse on a glass desk. This is also a reliable option for any surface lacking a mousepad.
14. Noise Level
It is possible for a seemingly quiet mouse to make a lot of noise. Gaming models, in particular, tend to get clicky with their customizable buttons. This common concern can be investigated via user reviews on Amazon — or with a good in-store test drive.
15. Extra Features
It’s fun to check out customizable RGB lighting and removable weights, but not all users require these premium add-ons. Thankfully, with so many different mouse models available, it’s relatively easy to find one with the perfect suite of features.
16. Sensor Acceleration
Graphic designers and gamers will want to familiarize themselves with the sensor acceleration rate of every possible mouse. Sensor acceleration reveals how quickly the mouse pointer accelerates without shaking or otherwise going “off track.” It’s not something that most mouse users will care about — but for those who do, a high-level mouse with adjustable acceleration settings is a must.
17. Test Before Buying
While it’s easy to buy a new mouse on Amazon or elsewhere online, it’s highly recommended to test any new mouse purchase out in-store first. Retailers such as Best Buy and Micro Center stock the best models for both gaming and productivity. These locations should have test units available for discerning customers to try out.
Operating system compatibility is an often overlooked aspect of mouse shopping. Consumers take for granted that the mouse of their choice will work on Apple’s platform or Microsoft’s Windows OS. This isn't always the case, so it's advisable to check which operating systems are compatible with the device before making a new mouse purchase.
19. Final Decision and Maintenance
Once all key factors have been considered — and an informed purchasing decision has been made — a few additional steps must be followed. Routine mouse maintenance, cleaning, and warranties must all be considered. If they're not, you might need to go mouse shopping again.
20. Purchase Mouse Skins
Are you ready to level up your gaming or office mouse? Don't forget to deck it out with a mouse skin or wrap from MightySkins. We offer a variety of designs, along with the opportunity to flex your DIY muscles via the Create Your Own page. Browse our options online or learn more about what we do.