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Input Devices

The Best Computer Mice In Every Category 246

ThinSkin writes "Now that the folks at ExtremeTech have finished writing about the best keyboards for every occasion, they conclude their roundup of input devices with the best computer mice in every category, which includes ergonomic mice, gaming mice, notebook mice, and so on. While this year's crop of gaming mice didn't impress much, there were advancements in non-gaming mice and tracking, as demonstrated by Microsoft's Explorer Mouse with BlueTrack technology — which is considered more precise than optical and laser. Even ergonomic mice saw little growth in the year — prompting the reviewer to rely on the older Zero Tension Mouse as a favorite."
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The Best Computer Mice In Every Category

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  • by jameskojiro ( 705701 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:26PM (#26281883) Journal

    For all of us who buy in the bargain bins of your favorite computer retailer.

    Which mouse under $10 is the best mouse?

    Which mouse under $20 is the best mouse?

    Which mouse under $30 is the best mouse?

    This is what most of us who are cheapskates really want to know.

  • Weasel words (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:27PM (#26281903)

    Microsoft's Explorer Mouse with BlueTrack technology--which is considered more precise than optical and laser.

    If you don't actually know whether it is more precise (and I guess if you did know then you would have come straight out and said it) then at least give us some clues as to WHO it is who "considers" it to be more precise. The people selling them? An independent study? Some guy you met on the bus? Without that rather fundamental detail, the statement is completely worthless.

  • Software (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Al Dimond ( 792444 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:38PM (#26282051) Journal

    It's amusing that these guys seem to count slick mouse software as a plus. I bet most of us would rather have a mouse that doesn't need any additional software. Wireless devices don't make any sense to me either, unless you're talking about a media PC. Isn't a mouse/KB that can run out of batteries just additional complication with no benefit? And isn't a charging pad a waste of desk space?

  • Re:TrackPoint (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:42PM (#26282095)
    I disagree in that I like the precision of my mouse. I've used pointing sticks before, and I prefer a trackpad if I'm going mouse-less. However, if I've got the room for it I'll take a mouse every time.

    The biggest problem with articles like this is that there's a very wide range of tastes when it comes to input devices. I prefer a simple, wide and long [] mouse for my uses. If given the choice between the linked mouse and a wireless, decked out, beautiful logitech laser mouse that costs hundreds of dollars, I'd take the simple one every time.
  • by marmoute ( 1400855 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:52PM (#26282215)

    Coordless offer a pleasant versatility in particular when you work with someone else on the same computer or if you use a laptop. I use a cordless one for my laptop and I really don't miss those annoying cables. But cord mice are usually lighter than cordless which need they battery included. Because of this weight difference I prefer good old cordful mice for pure desktop machine.

    Additional but lesser arguments again using cord everywhere are than you need to pay the additional circuit plus to recharge and recycle additional battery.

  • by Mycroft_514 ( 701676 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:06PM (#26282435) Journal

    I still have a functioning CH Products trackball at home. Still works after 15+ YEARS as a tool. Sure, I had to open it up and clean it inside a couple of times, but I have to do that more often with mice at work, so that shouldn't matter. I also had to get a PS/2 to USB convertor for the one I have (cheaper then buying a new trackball).

  • Re:Software (Score:1, Insightful)

    by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:09PM (#26282477) Homepage

    I guess they considered software as part of the functionality? I was astonished recently switching from a Kensington mouse (buttons wore out in just a year or two, how can they not have long lasting buttons in this day and age?) to Logitech, the latter's software was nearly 50 MB and doesn't even offer an ability to constrain movement to one axis.

    But I am SO glad to use wireless, even though my mouse never moves more than a few inches from the receiver. Having used wired mice for over twenty years now, the way the wire can get hung up, cause drag, need pulling/management, or otherwise interfere with simple movements, seemingly always (of course) at the most inopportune times (trying to precisely trace an outline of a drawing).

    (I remember there was even a product sold to try to help with that problem, a mousepad with vertical "fork" to raise the wire up into the clear...)

    It's no big deal to swap out a pair of rechargeable batteries every few months and drop the former in the charger.

    So for some, the benefit is huge.

  • Re:Software (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:19PM (#26282601)

    I have a wired mouse and keyboard and I would love to upgrade to wireless.

    However, since most of the 'acceptable' mice and keyboards I've found either have no wireless counterpart or their wireless version has custom battery packs instead of a spot for rechargable AA's. So I'm still wired.

    Wireless means I no longer get frustrated by having a long FPS session interupted by the mouse wire getting caught on something and I'm suddenly trying to jerk it loose instead of aiming.

    Wireless means I'm that much closer to having a computer desk that doesn't look like Chthulu and a mutated octopus have crawled behind it and are attempting to swap spit.

    Wireless means that I can actually move the keyboard and the mouse around based on where it would be convienent and comfortable to place them as oppose to "where their wires aren't in the way".

    There are plenty of reasons to go wireless, I'm just not interested in doing it in a way that ensures that I have to take a step down in quality or that I have to keep buying new equipment every year to replace the ones with dead batteries.

  • Finger 1.0 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SrWebDeveloper ( 1419361 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:56PM (#26283163)
    The whole concept of a mouse driven GUI has lost its appeal and significance over time. The touch screen, meaning the ability for users to interact directly with a display and objects embedded within that display, is the next technological leap. Many such devices exist now, we see the intelligent sensitivity of the classic iPhone and other PDA's were no stylus is involved. It's just the desktop computer and high definition screens need to evolve and be priced accordingly so it becomes commonplace.

    After Finger 10.5 we might see screens picking up retinal and eyeball movement, hand motions and gestures without gloves, wires or hookups of any type that allows a user to interact with their desktop displays much like the primitive but highly popular Wii interface allows right now.

    The future looks bright for dynamic, kinetic based desktop GUIs. And some of us older folks might see our beloved mice behind the glass at the Smithsonian along with all the other deprecated computer interfaces that lived and died over a whirlwind of fast moving generations.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:02PM (#26283257)

    is also the best product Microsoft have ever made: the Intellimouse Optical.


    * optical (duh)
    * scrollwheel
    * large side buttons
    * symmetrical design
    * no funny drivers needed

  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:02PM (#26283261)

    Who spends $80 to $100 on a mouse? Is there honestly that much "value" going into it, regardless how fancy it is? I'm calling bullshit. Geeks need to reign in their enthusiasm and just say "no" once in while to ridiculous pricing; greedy pricing only works if we're stupid enough to agree to it.

  • by rainmayun ( 842754 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @04:09PM (#26284231)
    I don't know about you, but I sit at a computer 8 to 12 hours a day, and my mouse is in my hand a lot of that time. It arguably makes more sense for me to choose wisely and spend the money (where it makes sense) on a mouse than on a cell phone, which I probably use about 30 minutes a day. But I don't see anyone complaining that $80-100 is overpriced for a cell phone.
  • backups (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:35AM (#26290873) Homepage Journal

    Well, I don't live on a ship, but I do live on the largest commercial farm in this whole area (it's not mine but I am the oldest employee here). We have automatic start and run large diesel generators to operate the farm itself, three of them needed. Those are computer controlled and have redundant wireless and hard wired controls that coordinate that with the climate control systems in the various buildings and broiler houses and the main feed from the electrical grid. They have their own bulk tanks and the farm itself has a separate diesel bulk tank in the thousands of gallons size for all our equipment, which runs from the smallest diesel tractor at 24 horse up to multiple crawlers at over 100 tons apiece, and large trackhoes and pans, etc. We have three 60,000 gallon propane tanks for the heat, and all the residences have 500 gallon tanks. I am the only residence with an additional woodstove though, and I put up around 4 cords a year. I grew up up north but live in georgia now, we don't get those "lost in the blizzards" type of snow, but I sure have seen it before. I also have two smaller gas generators myself and a small solar array with battery bank and an additional windcharger. Oh, we also have a decent enough airport here on the property with full hangar space enough for a couple dozen planes and maintenance/machine shop facilities, roughly equivalent to a normal small size county airport, albeit it is only a grass strip, no jets, but it takes twin engine planes fine.

    I was just commenting on Taco's remorse at having to sit in the cold with no juice, that's all, because there's no need for that really, not today with so many options out there, enough to fit most any reasonable budget. Waiting for the crisis to hit and *then* thinking about it (especially in Mich with lake effect snow and ice storms being so very common) doesn't work, you have to build out your redundant infrastructure in advance of an emergency.

    My reply was more responding to the relative cheapness of having something for people to use for when their main supplies of energy got disrupted, and noting that in the tech geek community that data backups are a good idea and accepted, but it falls off fast for additional types of backup, but I was encouraged on the followup thread considerable with all the interest and the people who had gone that route of eneregy backups.. You can get a nice automatic start exterior permanent mounted propane generator for under two thousand dollars now and maybe 500 bucks to have it professionally installed to comply with codes and safety, etc, at the 7kw level, which is good enough to run the basic stuff people need, although perhaps not everything, but "enough". I'd say something like that is affordable for most folks in the "middle class" range if they own their own homwe anyway (or a natural gas model, although I prefer propane, it stores well onsite and isn't reliant on exterior delivery as much as natgas is) and even a smaller portable gasoline unit at well under $1,000 is still good enough to work, as evidenced by all the anecdotal in the follow up post he did asking about home generators and so on.

    As to doing without and so on, I did a stretch of over five years in my young man days living totally feral way the heck back in the moose and bears woods with no electricity or anything of that sort (I had one flashlight and one battery operated radio to be fair about that), grew/harvested most or all of my own food as well, etc. I'm a bit more comfortable now but we still grow over half our food here (veggies, fruits, our own grassfed beef and my personal flock of chickens and ducks)

    I've been into survivalism/preparedness for a long time now, mostly since I went through a big blizzard in 67 that closed everything down for two weeks. 48 inches in 24 hours then drifts, right over the top of our two story home. It was medium big, hehe. (I still have some super 8 movies of it, including getting shots of an *arctic owl* that showed up in the backyard, that was cool..). It mad

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