12 of the best... mice
Round-up Mice are probably the most common peripheral in the computing world and any old one should perform the basic function required of it with a reasonable degree of competency. But which is the best? Which takes the concept of the mouse just that little bit further and pushes the proverbial envelope? Which indulges in a spot blue cheese thinking? Which sticks its tongue out at convention? Which is just plain cool? Or odd? To find out Reg Hardware has got hold of half a pound of metaphorical cheddar and is away behind the technical skirting board to track down a dozen of the best in the great mouse hunt.
3Dconnexion Space Navigator
The Space Navigator is not actually a mouse, but rather a 3D navigation aid aimed at artists, designers and folk who spend a lot of time nose-to-nose with CAD software. Admittedly, it should be used in conjunction with a conventional mouse; the idea being the right hand uses a mouse for mousy stuff, while the left operates the Space Navigator to manipulate images and models in 3D. The half kilogram device – it needs to be heavy so it stays put when you pull 'up' on the controller – comes with a very comprehensive set-up wizard so you can optimise it to your personal needs and tastes. It works with over 100 programmes including Google World, SketchUp and Photoshop and, while it takes some getting used to, after a little practice you will zipping around the globe and spinning your models with gay abandon and wondering how you ever got by without one. Fortunately, 3Dconnexion supply drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux.
MoGo Mouse X54 Pro Bluetooth Mouse
The MoGo's ace in the hole is that it lives and charges in your laptop's ExpressCard/54 slot. When in the slot barely 3mm of the mouse protrudes so you can leave it there without fear of damaging it or your laptop. Connection is via Bluetooth so once paired all you have to do is pull it out of the slot, fold down the rear support and you are good to go. For something so slim the MoGo proved remarkably easy and comfortable to use even over lengthy periods of time. The Pro doubles up as a presenter controller complete with built-in laser pointer but is also available in a media optimised version with the Pro's presenter controls replaced by basic media buttons that will run iTunes, WMP and other popular media players. A full charge will keep the MoGo running for around 8 hours, which isn't at all bad, nor is the 30 minute charge time.
Next page: Logitech TrackMan Wheel
Five buttons on a Mac
I've got a five-button Microsoft mouse connected to my Mac and all five buttons work without hassle. I've assigned the extra three buttons to activate Exposé - it's the future!
Also, "Window's users"?
Euroffice sell 3M mouse for 30 quid!
I got one of the 3M joystick-like mice today. I hurt my wrist ages ago and it still gets sore on the odd occassion, so a RSI-reducing mouse like this is a Godsend.
First impressions? I thought "WTF!" on first using it, I couldn't select anything, errant clicks, there's no mousewheel button, and it tended to move itself now and again (my hasty wiring) but after an hour or 2 let me tell you I think it's going to be the best mouse I ever had. FOR WORK.
Don't buy it for games or pixel art, there's no way in hell this is accurate enough for pixel-perfect shooting or Paint.NET/GIMP etc (then again, maybe in a month I'll be a ninja with the mouse and I'll regret saying it, but tbh I can't see how you can get perfect lateral movement with this guy due to the way you hold it)
But if you spend 8 hours a day in an office typing and working with the mouse most of the time, like me (lots of Visual Studio windows to swap through) then I would recommend this bad boy.
PS: it also looks extremely cool. My wife likes it! (the mouse I mean.)
What happened to Logitech G9??
My favourite, it turned out that gamer mice solved my RSI problems... :)
The G5 is fantastic, especially when combined with a good pad. The biggest advantage for me over the MX mice is the non-teflon feet which are still gliding perfectly after two years of use. There are 3 possible dpi switch levels controlled by a button above the scroll wheel, but they're programmable with SetPoint, as is the sensitivity on each axis. The scroll wheel has nice subtle notching, not stupidly heavy clicks on it, but nice gentle scrolling that lets you know when you hit the next notch. This makes it difficult for me to use the middle button but I've always found that difficult since they started putting scroll wheels on them. Other than that, the rock function of the scroll wheel (you can move it left and right to move pages left and right) is a welcome addition, and if you're into gaming and can be arsed spending a little time on it, the weighting system can actually make a difference. Mine's a little tuned, but to be honest, I just set it up to be the same weight as my MX500 was and went from there. Buttons still click perfectly after a couple years use, and it's also incredibly comfy.
Mogo point of order
The MOGO is an excellent mouse, but mine has started acting up. The left mouse button has semi died and is almost unusable. The cause? Gaming. I have taken the mouse around-the-world with me, through jungles, across deserts and the only thing that damaged it was playing Mount & Blade in the evenings!