Microsoft Explorer Wireless Mouse
The daddy of conventional mice that comes with something called BlueTrack that enables it function on just about any surface irrespective of texture, colour or albedo. Whatever the science behind BlueTrack's blue laser, it works. We tried in on a shiny white desktop that usually puts the kibosh on any laser mouse and it performed faultlessly. Power comes from a rechargeable AA battery, which can be replaced by a normal cell if circumstances dictate and you get two programmable function buttons. Though of no practical use, the base glows a lovely blue when you turn it on. In fact, we rather wish we could have had the blue glow on all the time, reduced battery life not withstanding. The scroll wheel could do with standing a little more proud of the device in order to make moving left and right across documents easier and the USB dongle doesn't lie flush when clipped into the underside of the mouse for storage – and that's the only way of turning the mouse off – but, ultimately, these are peripheral grumblings. Microsoft also supplies a mains charger, so you can top up the battery without having to turn your computer on.
Gyration E3900 Air Mouse
Appearing as a conventional wireless mouse, the Air actually lets you navigate by waving it around in the air like Micky Mouse's wand in the famous bit from Fantasia. A hold down trigger on the bottom of the mouse activates the 'In-Air' function – release the trigger and the Air reverts to being a normal wireless laser mouse. Using the Air does require some practice but once you have developed the knack of keeping your arm still and letting your wrist do the work, it becomes very easy to move the cursor quickly and position it accurately even on an small 8.9” netbook screen. For Window's users, numerous individual profiles interpreting different sets of shake and swipe gestures can be configured as commands to initiate literally dozens of actions including launching a specific file, opening a virtual keyboard or managing Windows Media Centre. Kick back in your armchair and use the Air with a media PC running on your wide screen telly and you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
Next page: Kensington SlimBlade Trackball
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!