A computer mouse is probably the most useful of all computer hardware devices making moving around your computer system a lot easier and more comfortable. In comparison to navigating using key shortcuts or your laptop’s touch pad, using a separate mouse increases efficiency and dexterity. If you need a new mouse and you aren’t yet sure which would be the best buy for your needs, read through this handy guide to buying the best computer mouse for your computer, laptop or tablet.

There are many different types of mouse. The most standard model today consists of two buttons: a right and a left click and a scroll wheel which sometimes you can click and it acts as a third button.

Get to know the different tracking methods

Razer Naga Molten mouseDifferent models of mice use various tracking methods that pick up the movement signals in a different way to translate the movement onto your computer system.

The ball tracking method is one which has derived from the original track wheel mouse and is not widely available anymore. These mechanical mice detect movement from a small rubber ball which triggers rollers as you navigate the mouse around the mouse pad. The sensitivity of movement is not as accurate as a digital, more advanced model. In comparison to their modern counterparts, they represent a poorer performance, hence why these are becoming less and less widely used. It is heavier and is susceptible to getting clogged with dirt or dust which can reduce performance.

Mice with optical tracking are much more commonly used by people today. This type of mouse uses an LED and a sensor to provide high-quality and precision tracking with every movement. These are also more compatible to use on a range of surfaces, unlike the ball tracking mice, although transparent surfaces should be avoided. Logitech produces a great range of optical mice, both wired and wireless, depending on your preferences. The Logitech V220 cordless optical mouse is a great example of this.

The most recent development in mouse tracking technology uses mice with laser tracking to detect mouse movement. It uses lasers instead of LEDs, giving the user top-level tracking and performance. Such precision makes this mouse perfect for shooting games and eradicating any frustration that your cursor is not doing what as it’s told! The Logitech M325 Wireless laser mouse is one example which has great performance and a bargain price, starting from around £18.

For those who do a lot of digital design and drawing on the computer such as creative designers or architects, a track ball mouse is often a good solution. This type of mouse has a red tracking ball and you navigate using only your finger and thumb. This mouse is ideal for increased accuracy and detail.

What is best: wired or cordless?

Mice are available in both wired and cordless models, and if you are wondering how wired mice can possibly have any advantage over a wireless mouse, then we can help you weigh up the pros and cons of both.

Like most Wi-Fi equipment and other cordless computer accessories, a wireless mouse has the advantage of eliminating tangled wires, it looks neater on your work station and are much more portable - very handy if you want to control your desktop computer from afar (somewhere comfier than sitting up at your desk) or great for laptops and tablets. Some wireless mice require batteries which can run out at the most inconvenient of times and it’s not great when you have the added cost of buying batteries every now and again. Newer models now have docking stations where you can charge the mouse whilst you are not using it. Wireless mice can either require a USB port receiver to pick up the signals and send them back to your computer, so this takes up one USB port, quite inconvenient if you have a limited number of ports.  Alternatively, you can buy Bluetooth mice which use the Bluetooth connectivity to send signals back to your computer.

Wired mice tend not to have any trouble with interference unlike wireless mice which can sometimes be caused by baby monitors, Wi-Fi internet signals, microwaves or other wireless controllers for game consoles. Plus, there is no need to worry about battery replacement. If you are looking to save a few pennies, then consider buying a keyboard and mouse bundle, you can make some brilliant savings.

Matters to consider when deciding which mouse to buy

Ergonomic mouseAlways buy a mouse that fits comfortably in your hand. A tiny mouse can be challenging to use, whilst a larger one can feel awkward in your hand.  Also, something you should remember is that a typical mouse is geared and designed for right-handed people, thus making it a bit inconvenient for left-handers although there are mice for left-handed people. There are hundreds of ergonomic mice available that have angled buttons or bodies that are sculpted to match the natural contours of your hand. 3M and Evoluent are both specialise in producing ergonomically designed mice which can prevent repetitive strain injuries and make working for long periods using a mouse more comfortable.

The mouse sensitivity might also be an important factor. A mouse with a high DPI count (dots per inch) will be very sensitive, so the slightest movement can send the cursor shooting across the screen which could get annoying. For regular mouse usage you should look for a DPI count of about 800-100. However, if you are a graphic designer or gaming buff then a mouse with a higher sensitivity may be perfect. Look for a 1600 DPI mouse and it gives you superior control and precision.

Price Range

You can buy a replacement mouse online for as little as £5 for a basic, wired model. A top of the range mouse can set you back more than £300 for some models, such as the 3DConnexion SpaceExplorer mouse, which even has an LDC workflow display on the mouse itself! But that is the ultimate professional 3D mouse, most suitable for engineers. If you are looking for something attractive or even something fun, then there are some brilliant novelty mice available on Kelkoo for under £10. How about a football-shaped mouse, a leopard print mouse or even one which looks just like a Land Rover? Whatever your tastes or needs, there is a mouse perfect for your PC set up available on Kelkoo.