Systembuilder: Of mice and mice – Keyboards & Mice – How To

It might be the humblest of the peripherals, but the mouse deserves more thought than many people give it. Here are some points to consider for your next mouse

What makes a good mouse? To be honest there isn’t a simple answer to that question, and depending on your wants and needs, the answer may be very different from everyone else’s. We’ll look at just some of the aspects you’ll need to consider when picking the right mouse.


The Driver:

The first thing to decide when looking for a new mouse is what optical engine best suits your needs. Optical mice use an LED light in order to track movement, while Laser mice use a far more precise laser driver.

LED optical mice are usually cheaper to produce, and given their low DPI (dots per inch) means movement isn’t as fast or jumpy as high DPI laser mice, and the user can often feel like they have greater control due to needing to move the mouse larger distances on your desk in order to manoeuvre the mouse pointer. Your average Optical mouse will typically range from 400 to
800 DPI.

People using a laser mouse will notice the rapid and often jerky movements that the high DPI (often over 2000) can bring. This means users need only move the mouse a very small distance on their desk in order to see rather dramatic movement in their mouse pointer. For example, when comparing a relatively common 2400DPI laser mouse with a conventional 400DPI optical mouse; the user of the optical mouse needs to move their mouse six times further across the desk in order to see the same movement on their screen as the laser user.

What all of this means is the optical mouse, despite being a lower DPI, is actually a better choice for users seeking high accuracy – such as graphic designers, and even a lot of gamers. While high DPI is reserved almost exclusively for “twitch” style gaming, where users try to react, aim and interact with their games as rapidly as possible. It’s hard to master, and often people will end up lowering their DPI on gaming laser mice to a setting that better suits their preferences.

For this reason many people believe that a good laser mouse is the way to go, as you can simply adjust the DPI as you see fit. Laser mice have superior tracking and can work on a large variety of surfaces, even polished and even transparent ones. LED optical mice don’t fare so well in this regard, and therefore should only be used when cost is a consideration, and you know you are using a flat, non-reflective surface.


The Grip:

Many gamers are now paying attention to the grip styles different players are starting to adopt. Yes, certain grips seem to suit different players better, but there is also a need to find a mouse that suits your grip for everyday use.

If you have large hands, you want to make sure you have a mouse that fills your palm, and allows you to rest your wrist and hand in a fairly neutral position. You don’t want to be “claw” gripping your mouse all day, and you certainly don’t want constantly elevated wrists.

Users with smaller hands may find extra comfort in a flatter design, as large mice can often force an uncomfortable grip, elevated wrists and general discomfort after hours of continued use. Essentially, you want to find a mouse that allows a natural grip with minimal wrist movement or displacement.

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