Help me find my ideal micro mouse.
July 30, 2009 7:30 AM   Subscribe

I like small mice and I cannot lie... Help me find the ideal mini mouse for my laptop. (WARNING: Mouse geekery contained within!)

(Egads, I wrote a ton on this! The important part is the list if you don't want to read my insane mouse ramblings...)

I've been going through a variety of laptop mice over the years, but have recently settled upon this cheap tchotchke from a 2006 conference as my surprising favorite. I've had very mild hand problems over the years and generally prefer the way smaller mice feel in my hand. Attributes specific to this model that I enjoy - it's light and maneuverable, and while the optical sensor is a bit picky, the wheel and mouse buttons are rather stiff, which I love.

Or loved, since I plugged it in this morning and while the sensor lights up, the cursor refuses to move (verified on two computers). Since I liked it so much, I'd like to replace it with something similar. - I wouldn't mind "upgrading" if that's a possibility, or picking up the same one if I can find someplace where I'm not buying 25 of them.

Key attributes, in order of importance:
- something the size of the Tomax mouse
- awesome surface-fu (great optical tracking abilities)
- as close as possible, the attributes I mentioned (small, light, stiff buttons/wheel)
- wireless is a plus, but not required - I realize the battery will weigh the mouse down. Bluetooth would be awesome, but I don't care about it that much.
- cost is not an issue, as I don't mind spending money on something I'll use nearly every day (over $100 would give me pause, but I'd likely still buy if it matches the other criteria)

As an example of something I'm not a huge fan of, I also have a Logitech V470 - it's a bluetooth laptop travel mouse that works well with my MacBook Pro. The main thing is it just feels too large and heavy compared to the mouse, but the buttons are more easier to click as well, which I don't like as much. The wheel is fine, though.

So, now that I've written a small treatise - any suggestions on mice I might like, or leads on where to buy the TOMAX one without getting a caseload? Any assistance appreciated!
posted by agentmunroe to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been working on a laptop for someone and they have this tiny Targus branded mouse that looks pretty much exactly like your linked Tomax, only with a different outer shell. It's about 3 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. It's so tiny and it makes me feel like a giant when I've been using it and then put my hand on my full-sized MX400. Here's a Google Shopping serch on the Targus model number:
posted by Liver at 7:42 AM on July 30, 2009

Try a Microsoft Notebook Optical Mouse, or the one we have - a Microsoft Compact Optical mouse. Both are fantastic. I linked to a different page than Microsoft for the latter device because MS have apparently changed the design of the Compact Optical so that it has buttons that aren't separated from the main body of the mouse. Check out model 1016 versus the actual MS page for the mouse to see the difference in the buttons, you'll see what I mean.
posted by cyniczny at 8:33 AM on July 30, 2009

Best answer: The Targus mouse looks exactly like your Tomax one---I've used one. Personally, I prefer the Logitech Nano VX which is very similar size, but wireless.
posted by bonehead at 8:50 AM on July 30, 2009

Response by poster: Hrm, interesting - I'll have to check out the Nano VX (on sale at Best Buy this week for $40) - it's somewhat larger, but I like the fact that it has the back/forward buttons; I always find myself missing those - and it's smaller than the V470, which is a plus.

The pictures of the Targus model actually vary depending on which vendor you look at, but at least some of them show the model that looks like the Tomax - I'll definitely keep that in mind if I wind up trying to track down an identical mouse.

Keep 'em coming though - I love seeing what's out there.
posted by agentmunroe at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2009

One really nive thing about Logitech right now: their wireless receiver is incredibly small. The MS ones are noticably larger and I'm always catching things on them. The only exception is the MS Arcmouse (of which I have two), which is also a really cool device.

Also, I've never had much luck with Bluetooth peripherals, mice or keyboards. There's always a lag when you start to use them and seting them up can be a massive, massive pain. In contrast, "regular" wireless mice and keyboards, from either Logitech or Microsoft (or whomever) are completely painless to use: plug and go.

(Hi, I'm bonehead and I'm peripheral-o-holic).
posted by bonehead at 9:17 AM on July 30, 2009

The Revolution series mice are the most amazing mice I've ever encountered. I got one for work and then immediately bought one for home. There is a logitech VX Revolution, which is the notebook mouse with the same featureset as the MX. I can't stand tiny mice though, so I go MX.

Seriously, I'm in love with this mouse. It has absolutely improved my productivity beyond measure.
posted by TomMelee at 9:27 AM on July 30, 2009

Response by poster: TomMelee, I actually have a MX Revolution, and I'm sorry to say that while I liked it at first I've grown to be completely turned off by it. I think it contributed to my last bout of hand pain, and the scroll wheel never worked as well as I hoped it would. I got it for real cheap on Woot, though, so it's not like I was out all that much.

And bonehead, you're not along with peripheral-o-holic-ness. If I counted how many keyboards and mice I bought over the years... that's part of why I was so surprised I liked the cheapo Tomax mouse as much as I did, for some reason it just completely worked for me more than something fancier did. The lag on the V470 never bothered me much, and I appreciated the lack of receiver, but Logitech's new tiny receivers are fine as well.

I will say I'm a bit surprised by the Logitech G5 mouse that a coworker lent me; while it's a bit large, I'm finding it surprisingly comfy. Not sure whether or not I want one permanently, but I'm enjoying it far more than I thought I would.
posted by agentmunroe at 9:45 AM on July 30, 2009

Fair enough. The thing that I really like about it is that it forces me, FORCES me, to assume an ergonomically correct handling position on the mouse...keeping my wrist and hand almost in a straight line with my arm, none of that seed-sprinkling-bending that most mice force you to do.

Are you using a forearm/wrist support for your mousing surface?
posted by TomMelee at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2009

Best answer: I'll second the VX Nano. The USB wireless receiver is vanishingly small, the optical tracking is excellent, and the overall build quality is top-notch.
posted by Galvatron at 6:15 PM on July 30, 2009

Response by poster: TomMelee, I absolutely know what you're saying about it forcing you to hold your hand in a certain way, and all I can say is that that way did not feel right for my hands. Generally I've found I prefer a mouse that's low profile and that I can just rest my hand on, rather than a mouse that fits your hand in some designer's idea of the ideal workspace - I think that's why I've been attracted to that cheapo Tomax mouse so much. (And no, I don't use wrist rests - I've never felt like I needed one, but it might be worth a shot some time.)

At any rate, I'm holding a VX Nano in my hands right now and we'll give that a shot for a week or two - if it doesn't work out I'll return it and just pick up one of the Targus mice you all found and update accordingly.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
posted by agentmunroe at 7:23 AM on July 31, 2009

Response by poster: Alright - it's been close to a week, and I'm still digging the Nano VX. Shape seems about right (although I wouldn't mind a bit narrower), button feel is nice, tracking seems excellent and as expected the nano-receiver just lives in my laptop now. I may still pick up the Targus for backup, but overall I'm quite happy.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!
posted by agentmunroe at 7:24 AM on August 5, 2009

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