Best mouse for graphic designer?
October 20, 2010 4:54 PM   Subscribe

What's the best mouse a graphic designer could have?

I'd like to get a a new mouse for a very special graphic designer. The current mouse, a Razer Viper, works well but is too big to comfortably pilot.

The ideal mouse would have these characteristics:
-Optical is preferred, laser is acceptable
-Exceptional responsiveness
-Has at least a scroll wheel and right click
-Smaller size for small hands (petite, even)
-Mac compatible
-USB powered
-Won't cause hand cramping
-Below US$100
posted by rigby51 to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a graphic designer, and if anybody got me the apple magic mouse for x-mas, I'd be one happy boy.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 5:04 PM on October 20, 2010

The Magic Mouse is nice in theory, but it's pretty uncomfortable - I mostly use mine with my fingertips - and it doesn't play nicely at all with Adobe software. Maybe it's more Adobe's fault than Apple's, but I mostly wanted to fly around Photoshop files and instead it's just shit. Sometimes I prefer the free Dell mouse I snaffled from a friend. :(

To answer - would a Wacom tablet be an option? A lot of people love them.
posted by Magnakai at 5:09 PM on October 20, 2010

I hate mice and prefer to use a trackball instead. Much less strain on the wrist and arm. Trouble is THE BEST trackball, the "Trackball Explorer" was made by Microsoft and has been discontinued. I've laid in a supply of spares but even after seven years of daily use it's still working great. If I had to go with a replacement I'd look at the Kensington line.
posted by wkearney99 at 5:14 PM on October 20, 2010

The Logitech Gaming Mouse G500 has a gimmick that works shockingly well -- you can add/subtract weight to the mouse via little weight inserts that ship with the mouse. The inserts sit in an internal tray, so they do not interfere with its operation. The ability to modify the mouse's weight works exactly as advertised -- you really can feel the customizations you make.

You don't have to use any of the game-specific settings it ships with.

Otherwise, it's everything else you want, and an overall well-made product.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:15 PM on October 20, 2010

I really like the now-discontinued VX Revolution, but if by 'usb-powered' you mean 'corded', then it's not for you. It does have great ergonomics for small-to-medium hands, extra buttons, and a great scroll wheel.
posted by a halcyon day at 5:42 PM on October 20, 2010

I use a straight-up Apple mouse* at work, and I enjoy the crap out of it. I find the ability to scroll laterally a tremendous boon, and I truly enjoy the almost featureless quality of the mouse itself. Many people seem to have trouble with the tiny scroll ball becoming sticky and unusable after a while, but I've had the same Apple Mouse at home for about four years, and it's still working just fine (then again, I am a little obsessive about keeping my hands clean, so that may have something to do with it). Also, I set the side buttons to an expose setting and use the third button for a different expose setting, which I find both intuitive and extremely useful.

I occasionally need to use the Magic Mouse (it's the mouse attached to the presentation projector at work), and I have to say that I really do not enjoy it. It's not bad so much as it doesn't seem to have the same feel that I am used to, and is less customizable because it has fewer buttons on it. It may work well for someone else, but I'm not a fan.

I had a Wacom tabled for a while, but I ended up ditching the Wacom mouse that came with it and using the Apple mouse instead; I would alternate as the task at hand dictated. Now that I find myself doing graphic work that is much less 'organic' than I used to, I've forgone the tablet altogether and just use the mouse.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

*I think they used to call it the Mighty Mouse?
posted by Pecinpah at 6:20 PM on October 20, 2010

No mouse whatsoever. On my design computer I don't even have one hooked up. It's my Wacom graphics tablet all the way. You're not likely to find a useful sized one under $100 though.
posted by carlh at 6:32 PM on October 20, 2010

Most designers do prefer the Wacom tablets, but I really love my Magic Mouse. I tried the "Magic Trackpad" and sold it after less than a week. I find that the magic mouse does great in all the Adobe apps, and I use it every day.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 6:34 PM on October 20, 2010

I'm a designer, and wacom tablet is my pick.
posted by batonthefueltank at 7:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

My friend, a graphic designer for several years, has sworn by the Logitech MX Revolution. Online it's a tad more that 100 dollars, but not by much.

Beyond that, I use a Wacom Bamboo for illustration and other graphic design. For navigating UI's it's a bit of a pain sometimes, but one can get used to it. My mouse is also a Logitech of a similar breed.
posted by hellojed at 7:41 PM on October 20, 2010

The combination of a Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad from Apple provides a nice balance of control, flexibility of gestures, extreme programmability, and (in my case, since I use them ambidextrously) productivity. If you have someone else paying, or money to waste, you could do far worse.
posted by anildash at 9:31 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Tablet. I have the Wacom Bamboo that also works as a trackpad and it cost under $200.
posted by dame at 9:56 PM on October 20, 2010

I used a tablet for the past year and thought it was ok, but really its not as intuitive for me if I'm doing something other than sketching (most of my work as an interface designer / team director). I got a Magic Trackpad shortly a few months ago and love it. I was thoroughly used to it right out of the box, it's large enough to allow some position changes, and it's simple. I still have a mouse and my tablet in my desk drawer, but they haven't been plugged in or missed.
posted by pkingdesign at 11:23 PM on October 20, 2010

Ack, link troubles...sorry
posted by circular at 11:47 PM on October 20, 2010

Oh, and I linked to a laser but mine is optical. So they have that.
posted by circular at 11:48 PM on October 20, 2010

I like my logitech MX Revolution. I mostly popped in here to recommend steermouse, although it may not be necessary if the mouse comes with decent software. You can set certain mouse buttons to have certain functions depending on which program your in, which I use quite a bit when working on repetitive tasks.
posted by backwards guitar at 4:41 AM on October 21, 2010

Wacoms are nice if you're doing a lot of stuff that requires a pen and pressure sensitivity, like drawing ink lines, retouching pics, etc. For general navigation, the stylus is, imho, a pretty inferior way to get around. The wireless mouse that comes with Wacoms are ok, but nothing great. I use my Wacom pen a lot in my work, but it just isn't good usiing exclusively.

I manage quite nicely with my Apple Magic Mouse. I find it very comfortable. But, then, I'm not cursed with big paws. About the only issue I've had with it when using Adobe apps is in Illustrator. The art board moves around a lot with the Magic Mouse. I think that's more Adobe's issue, since I don't have a similar issue in other apps. But, it's not been anything that makes me want to toss the MM.

One caveat with the Magic Mouse...It eats batteries. I get about 3 weeks out of a set with mine. Of course, I'm on it all day, every day. YMMV.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:07 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I love my mighty mouse (the one with the scroll ball in it), and it has survived being tossed in my backpack every day without breaking for something like three years now. Occasionally you have to clean the ball, but it's no big deal.

Wacom tablets are awesome if you want to draw something on the computer, but if your designer friend isn't doing that, there's no point. I love my tablet, but I never use it as a mouse.

Oh, and Thorzdad, enloop rechargeables rule.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:49 PM on October 21, 2010

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