I want a new mouse.
November 16, 2005 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I want a new mouse. One that won't make me nervous, wondering what to do... Every computer mouse I've tried recently has been a piece of junk. What's the perfect one?

What I want: optical, scroll wheel, no side scrolling. Should be a large mouse since I have large hands. Ideally the mouse click should be quiet and easy, and it should glide like a greased ice cube skating across a lake of butter. NO JUMPINESS from bad optical sensing, that drives me crazy. A plain-jane three-button mouse. That works. What I've tried: Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer (left mouse button broke after one week), Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse (piece of junk, jumps around the screen randomly, no it isn't the surface I'm using, everyone has the same problem, see Amazon reviews), and a no-name cheapie (scroll wheel has uneven resistance, ARGH!). Microsoft used to make great mice but no more, apparently, so Microsoft is not an option. Why is this so difficult?
posted by jellicle to Computers & Internet (27 answers total)
I have used a Kensington Turbo/Expert mouse since 1990. It is a perfect piece of hardware; you should at least consider it.

Especially with the scroll ring.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:06 PM on November 16, 2005

If you don't want the cursor to jerk about, then the best mouse to get is a laser mouse. I'm loving my Logitech MX1000. It is a bit over-packed with buttons, and it does have side-scrolling. It feels lovely to move around, though.
posted by iamcrispy at 2:08 PM on November 16, 2005

I picked up one of these battery-less wireless mice not that long ago and really like it. Its alot lighter to use and seems to be decently made (its withstood my 16 month old's "tender" mercies).

In general, I've found that I really like A4's products.
posted by fenriq at 2:14 PM on November 16, 2005

If you can find an MS Intellimouse 3.0, I'd grab it. They were the king of large-handed mice. 4.0 is ok, but the sidescrolling wheel is lame. iamcrispy's MX1000 is also a good choice.
posted by boo_radley at 2:21 PM on November 16, 2005

Second the Kensington Expert Mouse. I haven't used a regular mouse on my desktop in almost 20 years.
posted by Caviar at 2:24 PM on November 16, 2005

IBM Scrollpoint 24P095; best non-Sun mouse I've ever used. Doesn't have a scroll-wheel, but a mini scroll joystick thing like is on some laptops. This I find to be faster and more accurate than the scroll wheel. It's also quite a big mouse.

Every computer surplus place I've seen has a bunch of these (they're discontinued). Worth trying; even if you find hate it, it was only $5.
posted by scruss at 2:28 PM on November 16, 2005

I'd definitely go with a Logitech mouse. I have the MX518, which has some extra buttons, but their midrange mice are large, fairly comfortable, and I've never had any issues with them.

what's side scrolling again?
posted by selfnoise at 2:29 PM on November 16, 2005

Not exactly what you described, since it's a bit fancy, but I just got the best mouse ever: Logitech G5. About $50 street price. I have used MS everything, Logitech, Kensington, and others. This one is corded, 2000 max dpi, on-the-fly adjustable resolution (via tiny buttons behind the scroll wheel), four-direction wheel, adjustable weight, and other stuff I can't remember.
posted by mumeishi at 2:30 PM on November 16, 2005

I love the Logitech MX series. I have an MX518 now, and frequently give MX mice as presents to other people. I personally dislike cordless devices, but friends of mine who have used the cordless Logitech mice seem as satisfied with their choice as I am with my corded version.
posted by xyzzy at 2:31 PM on November 16, 2005

well it was just the cheapest mouse in the local shop, but i have an mtek ms27 that meets all your requirements. three button with scroll wheel. optical. not small. works.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:35 PM on November 16, 2005

I have an Logitech MX510 that fills all your criteria. (At least it doesn't seem jumpy to me.) I'm not sure what the MX518 improves on, other than that it's easier to find at the moment.

Also, if you still have the broken MS one, they used to have very easy warranty support. You just faxed them a copy of the bottom of the mouse, and they shipped you a new one. I 'm not certain they still do this, but if they do, it's definitely worth the tiny bit of effort it takes.
posted by smackfu at 2:41 PM on November 16, 2005

Labtec Optical Mouse
I've used it for over a year with no problems.
posted by deborah at 2:48 PM on November 16, 2005

I'll second (third?) the Logitech MX1000. Don't worry about it being wireless, the batteries last forever (and charge quickly), and it acts and feels like it's wired. The tracking is exceptionally good, I've even gotten it to work on a glass table. It's pretty large, too. It's got side scrolling, IIRC, but I'm sure you can disable it, or maybe even learn to love it?

If not, the MX700 is quite similar. No built-in battery meter, just a light that blinks when it's low, but I've found it'll still work for at least a day when that light starts going off. The tracking isn't as good as the MX1000, but as long as you aren't using it on something shiny, you'll be fine. I used a piece of paper taped to my desk as a mousepad (and notepad) for a while.
posted by CrayDrygu at 2:58 PM on November 16, 2005

The MX1000 is the best mouse I've ever used.
posted by Jairus at 3:31 PM on November 16, 2005

I threw out my old Kensington rubbish, and now exclusively use the "Logitech Wheel Mouse Optical" both at work and home. Both meeces are about 3 years old and have been robust and reliable.
The other mouse I use a lot is a Dell, and while that looks like it might be identical but differently badged, is markedly inferior and makes the pointer skip onto the other monitor.
posted by nowonmai at 3:39 PM on November 16, 2005

I always buy the cheap logitechs with optical and scrollwheel and nothing more - lots of extra buttons makes it less useful to me, not more.
posted by phearlez at 3:48 PM on November 16, 2005

Love my MX700, one year no problem
posted by hortense at 4:55 PM on November 16, 2005

The only actual mouse I like is the Logitech Optical Mouse, a plain-jane affair with a wheel, a laser, and a couple of buttons. Tracking is absolutely fantastic, and it moves very well on just about any surface. They may still be selling this as a "Logitech First Mouse."

The only other really great pointing devices out there are the Kensington Expert and the Kensington Orbit.
posted by majick at 5:28 PM on November 16, 2005

The Logitechs that everybody's pimping are fine mice that are worth checking out, but I've never liked the feel of the larger ones.

My fave is the Razer Diamondback. They also have a laser one called the Copperhead, but all laser mice seem to continue to track when raised quite high off the mousing surface, which really bothers me. The scroll wheels on both of these are heavely. Translucent, glowing, slightly rubbery, soft and pleasant, yet accurate. Mmmm.
posted by trevyn at 5:28 PM on November 16, 2005

Oh, and the Razers are "gaming" mice, so they're designed to hit a lot of your points: smooth, accurate tracking and sensitive buttons.
posted by trevyn at 5:32 PM on November 16, 2005

Logitech MX500. It's not "latest-generation laser technology" but if you're not doing any gaming it won't matter. Super-smooth glide, buttery clicks, and very convenient thumb buttons for forward/back in your web browser. Fits my large-ish hands better than anything else I've used (including the newer, more expensive Logitechs).
posted by rxrfrx at 5:45 PM on November 16, 2005

Since tichance opened the trackball argument, I have to throw my vote in for the non-ambidextrous logitech trackman. This one. I swear by them. Once you're used to it, the difference is so huge I can't even use a mouse without being frustrated now. Save your wrist, save your deskspace.
posted by juv3nal at 6:40 PM on November 16, 2005

The perfect mouse is a TouchStream keyboard. They're no longer made, but you can find them for $200-$700 on ebay.

No scroll wheel, just move four fingers up and down on the surface. No buttons -- just tap your fingers in pairs. And it's a keyboard.
posted by orthogonality at 7:49 PM on November 16, 2005

I've been thinking about getting a trackball for a while. Are they a hindrance for gaming?
posted by squidlarkin at 8:36 PM on November 16, 2005

I would suggest the Apple Mighty Mouse, except that the scroll ball almost never does anything in the horizontal direction. And one of my Mighty Mice is starting to respond less to scroll input.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:05 PM on November 16, 2005

I'll throw in with the crowd recommending the Logitech MX line. I've been using an MX500 and I'm well satisfied by it.
posted by drumcorpse at 10:07 PM on November 16, 2005

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