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I want a new mouse!

With thanks to Huey Lewis ( and Weird Al ( for the soundtrack, not a drug or duck, but a mouse!

When I went shopping for a keyboard (, I wasn’t prepared for how complicated it would be. I love my mechanical keyboard, so it was time well-spent, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily wanted to spend what I suspected might be an equivalent amount of time shopping for a mouse.

Also, the urgency wasn’t there. I had an ergonomic Microsoft mouse which did it’s job and worked very well for a number of years of fairly heavy use. But alas, all things must end, and my trusty old mouse has broken down. It still tracks well enough, but the main key is no longer working properly unless I am very careful and very precise when I click, and even more so when I double-click. I tried for a few days, then gave up and went to my backup mouse – the one I got with my Raspberry Pi. It works fine, but it’s not something I want to use for a long time.

So, I started checking out mouse reviews.


After wallowing for a while, I decided it might be best to validate what I am looking for in the first place. Ultimately, I’m looking for a pointing device (, but am not interested in doing a lot of experimentation on the topic (at least not at present), and want something I can use on a variety of systems.

In general, pointing devices can be broken down into motion-tracking, position-tracking, and pressure-tracking.

I’m not currently interested in more obscure devices like foot-mice, eye tracking, steering wheels, or others, so I’ll ignore those for now. As for pressure-tracking, seems to be essentially a joystick that doesn’t move (much), so I’ll ignore that as well.

And, while using a touchpad or graphics tablet is something I might look into at some future state, I have negligible drawing talent, and not much interest, so I’ll pass on that too.

In practice, this leaves me with an “indirect, relative, isotonic, position-control, translational input device with two degrees of freedom”.

That is, a mouse.

Ok. Back where I started, but at least I’m more confident that I’m on the right track.

Getting back to the mouse reviews, there are a number of decision-points. For me, the key ones are:


While I’ve used wireless mice in the past, my current preference is for a wired mouse. Not worried about wifi signals frying my brain, or anything like that, but a wired mouse eliminates a whole class of potential security vulnerabilities around wireless connection, and they tend to be a bit more reliable as well. (Also not worried about a “travel” mouse. Not planning to take my mouse on the road, even after COVID-19 lockdowns fade away.)


Some “gaming” mice boast very high “DPI” precision settings. This refers to “dots per inch”, and indicate how sensitive a mouse is to movement. The higher the value, the more the cursor will move when you move the mouse. A “standard” setting appears to be on the order of 1000 DPI, though some “gaming” mice boast rates of 16,000 or more – which seems more like marketing hype than something with practical value (as an example, I read one post suggesting that world-class e-sports competitors generally use relatively low DPI settings). Anyway, since I am not planning to do much gaming, or CAD, or similar work, not a significant consideration.

Blinky Lights:

All other things being equal, it would probably be fun to play with lights, but they will not be a factor in selecting this mouse. Sorry if that makes me a stick in the mud, but right now I’m looking for a tool, rather than a toy...


I don’t currently suffer from RSI ( related to mouse-use, and I’d like that to continue. That said, the term “ergonomic” is used in very broad ways, and comfort can vary dramatically by person. I gave thought to a “vertical” mouse (where the hand rests at an angle, rather than flat), and may look into that in future. For now, though, I just want a traditional mouse with a comfortable shape.


How many buttons? I had no idea... I remember the days when a single button was common and two buttons was unusual. Then, three-button mice, scroll wheels, and so on. (I found one 3D mouse boasting 31 buttons - I really don’t know how to even process that, let alone comment on it...)

OMG! I just glanced at my old mouse, and realize that it actually had four buttons. Weird! I never even noticed the two “thumb-buttons”, and certainly never felt that anything was missing in only using two buttons.

I can see the value of a few programmable buttons, but think there is a point of diminishing returns when you get past three or four. For gaming, things like changing weapons, changing view, and such. For “normal” use, triggering the “Windows” key, copy/paste, and a few others. Beyond that, I struggle to see the value except in some niche use-cases like CAD, animation, or similar endeavours. I’m sure others will disagree, but I’m not worried about that for now.

Where does that leave us?

Well, as expected, Logitech dominated many of the lists, and I gave serious thought to the Logitech MX Master 2s or 3 models, but most are wireless and quite expensive. In the end, though, I went with an old favourite. I’ve always been a fan of Microsoft mice, and ended up selecting the Microsoft Ergonomic Mouse.

It’s on order now, so let’s see how that goes. I may still have a look at some of these other mice at some point, but until I have a “main” mouse I am comfortable with, I find myself more than bit risk-averse...



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