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When you buy a brand new PC, it’s straightforward to deal with the massive three: Processor, graphics and RAM (sorry storage followers, that’s an in depth fourth). It’s the little issues which might be easy to miss. I say that with the arrogance of somebody that simply migrated over from a decade-old iMac to a part-picked PC. The rig I ended up with is stable, I had a pleasant keyboard already, however oh boy do I actually need a brand new mouse.
Mice will not be horny computer peripherals. But if, like me, you spend at the least eight hours a day along with your hand on one, they’re extra necessary than we give them credit score for. My outdated Magic Mouse might have made the transfer from MacOS to Windows, however I used to be already negotiating some fairly dangerous RSI and the interior battery was beginning to waiver. Not least of all, I needed one thing that I might cost and use on the identical time — the temerity, I do know.
Not to say, for the reason that creation of gadgets such because the Stream Deck and the Loupedeck Live I’ve developed a style for bodily, assignable controls. Also, as a latest convert to the world of mechanical keyboards, I hoped there was the same world of boutique, bespoke choices. It seems that mice are nonetheless a largely off-the-shelf affair, however I used to be decided to get by way of a few of the extra promising choices and discover one thing I might stay with, probably for an additional decade.
My necessities? Fairly easy, however slightly extra than simply one thing I can comfortably click on hyperlinks with. Top of the checklist: Ergonomics. The Magic Mouse is… fantastic, however slightly low profile for my palming model. Given my RSI was completely in my mousing arm, I figured there’s a great likelihood ergonomics had been guilty.
Second: I would like one thing that’s moderately configurable. I don’t want to tug off a number of complicated gaming strikes; I simply wish to have issues like quantity management or the flexibility to modify between desktops at my fingertips. Thirdly, battery life. I’m making an attempt to lose as many cables as I can, so the longer I can go between charging/with out a cable round, the higher.
That’s kinda it. It’s not an enormous ask however I quickly realized there was at all times some psychological bargaining occurring looking for the best stability. I additionally needed to see what a contemporary mouse can provide past these necessities as, who is aware of, possibly there’s one thing I by no means knew I needed or I’ve the sudden urge to get into Dota 2. Enter, the story I assumed I’d by no means write: An 11-way PC mouse shoot out.
The apparent candidates
Google round for “the best PC mouse” and you’ll discover one answer: Logitech’s MX Master 3. You may see a couple of mentions of others — just like the Razer Pro Click and Microsoft’s Surface Precision mouse — however the opinions are clear that the MX 3 Master is the one.
I checked out all three of those, and truthfully, there’s not loads in it. All of them price $100 and all of them meet my fundamental necessities of first rate ergonomics, configurable buttons and stable battery life. The latter is the toughest to quantify because of how every producer likes to outline “time.” For Logi’s MX 3 Master it’s “70 days.” Razer however touts the Pro Click as lasting between 200 and 400 hours relying on whether or not you use their USB dongle or Bluetooth respectively (that’s 8-16 “days” but it surely’s not clear if that is “in use”).
Microsoft’s Surface Precision is listed as “up to 3 months” which I in some way learn with an implied shrug on their half. It’s onerous to know whether or not these are lively use or “the mouse is on and it’s on your desk.” The higher information is that every one of them can be charged whereas you use them. In apply, I discovered the MX Master 3 to final the longest, but in addition needing a cost approach prior to its 70 days declare (I’ve had it right here barely a month and already had must cost it).
Of this trio, the Pro Click presents essentially the most configurable buttons (8). The MX Master 3 is an in depth second (7) however has the benefit of a second scroll wheel close to the thumb. In actuality, two of Razer’s “buttons” are side-clicks on the scroll wheel — sometimes these default to sideways scroll, the identical as Logi’s thumb dial does. The web result’s that I discovered the MX Master 3 barely extra configurable for my use instances. The thumbwheel is ideal for switching between desktops — one thing I do loads, which might occupy two slots on the Razer that means, successfully, the MX Master 3 has yet one more spare button on this setup.
Additionally, there’s a button on the MX grasp 3 positioned just below the place your thumb rests. This can be used for nearly something, however by default, it prompts one thing known as “gesture control,” which lets you assign sure duties to, you guessed it, totally different gestures. I gave the gesture controls a spin they usually appeared fairly useful, however the usefulness quickly dissolved when I discovered I wasn’t at all times in a position to ace the gesture on the primary try.
For its half, Microsoft’s Surface Precision mouse presents six buttons and contains left/proper clicks on the scroll wheel, placing it about on par with Razer and a shade underneath the MX Master 3 for configuration dorks like me.
All three corporations provide companion software — Microsoft’s is constructed right-in to Windows. It’s price noting that Logitech makes a distinction between its office mice and its gaming mice which I’ll get to later (principally, totally different software with totally different configuration choices). The brief model is every will get its personal software and what you can do there differs which will probably be a key issue if contemplating a wide range of their fashions..
I discovered Logitech’s Options software essentially the most easy with a deep collection of Windows instructions, media controls, shortcuts and navigation instruments on provide. You can additionally assign keystroke mixtures if one thing you want isn’t listed. On prime of that there are alternatives for app-specific buttons which suggests you can, for instance, have right-click do one factor in Photoshop however one thing completely totally different in Chrome. Logitech doesn’t provide full macros in Options although, so extra complicated instructions are off the desk by way of the native software.
Razer’s Synapse additionally presents app-specific controls alongside a wealth of predefined media and OS shortcuts, however maybe much less complete than these present in Options. That stated, you do even have full macro assist: Simply hit file and no matter you do subsequent can be transformed right into a single click on of the mouse. There’s even “HyperShift” which suggests you can add a second layer of instructions whereas holding down an allotted button.
Microsoft’s Mouse and Keyboard Center isn’t any slouch both with some first rate shortcuts on provide and assist for each macros and app-specific controls. Though, general, it’s maybe much less in-depth than each Logitech and Razer’s companion apps.
On a extra minor word. During my time with MacOS I joined the darkish aspect of “natural scroll.” It’s not a deal-breaker for me, as I don’t thoughts common scroll, however Logitech and Microsoft each provide reverse scrolling as a setting, Razer doesn’t seem to — although you can work round this in other ways after all.
All the above mice provide the pliability of each Bluetooth and a pair of.4Ghz wireless connectivity, can be used whereas cabled and assist multi-device (on the identical time) modes, if that’s your factor.
Winner: Tie between MX Master 3 and Pro Click.
Buy MX Master 3 at Amazon – $100
Buy Razer Pro Click at Amazon – $100
Buy Surface Precision mouse at Amazon – $100
Gaming mice for on a regular basis use
Just as a result of a mouse has a gaming focus, it doesn’t imply it’s no good for productiveness. That was my reasoning after I checked out issues just like the Logitech G502 Lightspeed and the G Pro X Superlight. From Razer, the Viper Ultimate seemed like one other sturdy possibility.
There are some things that change as soon as you go gamer it appears. First: Things get a lot a lot lighter. The heaviest I attempted was the G502 which, at 114g is a hair heavier than the Razer Pro Click (106g). But 26g lighter than the MX Master 3. The G Pro X Superlight and the Viper Ultra are way more svelte nevertheless, weighing in at 63g and 74g respectively. This places the G Pro X at underneath half the burden of its Logitech productiveness sibling.
The subsequent factor to contemplate is the shape issue. Gaming mice are more likely to have both a impartial or ambidextrous design. This isn’t a no-no for my RSI issues (particularly when offset in opposition to the lighter weight) but it surely was one thing I used to be cautious about. Of those I’m testing right here, the G502 Lightspeed is essentially the most “ergonomic.”
Lastly, avid gamers need velocity and even 2.4GHz is a bit too laggy for some, so Bluetooth connectivity is uncommon to seek out on this class. That’s not a deal-breaker for me, however price figuring out in case it’s for you.
I truly had excessive hopes for the G502 Lightspeed. Not solely is it lighter and the same kind issue to the MX Master 3, it presents a whopping 11 configurable buttons. What’s extra you’re in a position to assign full macros together with a slew of deep keyboard instructions to these buttons. From a customization standpoint, it’s fairly complete. The G502’s office-bound rival has most of what you want, however macros aren’t there and the keyboard instructions on provide aren’t as intensive as in Logitech’s gamer-focused G Hub software.
I ought to point out the G Pro X Superlight right here, too, given it makes use of the identical software because the G502. The G Pro X is semi ambidextrous (you can palm it with both hand, however the additional buttons are solely on one aspect). There are solely 5 buttons whole, too.
The situation for me was actually all within the dealing with. I appreciated that each of those had been lighter, that’s a stable plus. But the wealth of buttons on the G502 meant issues had been slightly extra cramped. For instance, there are two proper alongside the left-click button after which one other two simply above the place your thumb rests. They aren’t onerous to find with out wanting, however general not as naturally positioned as these on the MX Master 3, at the least in my view. Also, the scroll wheel on each the G502 and the G Pro X protrudes greater than any of the opposite mice on this checklist which, once more, takes some getting used to. Neither was as fluid or comfy to me as these within the MX Master 3 or Razer Pro click on.
Moreover, the G502 has a button to modify between easy and ratchet scroll (quick, free gliding versus clicky gradual, principally). The MX Master 3 presents each varieties of scrolling however with a setting the place ratchet mode will seamlessly turn out to be easy mode which is way more apt for searching and navigating lists. I discovered scrolling on the G502 a bit annoying. Much greater “clicks” and discovering the button to modify to easy appeared to kill my stream. I’m guessing it’s higher for avid gamers although.
The G Pro X, for its half, is a very nice possibility if you need one thing gentle with a few additional buttons. But with simply two extra ones over the usual two-plus-clickwheel it wasn’t fairly as much as my necessities.
Razer’s Viper Ultimate, actually however, is a surprisingly competent all-purpose mouse. For one, as alluded to, it’s really ambidextrous. At 74g it glides throughout the desk making it a pleasure to make use of for prolonged intervals. With a 70 hour battery life it was joint first with the G Pro X for longevity on this class (the G502 presents round 50 hours).
The important nitpick for me with the Viper is that the 2 buttons close to your ring finger and pinkie take slightly getting used to if you palm a mouse like I do. I needed to practice myself to click on with the aspect of my finger reasonably than the tip. The web result’s that I used to be shocked to seek out myself gravitating towards the Viper Ultimate most out of this class, regardless of the G502 being nearer to what I had in thoughts when setting out on this take a look at.
Thanks to gamery specs that I’m not going to utilize, akin to 20,000+ DPI sensors and 1000Hz polling charges, all the gaming mice do price greater than the “productivity” choices. In truth all three price the identical: $150.
Winner: Razer Viper Ultimate
Buy G502 Lightspeed at Amazon – $150
Buy G Pro X Superlight at Amazon – $150
Buy Viper Ultimate at Amazon – $150
Let’s be clear, there’s nearly no likelihood any of the cell mice on provide would make an awesome full-time desktop alternative. That stated, it’s additionally one of many extra attention-grabbing classes because of being free from the burden of getting to do every part. A cell mouse can get slightly wackier and do one or two issues very well.
There’s additionally the truth that many people are working at dwelling on the company laptop computer, so pairing that with a mouse can make the transition again to the office slightly smoother (and never everyone seems to be a fan of trackpads anyway). As such, a straight head-to-head feels much less acceptable, however right here’s a rundown of 5 contenders.
Logitech’s Pebble is a cell mouse within the purest kind. At 100g it’s not the lightest on this checklist, however that does give it a reassuring really feel in use. There are solely three buttons: The commonplace left click on, proper click on and click on wheel. You even have the selection between Bluetooth and a pair of.4GHz dongle connectivity. A pleasant contact is that you can stow the USB dongle underneath the highest plate as that’s additionally the place you’ll change the (AA) battery.
The Pebble has a slight angle to it which felt like my hand was arching ahead when in use. The ambidextrous design is welcome however I do have my issues about how comfy it’s for prolonged use. The two aces up the Pebble’s sleeve, nevertheless, are its epic battery life: A claimed 18 months (although it will clearly rely upon what batteries you use) and the $25 price ticket, making it the most cost effective on this checklist.
Buy Logitech Pebble at Amazon – $30
Logitech MX Anywhere 3
As the title suggests, the MX Anywhere 3 is the cell model of the MX Master 3. Unlike its greater brother, the Anywhere has a semi-ambidextrous design. It’s maybe a shade too small to chop it as desktop alternative, however within the cell realm it feels premium, full with the auto-switching between ratchet and free-flowing scroll wheel — which at $80, it ought to.
With six buttons, it’s fairly configurable for one thing so small and at 99g it gained’t overstay its welcome underneath your palm. Though for the lifetime of me I can not perceive why there isn’t any choice to stow the USB dongle contained in the mouse someplace. Given its cell nature this looks as if a no brainer. You can, after all, simply use Bluetooth if, like me, USB dongles appear to fade into skinny air until they’ve a house.
Buy MX Anywhere 3 at Amazon – $80
Razer Orochi V2
The winner of essentially the most forgettable-looking possibility on this nest of mice goes to the Orochi V2. Or possibly it’s simply understated? Especially for a Razer product. Looks apart, the Orochi V2 is a really succesful cell mouse with six buttons, Bluetooth or dongle connectivity and it really works with Razer’s Synapse software, so any macros you may have already got can be assigned right here (or make your individual!).
At 425 (2.4Ghz) or 950 hours (BLE) you get a good period of time out of every battery and you can use both a single AA or AAA. It weighs simply 60g, so it’s additionally fairly nimble. At $70, it’s edging into full-desktop mouse territory, however provided that it’s large enough to really use this full time, that appears much less stunning. Especially provided that you can stow the dongle underneath the highest cover, which is greater than can be stated for the MX Anywhere 3 (and even the MX Master 3).
Buy Razer Orochi V2 at Amazon – $70
Microsoft Surface Arc
Who was betting on Microsoft having essentially the most fashionable mouse on this checklist? The Surface Arc is a delight with a “transforming” design that pops into form (an “arc” no much less). Once you’re finished merely snap it flat once more for straightforward storage in a pocket of your laptop computer bag. You don’t even want to show it on as “snapping” it additionally acts as an influence swap. Oh, and did I point out that the touchpad space does double obligation as left/proper click on and vertical or sideways scroll (Magic Mouse model)? There’s even the choice for a “triple” click on to present the Surface Arc an additional, assignable button. All that, and it’s solely round $55.
As satisfying as it’s to click on into form, the hole space underneath the arc does imply that your thumb and little finger don’t have anyplace to naturally relaxation. I additionally discovered the curve of the arc led me extra right into a claw position over my standard palm, which is likely to be okay for you however gave me pause about utilizing this for longer intervals. As a purely cell mouse, although, it’s one of many extra pleasing, particularly if you like its semi-trackpad nature.
Buy Microsoft Surface Arc at Amazon – $50
Microsoft Modern Mobile mouse
The Modern Mobile mouse is Microsoft’s answer to the Pebble. Streamlined, light-weight and with a deal with the fundamentals. There’s no 2.4GHz possibility right here although; it’s Bluetooth solely. At $35, in comparison with the Pebble’s $25 it may appear a foregone conclusion however there’s loads to love about Microsoft’s tackle a conveyable mouse.
For one, its build high quality feels far superior. It additionally seems extra fashionable (if that issues). More importantly, it has a extra impartial position that feels actually comfy for a smaller mouse and doesn’t really feel prefer it’s craning my hand ahead. Throw in the truth that you can nonetheless assign app-specific controls by way of Microsoft’s Mouse and Keyboard heart and you find yourself with one thing that’s smarter than it first appears.
Buy Modern Mobile mouse at Amazon – $35
If nothing else, I used to be shocked by the variety of choices regardless of my preliminary concern on the contrary. Who knew that Microsoft had such model, at the least within the cell class? Likewise, Razer, it seems, makes surprisingly adept productiveness mice regardless of its true-green gamer aesthetic. Logitech, however, is a gradual hand throughout all classes.
Predictably, the MX Master 3 does appear to do a lot of the issues I would like. BUT, solely actually because of that thumbwheel. It is especially fitted to what I would like. That stated, I discover myself fairly taken by the Pro Click, and regardless of missing a second scroll wheel, it just about matches the MX Master 3 in each different method. It’s additionally lighter which is a small optimistic in its favor.
For people who choose light-weight choices (one thing that grew to become extra interesting to me the extra I examined), then the Viper Ultimate from Razer impressed me with its stability of operate and kind. If you don’t want as many buttons then Logitech’s Pro X Superlight lives as much as its title. I might fortunately stay with both of those mice full time.