Updated: May 23, 2015

Computer Mice and Trackball Reviews:

One of the most basic features of all computers is the use of a "mouse" to control the cursor on the screen and navigate around your system and webpages. When I was first introduced to computers in the mid 1990's, the mechanical mouse was the prevalent model and I do remember having to remove the plate over the ball and clean it regularly so that my movements would be registered on the screen. The early models weren't very ergonomic and the "feel" wasn't always that great. As computer mice have evolved they have become more ergonomic so that your hand and wrist won't tire so easily when using them all day. The newer optical mice are far superior to their early counterparts and they never need cleaning which makes them a great input device to buy. The laser sensor in the mouse lets you use it on almost any surface. Gone are the days of having to own a mousepad to use your mouse effectively.
mice and trackballs


Another big breakthrough was the invention of the cordless, or wireless, mouse which gives the end user lots of freedom over mouse positioning and placement on your desk. The wireless mouse, like those from Logitech, use a simple USB plugin to transmit their signals back and forth and no wire is required. The top makers of computer mice are companies like Logitech, Kensington, Microsoft, Razer, and Targus. Many of the high end models are priced below $100, and you should be able to purchase a quality mouse for about $40 to $50. Some of the cheaper models like the Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical Mouse ($35) work fine and connect to your PC using an open USB port. I have used the LX7 for over a year now and like the performance for day to day operations, but with the ergonomics were a bit better. In terms of features, you should look for a mouse with a responsive scrolling wheel, programmable buttons, and a battery indicator if you are using a wireless mouse. The tilt wheel technology is something rather new where you can actually tilt the scroll wheel and scroll sideways versus just up and down. Depending on the resolution of your screen, this feature comes in handy when viewing websites that go beyond your screen edges. I know many people who have programmable buttons on their mouse but never investigate and mess around with those features. You can program the mouse to do a certain function with the right or left click. Some computer mice have thumb buttons which some gamers find useful. I'm left handed and have used a right handed mouse for years, but there are specific models just for lefties or those that are ambidextrous. The more expensive gaming mice have special features like being able to switch between resolutions for different tasks within a game. Resolutions of 2000 dpi are what you should be looking for, which is what the Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse offers for around $60. On my wifes Dell laptop, we have a Targus mouse with a retractable cable that plugs into a USB port. Just extend the mouse cable out to your desired distance and use it normally. Then, when you are done, the cable retracts into the mouse for easy storage. We found lots of sites that offer reviews, both from experts and regular consumers, on computer mice. Amazon.com is perhaps the best site for reading up on what owners have to say after using the mouse for a while. The Logitech MX Revolution has over 360 reviews posted for you to view on Amazon. Also, CNET does a great job of testing and reviewing all the latest mouses for computers. We like their professional take on the different products and feel as if their extensive knowledge of computer technology shows in the quality of their reviews. One of our favorite sources for consumer products, Consumer Reports, has not had an article on computer mice and trackballs for a while so we couldn't use them as a reference point. Popular hardware sites like Extremetech.com, Sharkyextreme.com, and Hardwarelogic.com all offer up their opinions online as well. There is definitely not a shortage of computer mouse reviews online, so pick a few to get started and then make a purchase. One word on trackballs, from what we could read they have had their ups and downs in the marketplace, but right now the demand has dramatically slowed. Also, many of the mice work and are compatible with Mac computers. We did hear that the Apple Mighty Mouse product isn't all that great, so perhaps Mac users can try out the Logitech line for a superior product. You can browse the best selling computer mice online here.

Best Computer Mouse:

When it comes to computer mice, the name Logitech is hard to beat. They consistently perform near the top of the field in all reviews that we could find. Experts as well as novice computer users really like their input devices. The Logitech MX Revolution ($60) is perhaps the best computer mouse on the market. This wireless mouse features all the bells and whistles that the average user needs and adds some extras for more proficient computer users. There is a complete review available for the Logitech MX Revolution (done by a co-worker) HERE. An update to this article - check ou the awarda winning Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse MX for PC and Mac. Logitech is the one company that consistently outdoes itself when it comes to computer mice. The Wireless Anywhere mouse sells for less than $60 and features hyper fast scrolling, a sculpted shape for easy maneuvering, and works on surfaces like glass.


Top Rated Mouse for Gamers:

The Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse ($50) gets excellent reviews on CNET.com from their experts as well as consumer opinions and feedback on other sites. TheLogitech G5 Laser Mouse (Corded) and Logitech MX 518 High Performance Optical Gaming Mouse (Metal) are two more selections worth considering as they too get good comments coming from gamers. The things that stand out on the Sidewinder are the "hardware customization" says CNET reviewer Rich Brown. The two major drawbacks to the Microsoft Sidewinder mouse are the fact that is it wired and the built-in LCD screen doesn't have a real use. You can switch the laser sensitivity "on the fly" like other mice, go from 400dpi to 2000dpi with a simple switch. The cool feature on some of these gaming mice are the customizable weight kits that the end user can play with to get the right feel. The Sidewinder comes with a single 5-gram and three 10-gram weights. Find this product online at BestBuy, Newegg.com, and Amazon. RECOMMENDED - You can find the best selling computer gaming mice here.


Computer Mouse for Child:

It does seem that most computers are not made for kids, let alone the computer mouse that comes with them. Children have smaller hands and fingers meaning the scroll wheel and clickable buttons need to be spaced better for little guys to use. The Logitech Ladybug mouse was a reasonably good product for kids, but it has been discontinued. You can find some currents kids mice online here. Amazon carries the KidzMouse CoolBug ($15) which has been around for a long time and gets decent reviews. There is no one standout in this category that we can recommend with confidence. I do, however, suggest you ask your local school which computer mouse they use in their computers or ask some neighbors what they have found to be ergonomic for their kids.

Laptop/Notebook Mouse:

The Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks ($50) is a crowd favorite for it's incredible small USB receiver. They call it the "Plug and Forget Nano receiver" because once it's in, you never have to touch it again. You get the essential cordless freedom that all users demand on notebooks and laptops. The connection speeds are definitely fast with the 2.4 GHz technology. Features include hyper-fast scrolling, precision scrolling, and greater cursor control than found on other competitors. The VX Nano is certified to work with Windows Vista so no worries there. Customer comments include "one of the best ever", "perfect" and "my favorite mouse". In tests, the Logitech tracks smoothly and scroller works flawlessly. You can find it online at stores like Amazon.com where it is prominently in the top 10 sellers. View all top rated notebook and laptop mice here.