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.
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.