Most of my friends, when they buy a new computer, worry a lot about CPU speed, disk speed and memory speed and whatnot speed. And then they go and buy a €6 mouse and a €7 keyboard. Ironic. While the CPU, the disk and the memory and all that other stuff often end up being wasted, the mouse and the keyboard are used to the max the entire time the computer is in use. I can’t count the number of times I’ve picked up someone else’s mouse and ended up having to whack it a few times to get to an icon, simply because the mouse is of poor quality or because the owner never bothered to get a suitable mouse pad. It doesn’t make sense. For someone like me, whose primary work tool is his or her computer, the way you interact with it should be as hassle-free as possible – it should make your work easier, not harder.
My mouse is a Razer Copperhead and it cost me a fortune. More than €60. And look, it’s even got a cord* and everything. And it’s big**! It was really tough to choose. Even more so because I’m left-handed, and from my left hand’s perspective, most mouse devices are a mass of misshapen, useless plastic. What makes this mouse so special is the simple fact that it is able to perfectly execute what mouse devices are supposed to do: push the little arrow around the screen. It says it’s specially designed for gamers. I don’t know; I’m not a gamer. But I’m just as picky about mouse devices as they are.
So, how do you choose? In the case of keyboards, I look for two things: comfort and sturdiness. In the case of mouse devices: besides the obvious comfort factor, stay well away from ball-type mouse devices (if they even still exist), and choose an optical device, preferably the laser type. An important specification is the number of dots per inch (DPI), in other words, its resolution or sensitivity.
- It’s curious to note that most people don’t think twice about shelling out €50 or more on a cordless mouse, and most of the time these don’t work all that well. I include myself in this group because I did buy one once, but I retired it because I was disappointed in its performance.
** I also know some laptop users who use those feeble little mouse devices made especially for laptops with the excuse that they are lighter and therefore easier to carry in their bags. Let’s be reasonable: the difference in weight is just a few grams, but the difference in ergonomics… is enormous. Besides, these toy mouse devices never work that great anyway.
So, my friends, that’s my advice.
Note: this article was posted a few years back on my personal blog, but since it still seems pertinent, I am posting it again here.
Greetings from Abapinho.