Bluetooth or regular 2.4 GHz RF? Do you need extra buttons? Read on to get yourself the right wireless mouse.
With wireless mice becoming cheaper and better by the day, it makes every sense in the world to pick one up while billing your new laptop. But before you do that, give these points some thought:
Wireless mice are primarily of two types these days: the most common one being regular 2.4 GHz RF and the fancier one being Bluetooth. The former is the one that's most prevalent in the market. It is also the cheapest to buy and easiest to use. The mouse usually contains a tiny USB receiver, which you can pull out of the underside of the mouse and connect to your laptop. Turn the mouse on and you're good to go. With the latter, you'll have to pair the device with your laptop. If you're looking for something that just works, get a regular wireless mouse; Bluetooth mice are still fresh in the market and Windows' Bluetooth drivers occasionally like to go on strike.
The size of the mouse is an element to consider if you're going to use the device heavily. Buying a very small mouse can cause considerable stress on your fingers, and even cause repetitive stress injury (RSI) in the long run. Many mice are sold in transparent blister packs that wrap themselves closely around the mouse; this should allow you to judge the size of the mouse by holding it in your hand.
The common mouse, wired or wireless, has the two standard buttons and a middle-button integrated into the scroll wheel. There are some models which feature more buttons for added functionality, like the Back and Forward operation in a web browser. Unless you feel you can’t do without these features, stick to a standard three-button mouse.
Most wireless mice require just one AA battery for about three or so months of worry-free operation. However, there are some that need two AAAs, or even two AAs. It's good to know this requirement before buying as it can save you some hassle at the time of battery replacement.
The clicks of the mouse can either serve as aural feedback or become a source of annoyance and distraction, depending on the user. Brands like Logitech offer a silent mouse, which stays silent when the buttons are pressed.
When we speak about the sensitivity of the mouse, we're basically referring to how sensitive the mouse tracker is to movement. Usually measured in DPI, the sensitivity of a mouse can go as high as 12,000 DPI and can be as low as 200 DPI. If you're into fast-paced shooters and are very serious about them, you should ideally look for a mouse with a minimum DPI count of 4000. But if your needs are just simply to navigate the user interface of your laptop's operating system, then you can save yourself the money and just buy a simple mouse with DPI as high as 400 (or even lower).
For more laptop buying guides, check out our Back to College microsite here.
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