Think about your daily workplace grind.
What’s the one peripheral you use more than any other? The mouse. Speakers are a great perk if your boss allows them, as are a decent pair of headphones or earbuds. But not every work environment is conducive to audio equipment, which vaults the mouse to the top of the most-needed list in employment spaces around the country.
If you’re a low-maintenance worker, you probably don’t have much of an opinion about mice – you take what your IT department gives you. And, in one sense, this isn’t a bad idea. Even the most basic mouse can get the job done if you spend the majority of your time typing and checking email.
But if your job requires a little more mousal precision – think graphic design, page layout or game design – then you’ll need something more than just your average click-and-scroller.
The Razer Mamba (2015 Model): The Ultimate Mouse (But Maybe a Little Too Much for the Office)
Remember how we said some people are content with a mouse that clicks and scrolls? The two-button system is great for them, it’s a timeless design and it functions really well.
But as the world of gaming has exploded over the past decade, mice have followed suit. The Razer Mamba is the perfect example of the gaming-oriented peripheral that can double as the hero of your work day. Here’s a basic overview of the Mamba’s features:
- LED lighting that can be changed based on your preferences
- Rubberized grips on the side of the mouse
- Click-sensitivity adjustments for the right and left buttons
- Wireless or wired capability in one mouse
- 10 programmable buttons
Like we said, in the heading of this section, the Mamba might be a little too much for you. But for those who perform a series of complex keystroke or mouse-click actions within a short amount of time, this mouse could be a savior.
“Although it’s expensive, the Razer mamba offers an unmatched set of features, plenty of customization and high-end performance,” contributor Matthew Buzzi wrote.
Price at the time of this post: $139.99 on Amazon
The Logitech M320: The Pedestrian Choice for Top Performance
If the Razer Mamba is the Bentley of the mouse world, the Logitech M320 is the Honda Accord: an affordable option with a track record of reliability. It is the flagship of the simple-mouse niche in the tech world.
There isn’t much to say in the way of features, aside from the fact that, according to the mouse’s page on Logitech’s website, it has a 2-year battery life and a soft-rubber surface. There are no fancy LED lights, click calibration or 10 different customizable buttons.
PC Mag gave the mouse four stars and deemed it an Editors’ Choice selection. Reviewer Brian Westover said the 320 is “a fine example of simplicity done right.”
Price at the time of this post: $17.96 on Amazon
The Logitech Performance MX: Good for the big-handed
One thing we haven’t talked about yet is hand size. Most mice are built for average-sized hands, which means if you’re hands are bigger than most, you’ll probably feel a few aches and pains from using an undersized mouse.
Logitech’s Performance MX ranked high in The Wirecutter’s rankings because it’s a bigger mouse that’s suitable for people with manos grandes. It’s fancier cousin, the MX master, costs about $25 more but is smaller than the Performance MX and has a shorter warranty.
The mouse is light on extra features, which is a downside for people looking for a versatile mouse. Also working against it is the fact that it will be too big for most people.
As Wirecutter’s Kimber Streams put it, “Our largest-handed tester … preferred the size and shape of the Performance over the MX Master, but he liked the features of the MX Master better.”
Price at the time of this post: $62.97 on Amazon
The Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600: A Tiny Choice for Lots of Travel
While the Logitech Performance MX is known for being the perfect fit for massive hands, the Microsoft 3600 is the perfect choice for an entirely different reason. This reliable and simple mouse is designed for travel, which means it’s got a small body.
One of the drawbacks to travel mice is that they don’t always provide a lot of support for your palm, resulting in annoying aches and pains after prolonged use. But this Microsoft model, Wirecutter says, stands out because it’s “compact without sacrificing hand support – great for travel and for smaller hands.”
Like the Logitech M320, this mouse can be had for less than $30. Before you buy it, Wirecutter warns, make sure it’s compatible with your operating system and that your computer can sync with a Bluetooth 4.0 device.
Price at the time of this post: $20.99 on Amazon