General Question

marinelife's avatar

How do I select a mouse type for my laptop?

Asked by marinelife (62485points) August 17th, 2009

I want to add an external mouse to my laptop.

I don’t want to spend a lot of money, and I don’t need fancy features.

What technical wording should I look for? Serial? USB?

What’s important?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

robmandu's avatar

I suggest a wireless USB mouse.

You could get a Bluetooth mouse, but they typically are more expensive and don’t always have the best performance. The plus side of a Bluetooth mouse is that it doesn’t block one of your laptop’s USB ports with a dongle.

EmpressPixie's avatar

If you have an available USB port, then you can get a nice, well functioning USB mouse for $15. It won’t do anything fancy—it’ll have two buttons and maybe a scroll, but it will work like a mouse.

But look at where your USB port is in conjunction with where you want to use the mouse. I am right handed. My USB connections are all on the left side of the computer. So some sort of wireless is probably best for me. (I still got a wired one, but that’s because I wasn’t thinking about this issue at the time.)

It seems unlikely that you have a serial connection on your laptop unless it is old.

jrpowell's avatar

I bought a Kensington USB mouse at OfficeMax for under 10$ and it works great. It has two buttons and a scroll wheel. I have used it for a year without a problem.

I just plugged it into my iMac and it worked. It should be the same on Windows.

gggritso's avatar

There are only a few things a casual user would need to consider.

1. Wired/Wireless? Wireless is nice, but batteries are an extra headache. If I don’t have a wired mouse around I just use the trackpad, but you might find this convenient.

2. Portable/Regular? You can use any mouse you want with a laptop, if you see “laptop mice” on sale the mice will be smaller, and if they’re wireless they would have a special compartment for you to hide the wireless adapter they use.

3. Price. There are a ton of mice on the market, pick anything in your price range. Personally, Logitech never steered me wrong.

Comfort is the only really important thing. Go out to a store and try a few. Buy the one that feels the best.

Some people might tell you that you need to pay attention to the DPI and the type of sensor, but I think that unless you’re a gamer or a designer you wouldn’t care.

Any new mouse you’d buy would be a USB mouse, but it might have an optional Serial adapter if you’d like to free up the extra USB port. Bluetooth mice might not be worth the extra cost.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

wireless USBs are the best.

other than that whatever’s most comfortable in your hand.

marinelife's avatar

Thank you, everyone. (Gave away my age by talking about serial, huh?) I had not thought of wireless, but if they are that cheap, they might be best since I am left-handed.

gggritso's avatar

@Marina Why would being left-handed matter? There are usually USB ports on both sides of a laptop, and laptop mice tend to be ambidextrous anyway, wireless or not.

marinelife's avatar

@gggritso Perhaps people have just plugged mine in automatically for right-handed people. Or technology has moved forward, but somehow I was always strangling the machine with the cord.

robmandu's avatar

If you go for USB wireless, keep a sharp eye out for the “leave-it-in” USB plug receiver. Many brands offer it.

It’s a very slim profile plug that is intended to be left in your laptop’s USB port all the time. Way better than the older/bulkier type which you should remove before packing your laptop away so that it doesn’t break off.

This Logitech mouse is one example.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@gggritso: As I mentioned, I only have USB ports on the left side of my computer. Which means that I either have some annoyance going on or am using a wireless mouse, as I am right handed. If @Marina‘s ports are all on the right side of her computer…

Jack79's avatar

I’d just go for a cheap, generic USB mouse (assuming you have a free port). Logitech has good value-for-money products, but everyone has their own preference, and basically, whichever one you buy, it will get the job done (and you’ll get used to it after a few days).

The only mouse I didn’t like was a really small one (the tiny ones people tend to use with laptops). Sure, it is smaller, but when devices get too small, they stop being practical, and hurt your hand after a while.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I have a logitech wireless mouse with a nano reciever (its a very small dongle you can leave puged in all the time with out it being annoying). It’s great.

edit – this one

rebbel's avatar

If you choose a wireless USB, be sure to always have some new batteries in home (or a pair of freshly charged rechargeables).
You’re always with a dead mouse when the stores are closed, believe me.

marinelife's avatar

@rebbel I hate finding a dead mouse. My cats used to drop them of as presents.

rebbel's avatar

@Marina I feel for you.
Have you ever tried to insert a fresh battery in them?

galileogirl's avatar

Check with @Frankie, his mouse needs to have a new friend

rottenit's avatar

The logitech VX nano is a awesome mouse, we have about 20 in use right now, (some for over a year) and they stand up to what my mobile users toss at them. They do have a receiver that they advertise as being able to be left in the laptop. Battery life is fantastic, with about every other day use my battery lasts 6 months.

However, these do not meet the cheap criteria they run around $50 sometimes on sale in the $30 range

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