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Computer Mice Buying Guide

Sep 10, 2008
A computer's mouse is as important to the computer as any other part of the computer setup. After all, the mouse is what you use the most whether your navigating through a website or browsing through pictures.

With that said, there a few things listed below that our product specialists recommend our customers to look for when buying a this important piece of the computer setup.

Ergonomics: It is important that you find a mouse that is comfortable for you. This can help prevent things such as Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI). Though these typically come from excessive use with a keyboard, the mouse also plays a role.

Left/Right Hand Design: If you are left handed, and use your left hand for the mouse, you may want to check and see if the mouse was created for use with the left hand, or for both hands. If you are right handed, this won't be much of an issue as almost all mice are made for use with the right hand.

Optical vs. Ball: We strongly recommend you get a mouse that is optical, not balled. This is because the DPI (Dots per Inch) level is usually higher with an optical mouse, and an optical mouse doesn't require the constant cleaning that a ball mouse needs for optimal performance. There are even some mice that can switch the DPI level on the fly, which is ideal for video games so you can have a slower more precise movement when sniping in a shooting game, or quicker movements in a driving game.

DPI Level: As was previously mentioned, optical mice generally have a higher DPI level. The higher the DPI level, the more sensitive the mouse will be to your movements. A higher DPI level would make sense for you if you plan on playing first person shooter video games, where quick movements may be needed. On the other hand, if you only plan on using the mouse only to surf the net, a high DPI level (which can add to the cost of the mouse) wouldn't be necessary.

Frame Rate: Optical mice work by taking little pictures of the surface below and comparing them to previously taken pictures to see how much the mouse it has moved. The higher the frame rate, the more "pictures" the mouse will take, therefore giving it much more to work with giving you a more accurate movements.

Buttons: Virtually all mice come with the left and right click buttons, but many mice are coming with much more nowadays. You can find mice with a scroll wheel that is located in between the left and right buttons, which can be used to scroll up and down a page, and with some models even left and right. Some mice come with two buttons in reach of your thumb, which can be handy when trying to go back and forward in your browser while surfing the net. You might want to consider a mouse that has more buttons, which can make your computing experience a lot easier and more efficient.

Wired/Wireless: You have two options for how your mouse will connect to your computer. Either it will be connected with a wire, or without a wire. There are many advantages and disadvantages for both types of mice. For example, a wired mouse will never need new batteries, while a wireless mouse won't keep you tangled up in wires. Choosing whether you want a wired or wireless mouse is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. A few years ago wireless mice were rarely seen, but with the rechargeable battery packs and portability wireless mice are offering, wireless mice have become more popular than ever.

Size: If you plan on using your mouse with a laptop computer, you should consider the size of the mouse. Generally the smaller the mouse is, the easier it will be for you to take it around.

Definitions:

Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): A common disorder in the wrist and hand; symptoms include pain and weakness in the muscles caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist area.

Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI): A type of injury where soft tissue in the body, such as muscles, nerves, tendons, and joints become irritated or inflamed.

Ergonomics: The science of the human body doing work related tasks in order to reduce the risk of injury.

DPI (Dots Per Inch): A measure of the resolution of a printer, scanner, monitor, or mouse. It refers to the number of dots that are fit into a one-inch line. The higher the DPI, the more accurate the image/information will be.

Frame Rate: The number of frames that are shown or sent each second.

Rechargeable Battery Packs: A rechargeable battery a compatible charger that are sold together.
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