The Perfect Mouse

Posted:

I am not pretentious about my hardware choices but the current market is thoroughly frustrating for purchasing solid computer equipment. Also, I chew through many computer mice in particular.

Preamble?

Nobody chooses the steering wheel they use in their car, but if the market was similar to computer mice, steering wheels would have similarly vile designs and marketing claims over how this line of racing wheel is 50% more comfortable and 10% lighter than last year’s design with allows pin-point turning.

mouse2

Computer peripherals are now far beyond normalcy and often try to sell their products in glossy and exaggerated terms, causing the weary to trudge a market that is more homogenised now than decades back. These events forced more of the good manufacturers of hardware to become entirely independent, many of which are based in the USA and are concerned with the computer keyboard market. This problem could be because try before you buy or caveat emptor was rug pulled when real shopping disappeared and now the flood of cheap Chinese imports sell you a pony instead of a horse. Even the largest comany product lines are rehashed designs, often with only a storefront (facade) of 3D renders. They will overstate the minute selling points to trick any potential buyers, all while hiding the product’s component quality and material, inflating the customer’s expectations with paragraphs of unnecessary marketing babble.

Experience with Mice

As an early adopter of expensive mice around 2007 I was elated to have sought something that may last a lengthy time and automate software to save time. No part of the journey from then until now has given me any confidence that there will be a well articulated and lasting design. I say this because I own a number of product purchases that receive daily use since that era.

Somewhere nearby, I have a box full of mice that are not broken, but unused, as they do not meet (sane) minimum standards of latency, battery life and shape. Many mice have been sold on because the software included was practically a requirement for its buttons to function. Even worse, I have an outstanding and decade-old warranty replacement that never returned back to me from Germany and I was not even slightly incommoded because I had a (still working) Microsoft intellimouse 3.

Even Microsoft cannot handle a simple warranty request in 2020 as my (then) latest model of “intellimouse pro” arrived functioning abnormally. mouse3 They did not contact me back in the manner they stated and then they decided to close the case 3 months after, and unknowingly to them throughout this process, I had returned the mouse back to the supplier.

More about software

Most early peripherals did not have memory storage for macros. This made navigation in the BIOS and other computers painful as these stateless devices would revert to the manufacturer’s (default) settings. Higher desktop resolutions means more hand movement.

My current mouse was obtained recently in a considerable sale and can be programmed to do typical stuff without any dependent and RAM-heavy background service. Despite all this functionality of additional hardware buttons and earmarked profiles, I choose to (software) disable every non-standard buttons to prevent any accidental pressing.

Hardware: off the rails

Computer mice are forever increasing the amount of buttons under the bonnet. A 3D mouse wheel can often have three underlying switches and also, I have owned one featuring a third big button (alongside left and right click) to activate another tier of functionality like SHIFT on a keyboard.

I find these button-encumbered types of mice to be expectedly frail and unreliable yet they might have the most comfortable shapes to hold. Conversely, sleek plastic mouse shells with rubber finishes lose their grip and protective sheen within a year’s use. No cup, pencil, door-handle, bag-pack, walking-stick, saucepan, etc. will yield the same way a computer mouse does from daily use.

They sell a wooden mouse now?

All I need is a good mouse wheel

No amount of LEDs and buttons will impress me but the current state of mice leads me to believe that I would be better off with a trackpad, a Thinkpad trackpoint or some strange hybrid (peripro-506?).

There was a time where a few mice were recommended for being as tough as nails (To name a few: MX518 and microsoft intellimouse explorer).

If you look at the first recommended results on the market, it has been flooded with cheap Chinese parts that:

These mouse designs are more flawed than OEM mice you were given for free with any new computer (dell usually).

Mouse

Market research for my needs

I come across as a self-inflicted pessimist but I do offset these problems use tiling window managers and shortcuts that reduce my mouse usage and hand strain. Even so, there is something regarding peripherals that often draws me in to idiotic impulse purchasing.

These are my potential future purchases:

  1. Keyboards with a dial, a knob or a wheel for scrolling
  2. A tertiary input device (I have owned a Logitech G13 for example)
  3. Something old but reliable (…post mouse ball that is)
  4. Laptop or modern (Apple-like) touchpad

Conclusion

The designers of “high end” computer mice are contemptible and introduce more issues than they solve in both hardware and software. Remove your lights, cheap switches, wireless dongles and overflowing buttons and focus firstly on the shape, the wheel and actual use-case navigation around the generous (virtual) desktop space.


Archive:

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