There are many different types of computer mice that can be bought at a wide range of prices.  Where and how you plan on using your pointing device is a big consideration.  Before buying you should understand more about the different types.

Wired or Wireless

Usually when I’m considering getting a new mouse I think about whether I want it to be wired or if I want wireless.  Not having wires is nice for two reasons.  One is that you don’t have to worry about stepping on or snagging the cord if it is near your feet. The second good thing is that you don’t feel any drag that you may feel from a tight cord. 


Wireless Mouse(115781)

However, wireless is not always ideal. This is simply because you will have to replace the batteries on a varying frequency which is determined by make or model and amount of continuous use.  The cost of batteries does add up over time.

Mechanical or Optical

The mechanical mouse is basically the oldest of computer mice.  It features a ball that is inserted into the bottom of the mouse.  As the user moves the device across a surface, the ball is rolled in that direction.  This movement of the ball rolls against tracks on the inside which indicate data input and move the on-screen pointer in the proper direction.  These types were not always very fluid in movement and tended to accumulate dirt on the inner tracks as well.  They are now pretty much getting to be obsolete, but can be found on older machines still in use.

Optical mice were really a step up from their mechanical counterparts.  This type uses lasers or L.E.D.s to transmit data.  They work very well on most hard, flat surfaces and have varying degrees of accuracy depending on the specific technology employed.

Trackball or Typical Mouse

While I guess the trackball is not technically a type of mouse I’d still like to include it in the discussion.  A trackball device is so called because it uses a ball on the top on which the user rests his/her hand.  Instead of moving the entire device to move the pointer, one only has to move the ball.  This reduction in movement is said to be more ergonomic and helps prevent injury from sustained computer use such as carpal tunnel.  These are also great for when you don’t have a large area in which to move the entire pointing device.


Mice That Work on Glass Surfaces

There are even some devices that work on glass.  One example is Logitech’s anywhere mouse.  While they may be expensive, these mice are great additions for those glass computer desks that look oh so cool.  If you can afford one, go for it.

Special Advice

If you really are considering any type of wireless mouse, you might also thinking about getting some rechargeable batteries.  Most mice use two AA batteries so you can just get a charger that charges two and swap sets out every time one set dies.  You’ll always have the other two charged and ready to go.