In the fifty-odd years since its invention we’ve seen the humble mouse improve considerably, with the addition of weight systems, laser sensors and masses of buttons and flashing lights.
The best mice combine all these elements in sleek, ergonomic shells or have a unique selling point that justifies their consideration.
Choosing which is the best mouse for you comes down to a number of factors, and all the mice in our round-up come with a range of different features. Read on to find out what mouse will suit your click-happy digits.
1. Logitech MX Master
The best mouse Logitech has ever made
DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth (pairs with up to three devices) | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Hand-sculpted comfort contour, Speed-adaptive scroll wheel, Thumb wheel, Darkfield Laster Tracking, Dual Connectivity, Rechargeable battery
Thumb wheel and adaptive scrolling
Pairs with 3 PCs
It’s a lot of money for a mouse
May be a bit big for some
Logitech’s flagship is a mighty mouse indeed. Hand-sculpted for comfort, the MX Master connects via Bluetooth or USB dongle and it can pair to up to three devices. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 40 days and goes from flat to a day of power in four minutes, and you can use it while it’s charging. The scroll wheel’s a two-state job with click-to-click and unrestricted speedy scrolling, there’s a thumbwheel for side-to-side scrolling and you can reprogram the buttons to suit your way of working.
2. Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse
It looks weird, but it feels pretty good
DPI: 1000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: vertical | Features: No
Good for RSI sufferers and prevention
Cheap as chips
Thumb buttons don’t work on Macs
Let’s get the weird one out of the way first: Anker’s mouse sits vertically, so you hold it as if you’re shaking hands with someone. It feels strange until suddenly it doesn’t: it’s comfortable and doesn’t make you twist your arm as normal mice do. The price means a few corners have been cut – where other mice are a collection of curves the Anker has a couple of sharp bits to jab the unwary – but it’s a good and inexpensive choice for anyone who has or fears RSI.
3. Apple Magic Mouse 2
As ever, Apple thinks different
DPI: 1300 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 0 | Ergonomic: ambidextrous | Features: multi-touch
Multi-touch is clever
Spectacularly uncomfortable (for us; your mileage may vary)
It has its critics – including your correspondent, who thinks it’s the most spectacularly uncomfortable mouse ever made – but the Magic Mouse has plenty of fans and the second version is a big improvement over the first generation. It boasts a trackpad-like multi-touch surface and moves more smoothly around your desk than the first version, and it doesn’t require normal batteries thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery. Unfortunately the position of the Lightning port means you can’t use it while it’s charging.
4. Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse
Shop around to bag this at a bargain price
DPI: 2500 | Interface: wireless via USB dongle | Buttons: 11 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: sensitivity switching, performance/endurance modes
Fast and accurate
Overkill for Office
Don’t pay the RRP
While the G602 is clearly aimed at gamers it makes a pretty great mouse for other things too. It runs for up to 250 hours between charges in performance mode and 1440 hours in endurance mode, tracks exceptionally quickly and has programmable controls for its 11 buttons (on PC). Like most Logitech mice it’s very comfortable to hold even for protracted periods. You can pay a lot more for mice that aren’t as good, but don’t pay the £69.99 RRP: at the time of writing it’s widely available for £44.99.
5. Logitech Marathon Mouse M705
Get three years from two AAs
DPI: 1000 | Interface: wireless via USB dongle | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: fast scrolling
Astonishing battery life
Software isn’t great on the Mac
Better Logitech mice aren’t much more expensive
Fancy a wireless mouse that runs for three years between battery changes? The Marathon gets extraordinary life from a pair of AAs, even though it’s wireless. The scroll wheel offers hyper-fast scrolling and tilt scrolling and the mouse has the familiar shape Logitech users will know very well – albeit not in quite as extreme a fashion as the more gaming-focused mice in the range. If you’re looking for a great all-rounder that won’t make hurt your hands, your wallet or your purse this Marathon’s worth running.
6. Logitech Performance MX
It’s big, but it’s also clever
DPI: 1500 | Interface: wireless via USB dongle | Buttons: 6 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: fast scroll, tilt scroll
Very comfortable if you have enormous hands
Too big for many
Zoom button prone to accidental presses
The MX Master may be newer and shinier, but the Performance MX is still great. We’ve been using one as our main mouse ever since it first shipped. It’s not great for people with small hands – we’ve got hands like baseball gloves and it still feels a bit big – but it’s a brilliant all-rounder with four thumb buttons, two-state scrolling and Logitech’s own dongle. It recharges via the supplied USB cable and its Darkfield tracking works on pretty much any surface, even glass. If you’re a giant, this is the mouse for you.
7. Logitech Trackman Marble
Marble madness to make your fingers fly
DPI: 300 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 4 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous design | Features: programmable
May reduce risk/pain of RSI
Not everybody likes trackballs
Relatively low DPI
The Trackman Marble might look weird, but it’s a very sensible solution: trackballs can deliver smoother movement than normal mice, and because you’re flipping with fingers instead of waving your wrist around they can significantly reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury. Older readers will enjoy flashbacks to playing Missile Command in arcades too. It takes a bit of getting used to if you haven’t used a trackball before, but the control and comfort mean it’s worth the effort.
8. Mad Catz R.A.T. ProX Precision Gaming
Quite possibly the maddest mouse ever made
DPI: 8200/5000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 10 | Ergonomic: right-handed only | Features: swappable modules, analog strafe
Looks like a Transformer
Overkill for most
If you’re going to drop £150 on a mouse it might as well be a fun one, and the R.A.T. ProX is definitely that: it’s the Transformer of mice, with swappable sensors, swappable scroll wheels, swappable palm rests and what Mad Catz calls "analog strafe", which enables the scroll wheel to act as an analog stick. It looks amazing, costs a fortune and if it were a game it’d be Broforce: ridiculously over-the-top, completely crazy and an absolute hoot.
9. Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600
It’s cheap! It’s cheerful! It lasts forever!
DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 2 | Ergonomic: ambidextrous | Features: No
Really, really cheap
Smaller than most mice
We’ve a soft spot for the good old Microsoft Mouse, and the 3600 uses Bluetooth to deliver wireless connections without dongles. It runs for up to a year on a single battery and is that rare thing, a mouse that’s designed for both left and right handed use. It doesn’t have 32 billion buttons, a sensor capable of tracking atoms or the ability to turn into a car and save the universe, but if you want a good, comfortable, reliable mouse to take wherever you go the 3600 is a winner.
10. Razer DeathAdder Chroma
When plain old death isn’t enough
DPI: 10,000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: lighting effects
Lighting feels a bit gimmicky
Software can be a bit flaky
You just know that a mouse called the Razer DeathAdder Chroma isn’t going to come in pink with My Little Pony stickers. Offering high-end performance for a pretty reasonable price, the Chroma’s USP is its 16.8 million-colour lighting effects coupled with a 10,000 dpi optical sensor. It’s blazingly fast, exceptionally accurate, offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment and looks fantastic, which is probably why it’s so popular among e-sports athletes. It also has a seven-foot braided cable, which is handy if your PC is quite far away.
Read the full review: Razer DeathAdder Chroma