Advertisement
Advertisement

Best mouse 2022: Get speed, comfort and precision with the best wired and wireless mice

Advertisement

Don’t get stuck with your cheap starter mouse – transform the way you use your PC or laptop with one of the best mice in the business

Too many people ignore the importance of buying the best mouse you can afford when you’re using a PC or even a laptop on a desk. Sure, you can struggle on with a bargain-basement effort or the trackpad built into your laptop, but you’ll find yourself working faster and more effectively if you connect a half-decent mouse. You’ll find it easier to navigate the desktop, make selections and get around your normal apps, and if you work in any field that involves graphics, video, code or design you’ll find a good mouse pretty much essential.

What’s more, buying the best mouse you can means you can use your PC in comfort. It’ll support your hand while you’re working and help ensure you don’t get RSI from clicking the buttons, scrolling the scroll wheel or moving it around. Many even come with extra programmable buttons you can use to control important functions without resorting to the keyboard, which can help you work more efficiently. If you’re just getting used to working from home, you’ll be surprised what a difference a decent mouse can make.

Read next: The best PC keyboards money can buy

How to buy the best mouse for you

Unless you’re a gamer or a design professional, the most important aspect of a mouse is comfort and the mouse’s shape. Generally speaking, more expensive mice tend to follow an ergonomic shape, where the mouse is designed to fall naturally underneath the spread of your right hand.

However, some people prefer a lighter, slimmer and often ambidextrous mouse that you rest your hand lightly on and use with your fingertips. Some mice have a more vertical format and keep your hand in a “handshake” alignment, which is something that puts less strain on the muscles and the wrist. If you’ve used a few mice then you’ll probably have some idea of what suits you best but, if you haven’t, this can be the trickiest part of making your choice.

The other key issues are connectivity and sensitivity or resolution. Going for a wireless mouse means less cable clutter, which is useful if you’re using it with a laptop that you might be using at home, in the office and elsewhere. Some connect via Bluetooth while others connect via a plug-in USB dongle, which might be essential if you’re using a desktop PC, as many still ship without Bluetooth built-in.

Wired mice are generally less popular these days, but they still have some big advantages. You don’t need to worry about batteries or charging the mouse, and wired mice just work on nearly every PC or laptop, which can’t always be said about wireless mice. Wired mice are also often slightly cheaper, and there’s barely any delay between you moving the mouse or clicking a button and that being registered with your PC. Even in the worst-case scenarios, we’re talking milliseconds with a wireless mouse, but that can be enough to mean the difference between victory and defeat in online games.

What sensitivity or resolution do I need?

The sensitivity or resolution of a mouse is expressed in dots per inch (dpi), meaning the number of individual points within an inch of movement that the mouse is able to pick up. Modern mice tend to start at 800dpi and go up to an average 1,200 to 1,600dpi, with gaming and high-end productivity mice taking that further to 4,000 or even 8,000dpi. Take the numbers with a pinch of salt; a 4,000dpi mouse isn’t necessarily any better than a 1,600dpi rodent and, for many of us, such a mouse would actually be too sensitive if used at full resolution.

Most people have the sensitivity dialled down – the high resolution just makes movement smoother and more accurate. Even professional gamers often won’t have the sensitivity maxed out; it’s just there if they need it for activities where pixel-perfect precision matters.

Is there anything else worth looking out for?

It’s worth thinking about battery life with wireless mice or about features that allow you to use the same mouse on several PCs, tablets or laptops and switch between them with a button press. What’s more, mice of all kinds can benefit from extra buttons or wheels that give them extra programmable functions for, say, zooming the view in and out in design applications or skipping backwards and forwards in your Web browser.

The best mice to buy

1. SteelSeries Prime Wireless: The best wireless mouse for any purpose

Price: £129 | Buy now from Amazon

The Prime Wireless is one of those mice that instantly feels right when you put your hand on it. In use, it's even better thanks to SteelSeries’ proprietary magnetic optical mouse switches, which are good for 100 million clicks and give the Prime Wireless an extremely satisfying and positive click-action. The ABS plastic body has what the manufacturer calls a “rough matte” finish, which makes the Prime easy to grip, even when things get sweaty. The maximum DPI setting is a whopping 18,000 and it glides about effortlessly thanks to three large PTFE skate pads.

The Prime's gaming background only shows through in the RGB scroll wheel light but you can disable that using the SteelSeries GG control panel. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 100 hours with the RGB lighting turned off and there’s a handy quick-charge facility that gives you a decent 40 hours of use with just 15 minutes of charge The only negative is the 2.4GHz wireless dongle: it’s a USB-C affair which could prove a problem on some older laptops and it sticks out rather far at 30mm compared to just 10mm for the Logitech equivalent.

Key specs – Sensor: SteelSeries TrueMove Air Optical; Max sensitivity: 18,000dpi; Connectivity: 2.4Ghz wireless; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: Internal Li-ion; Dimensions: 125.3 x 59 x 23mm; Weight: 80g

Buy now from Amazon


2. Microsoft Comfort Mouse 4500: The best budget mouse

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

It isn’t wireless but the Comfort Mouse 4500 is a big step up from your basic budget mouse, with features like a rubber grip around the whole lower section and extra programmable buttons on either side. Microsoft’s BlueTrack tech means it works on a wide range of surfaces while the 1,000dpi sensor gives you enough accuracy for anything up to gaming and serious design work.

The scroll wheel is also smoother than you’ll find on most cheap mice and it tilts sideways for horizontal scrolling. The ambidextrous shape isn’t the most ergonomic out there and the Comfort Mouse 4500 lacks the weighty feel of more expensive mice, but this is one budget mouse worth having.

Key specs – Sensor: Microsoft Optical; Max sensitivity: 1,000dpi; Connectivity: USB; Buttons: 4x buttons, 1x tilt wheel; Battery: None; Dimensions: 70 x 116 x 42mm; Weight: 132g

Buy now from Amazon


3. Logitech M330 Silent Plus: The best cheap wireless mouse

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

This simple wireless mouse has a comfortable shape with a soft rubber grip and, while it’s light, it feels good in the hand. The compact size means it’s ideal for laptop use but you wouldn’t mind it as your desktop mouse, either. Its biggest advantage is that the buttons are designed to be near-silent, with a claimed 90% reduction in click noise and it definitely manages to keep noise levels low while still delivering enough tactile feedback.

The mouse connects via a 2.4GHz USB dongle, which stows inside the battery compartment for travel, and the auto switch-off feature helps you get two years of life from a single AA. As a bonus, it comes in a choice of four colours.

Key specs – Sensor: Logitech Optical; Max sensitivity: 1,000dpi; Connectivity: 2.4GHz wireless; Buttons: 2 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: 1x AA; Dimensions: 105 x 68 x 38mm; Weight: 91g

Buy now from Amazon


4. Cherry MW9100: The best budget travel mouse

Price: £38 | Buy now from Amazon

Cherry’s new MW 9100 is a small symmetrical travel mouse that is a little heavier than you might expect. It weighs 92g, which lends it a solid feel, and the design is a step above the usual as well, the silver accents on the rubber side panels delivering it from desktop anonymity.

The two click buttons have very crisp yet quiet actions, the notched scroll wheel is perfectly calibrated and the DPI button behind it lets you switch between three different levels of sensitivity.

With Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, customisability via the Cherry app and 70 days of battery life (it recharges via USB-C), the MW9100 is a fantastic all-rounder. Cherry even supplies a little travel bag.

Key specs – Sensor: PixArt PAW3212DB-TJDT Optical; Max sensitivity: 2,400dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4Ghz wireless; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 550mAh Internal Li-ion; Dimensions: 99 x 63 x 34mm; Weight: 92g

Buy now from Amazon


5. Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic: The best ergonomic mouse

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

While some ergonomic mice look as they have been designed with an alien life form in mind, Microsoft’s Ergonomic mouse looks reassuringly normal, with the only hat-tip to hard-core ergonomics being the soft-touch thumb rest on the left. With only five buttons it isn’t the most feature-laden mouse but you can programme the two side buttons using Microsoft’s Mouse & Keyboard Centre software.

Available in four rather dashing colours, the Microsoft Ergonomic also features an aluminium scroll wheel which wasn’t something I expected to find on a mouse with a price tag under £50. The result is a mouse that looks and feels significantly more expensive than it is. The Bluetooth-only Ergonomic is powered by two AAA batteries which according to Microsoft should keep it working for an impressive 15 months.

Key specs – Sensor: Pixart PAW3228 Optical; Max sensitivity: 2,400dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 2 x AAA; Dimensions: 118.2 x 76.3 x 42.4mm; Weight: 91g

Buy now from Amazon


6. Logitech G203: The best budget gaming mouse

Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

The G203 is one of the few gaming mice that won’t look completely out-of-place in the office. Sure, it has five programmable buttons and RGB lighting, but the lighting is relatively subdued and can be customised through Logitech’s G Hub software. And, while it’s a simple, compact and lightweight design – ideal for fingertip use – it’s very comfortable, especially for those with smaller hands.

In terms of performance it can’t compete with Logitech’s high-end gaming mice, but the 8,000 dpi Mercury sensor can still handle competitive gaming and precision Photoshop or Lightroom work. You can buy flashier gaming mice with better specs for the same money but it’s unlikely that they’ll work this well.

Key specs – Sensor: Logitech Mercury; Max sensitivity: 8,000dpi; Connectivity: USB; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: None; Dimensions: 125 x 84 x 51mm; Weight: 141g

7. Logitech Ergo M575 Trackball: The best mouse for mouse haters

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

Not everyone can get along with a trackball but if your desk is small or you are easily prone to wrist ache they are well worth considering. One of the smaller trackball mice on the market is the Logitech M575, an update of the highly regarded M570. It looks like a regular mouse but has a ball where the thumb rest should be and the diminutive size and curvaceous shape make it feel more natural in the hand than some of the larger designs that I’ve used.

The ball moves with absolute fluidity in its housing and the buttons all have a satisfyingly positive action. The grippy feet on the bottom keep it firmly in place no matter what surface you use it on. The Ergo is not as versatile as some conventional mice – only the two secondary buttons and scroll wheel are programmable – but connectivity is not a problem with both Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless on offer. It’s also good to see the Ergo M575 caters for Mac users as well as those who use Windows machines.

Key specs – Sensor: Logitech Advanced Optical Tracking; Max sensitivity: 2,000dpi; Connectivity: 2.4Ghz wireless, Bluetooth; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 1 x AA; Dimensions: 134 x 100 x 48mm; Weight: 145g

Buy now from Amazon


8. Rapoo MT-550: A great all-rounder

Price: £30 | Buy now from AO.com

Rapoo isn’t as big a brand as Logitech or Microsoft, but the MT-550 gives you a high-end feel and feature set for less. It’s a solid ergonomic mouse with a nice soft-rubber finish and shaped to support the hand at rest, with a contoured area for the thumb to grip and two extra buttons just above. The scroll wheel is light but still precise and the mouse is sensitive with a switchable 600 to 1600dpi sensor.

You can also pair the MT-550 with up to three PCs or tablets over Bluetooth, then switch between them with a press of a button, while a bundled 2.4GHz USB dongle covers desktop PCs. It’s a good performer at a very affordable price.

Key specs – Sensor: Optical; Max sensitivity: 1,600dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: 2 x AA; Dimensions: 102 x 70 x 43mm; Weight: 168g

Buy now from AO.com


9. Microsoft Intellimouse Pro: High-end tech in a classic shape

Price: £41 | Buy now from Amazon

The Microsoft Intellimouse was one of the first great ergonomic mice, and its 2017 revival as the Classic Intellimouse brought it back into the limelight. This Pro model takes it up another level, matching the super-comfortable shape of the original model with a gaming-ready PixArt sensor that can go up to a staggering 16,000dpi.

The mouse practically glides above the desk while the main buttons are engineered for intense and repetitive clicking – handy whether you’re blasting Doom Eternal’s demons or working on an Excel spreadsheet. You can also adjust the DPI for different uses and even set up quick access settings. This is an oldie-but-goldie mouse packing the latest sensor tech, although those just looking for a brilliant desktop mouse could save some cash and go for the still very lovable Classic model instead.

Key specs – Sensor: PixArt-3389; Max sensitivity: 16,000dpi; Connectivity: USB; Buttons: 4 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: None; Dimensions: 125 x 84 x 51mm; Weight: 141g

Buy now from Amazon


10. Razer Pro Click: A great productivity mouse from the gaming experts

Price: £99 | Buy now from Amazon

Razer may be best known for its high-end gaming kit but its productivity-focused lines are every bit as good. The Pro Click looks like a civilianized version of the Basilisk gamer mouse with added features like Bluetooth and multi-device support but stripped of the RGB light show. An eminently comfortable mouse, we particularly like the wing on the left which gives you somewhere to gently rest your thumb without having to actually grip the mouse.

The scroll wheel deserves special mention. Not only is it made of steel with a perfectly textured scrolling surface, but you can tilt it to either the left or right. By default, tilting it to the left makes content scroll up while tilting right makes it scroll down, but you can customize the functions using Razer’s Synapse software. My only small complaint is the use of a dated MicroUSB rather than USB-C cable for charging but on the plus side, you can also use the Pro Click as a wired mouse.

Key specs – Sensor: Razer 5G Advanced Optical; Max sensitivity: 16,000dpi; Connectivity: 2.4Ghz wireless, Bluetooth, USB; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 tilt wheel; Battery: Internal Li-Ion; Dimensions: 126.7 x 79.7 x 45.7mm; Weight: 106g

Buy now from Amazon


11. Logitech M720 Triathlon: A brilliant mid-ranger

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

This compact, lightweight mouse is a versatile all-rounder and, while the specs aren’t that impressive, it’s a very reliable and responsive option. It can connect over Bluetooth or a USB nano receiver and pair with up to three PCs or tablets, switching between them using a button on the side. It also supports Logitech’s ingenious flow technology, so you can have, say, a Windows tablet sitting next to your laptop and move smoothly from screen to screen with just one mouse.

The other two buttons are programmable, while even the wheel has some tricks up its sleeve, switching between smooth and clicky scrolling modes and tilting sideways for horizontal scrolling. It’ll work for well over a year on a single AA battery and the 1,000dpi resolution optical sensor seems to work on every surface going. If you can’t stretch to the high-end mice, this is a dependable workhorse that will flip from desktop to laptop use in a jiffy.

Key specs – Sensor: Logitech Advanced Optical; Max sensitivity: 1,000dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless; Buttons: 4 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: 1x AA; Dimensions: 115 x 74 x 45mm; Weight: 135g

Buy now from Amazon


12. Roccat Kain 120 Aimo: The best mid-range gaming mouse

Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

It’s not as expensive as most high-end gaming mice but nothing about the Roccat Kain 120 Aimo feels second-best. It has an anti-wear coating that prevents dirt building up, separate left and right buttons for precision blasting and a top-mounted, rubberized wheel that’s impressively smooth. The side-mounted buttons on the left are responsive and its weight is perfect for gaming.

Best of all, the Kain 120 Aimo features Roccat’s excellent Owl-Eye sensor, which matches the precision and smooth tracking of the best gaming mice. You could spend more in your quest to be an eSports legend but it’s doubtful that you’ll find a better mouse.

Key specs – Sensor: Roccat Owl-Eye; Max sensitivity: 16,000dpi; Connectivity: USB; Buttons: 6 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: None; Dimensions: 124 x 65 x 43mm; Weight: 91g

Buy now from Amazon


13. Logitech MX Master 3: The best wireless mouse for productivity

Price: £100 | Buy now from Currys PC World

As long as you’re not looking for RGB lighting or professional gaming features, the Logitech MX Master 3 is the best mouse there is. Its ergonomic shape is incredibly comfortable, putting all the buttons right where you need them. It’s sensitive enough for the most demanding design work, and the built-in battery lasts for months at a time, then charges over USB.

Like the M720 Triathlon, it can work across three PCs or devices and you can switch between them with a click of the button on the bottom. It also supports the same Logitech Flow software. What’s more, it’s incredibly flexible, with six buttons and two scroll wheels, including a wheel on the side that you can configure for quick adjustments and a hidden button found when you click down on the thumb rest. Take the time to set it up properly and you’ll wonder how you ever worked without it.

Key specs – Sensor: Logitech Darkfield laser; Max sensitivity: 4,000dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, USB; Buttons: 6 buttons, 2 wheels; Battery: Internal Li-Ion; Dimensions: 125 x 84 x 51mm; Weight: 141g

Buy now from Currys PC World


Read more

Best Buys