Who doesn't love a good wireless mouse? Free from wires that tangle, it can soar across your desktop, free as a bird. We tested five of the best on the market, and while they were all good, there can be only one Bestmodo.
Methodology: We tested each mouse over a period of days. Factors considered included comfort and ergonomics, compatibility and customisation, features and just general usability.
5th Place: Apple Magic Mouse
The Apple Magic Mouse is a work of art. Stark white and minimalist. An almost parabolic curve and hard, sharp edges. It's beautiful and it belongs in a museum. However, like most things that belong in a museum this object is not really meant to be touched. Yeah, zing, but that's not really a joke. The curves are vastly more pleasing to the eye than they are to the hand — it's just not shaped for humans. The cursor tracks pretty accurately, and multitouch gives it a few advanced gestures, like flipping between pages. There are no gestures to open Exposé or Spaces, though.
It's also extremely light which can lead to clicks when you don't want them. At the same time it sometimes misinterprets right-clicks and left-clicks if you're too close to the invisible centre line. It's very glossy, which actually makes scrolling tougher. On the plus side, it's Bluetooth, so you can connect it to your various devices — but really only OS X will get the full benefits. The mouse has a very nice glide to it, and as I said, it looks like a piece of art, but it's still not comfortable or enjoyable to use experience. $75.
Apple Magic Mouse
• Compatibility: OS X • Bluetooth: Yes • Rechargeable: No • Ergonomic: No • Price: $75 in Australia • Gizrank: 2.5
4th Place: Microsoft Explorer Touch
Fun fact: an "Explorer Touch" is not just something that will get you pepper-sprayed. It's also a mouse, apparently. And this particular mouse has some very unique hardware: Instead of a scroll wheel, there's a little flat rectangular touchpad for scrolling. And there's haptic feedback built into it, so if you scroll slowly you can actually hear and feel it click. Pretty cool. Flick it and it clicks as if it were a free-spinning wheel. It was an oddity that took a little getting used to, but you'll actually grow to like it a lot. It is especially nice for horizontal scrolling.
The Explorer Touch is blessedly compatible with OSX and Windows alike. It's got a slick curve to it that fits the hand nicely, and it can be used right-handed or left-handed. It's very simple, but you will miss having various thumb buttons to quickly toggle windows and activate other OS-specific features. Once you start using mouse-buttons for those actions, there's no going back. It's also a bit light and plasticky, and the high-gloss finish (on everything except the trackpad) attracts finger-prints and makes it feel a little sweaty. It also doesn't glide quite as smoothly as it should. $US50.
Microsoft Explorer Touch
• Compatibility: OS X, Windows 7 • Bluetooth: No • Rechargeable: No • Ergonomic: No • Price: $US50 • Gizrank: 3.0
3rd Place: Microsoft Touch Mouse
This is the Windows answer to the Apple Magic Mouse. But it's better. Our Matt Buchanan had a bad experience when he tested his, but he seriously must've had a lemon, because this one worked like a charm. An important note is that it only works for Windows 7 (and above), but dang, it's just way more capable than the Magic Mouse. Not only does it have all of the gestures that the Magic Mouse has, but it has some of those other coveted thumb-gestures. Show (or hide) all windows with a single gesture; snap applications to the left or right half of the screen for easy multitasking. It gives you all of the control of a trackpad with the ergonomics and precision of a mouse.
It also looks great: simple, but futuristic and carbon-fibre-y. The whole thing is nice and matte, which helps your fingers glide rather than stick. There's a nicely defined scroll track in the centre, which also really helps you distinguish between right and left click zones. The thing is too light, though. Why does that matter? Because when you're gesturing with your fingers, it's way too easy to accidentally move the mouse. You need to have very dry, very unsticky fingers. Lewd jokes aside, when you do a lot of typing body oils accumulate on your fingertips, and that gives them more traction and causes the mouse to move, matte finish or not. Other than that, the only major drawback is that it's only for Windows machines. If only they would create a driver to use this for OSX there would really be no reason to buy a Magic Mouse over this (unless you care that much about colour schemes). $US80.
Microsoft Touch Mouse
• Compatibility: Windows 7 • Bluetooth: No • Rechargeable: No • Ergonomic: No • Price: $US80 • Gizrank: 3.5
2nd Place: Logitech Marathon Mouse
Not everybody likes ergonomic mice, but this one might just win you over. It's ergonomic without being bizarre, and it's easy to adapt to. It fits nicely in the hand and it has terrific glide, even over a leather desktop, which made a lot of the other mice catch.
The scroll-wheel on the Marathon Mouse is the gold standard. It can free-spin, seemingly without the restrictions of gravity or friction, or you can set it to go one click at a time. A simple click of a toggle switches between the two, making it great for a number of applications. There are three thumb buttons which you can customise, and they are incredibly convenient and result in far less arm-work. The two buttons above the thumb are easy to reach, but the one below it is more difficult to press than it should be. The scroll-wheel also acts as another button. Larger-handed people may find it just a hair too small, but minor gripes aside, at $US50, this thing is a steal.
Logitech Marathon Mouse
• Compatibility: OS X, Windows • Bluetooth: No • Rechargeable: No • Ergonomic: Yes • Price: $US50 • Gizrank: 4.0
BESTMODO! Logitech Performance Mouse MX
What? There's a version of the Marathon Mouse that is slightly bigger, slightly more ergonomic, and has a thumb button that's slightly easier to press, essentially cancelling out all of our minor gripes? Well, hello Logitech Performance Mouse MX. This mouse takes everything that's great about the Marathon Mouse — the same wonderful scroll wheel, the same smooth glide, similar (but better) thumb-buttons — and improves upon it. The laser it uses to track its position will even work on clear glass, which is crazy. It's also rechargeable. The one ding against the MX — and this is not a small one — is the price. $US100. For a mouse, something which probably comes free with your computer. That's also twice the price of the Marathon Mouse. It's better than the Marathon Mouse, but is it $50 better? Most folks will (and probably should) just get the Marathon Mouse, which is excellent, and a much better deal. That said, if money were no object and hand-comfort and mousing-heaven was everything, the Logitech Performance Mouse MX is your Bestmodo huckleberry.
Logitech Performance Mouse MX
• Compatibility: OS X, Windows • Bluetooth: No • Rechargeable: Yes • Ergonomic: Yes • Price: $US100 • Gizrank: 4.5