When it comes to actually using your computer, the computer mouse is most people’s preferred method. Some might like to jump around with their keyboards, others have pens, and some use track pads (which are basically mice but worse). When it comes to the PC universe there’s a large variety of mice, from extremely cheap basic ones with only three buttons to large expensive ones with a yacht-load of buttons. In the Apple computer sphere, there are a couple of options that work well, and then there’s the other PC mice that sort of work with a Mac. My rant is more about computer mice overall, and how the expensive price points sometimes don’t mean anything when it comes to the build quality, comfort, and control.
A month or two ago I was searching for a new computer mouse for work. I don’t like the Magic Mouse, that’s the tiny piece of glass that gives you Carpal Tunnel at a lightning rate, nor do I like the wired version that has the flimsy ball for a scroll wheel. So I set my eyes on a regular computer mouse that has left and right click buttons, a regular scroll wheel, and a few side buttons.
When I started here at NewTV, I brought in a very standard mouse that came with a pre-built computer. It only had 3 buttons and the scroll wheel, but it worked just fine. I used this mouse for over a year before the scroll wheel started squeaking when used, and I thought that it was time for a new mouse. At home I have a slightly fancier one, so I wanted to bring my workspace up to speed. This proved more challenging than I thought.
While searching Google, Amazon, and Newegg (an online tech store) I found plenty of mice that looked nice, but many were way too expensive for their limited functionality. Others that I was ready to buy had some awful reviews and my paranoia kicked in and I figured I’d have the same problems. Then, when I finally found a decently priced mouse, with good reviews and with the functionality that I was looking for, I found out that some of the functions didn’t work with a Mac. I was a little dumbfounded. How could a mouse not work properly with a computer in 2017? I wasn’t sure who to be angry with: Apple or the manufacturer for being lazy (in the end I decided to be angry at both). After narrowing my search down to the new parameters I found a single computer mouse manufacturer that met all of my specifications. Before buying it I went onto some online forums and asked people about the mouse, and what I read was mostly good, so I got it.
After several days of waiting the mouse came. I was actually a little excited. I installed the software to make it work with my Mac, remapped the buttons to do what I wanted, and finally started using the mouse. Its shape was different than the one I was using, but I liked it and got used to that after a few minutes. A few more minutes went by and something just felt off. I realized the scroll wheel wasn’t as precise as my cheap, standard mouse. The scroll wheel also spun a little bit longer than it needed to after use. My head sank a little, all that searching and waiting amounted to nothing all because of another scroll wheel.
I ended up going back to the cheap mouse with the squeaky scroll wheel. I figured if I kept my headphones on I wouldn’t be able to hear it anyway.
So, I guess the moral of this story is that newer and more expensive doesn’t always equal better. Also, finding a computer mouse is way more difficult than it seems, especially for people who are very picky with their electronics.