Those of us who’ve been around with computers since the 1980s and 1990s can sometimes become befuddled with the different types of computer mouse these days
After all, some of us are even old enough to remember when there was no mouse to use when you’re just dealing with the MS-DOS system.
Then came Windows 3.1, which then made computer mice necessary.
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Back then, we had the regular mice with the left and right click, working with a ball under the hood that rolls around the mouse pad.
If we’re lucky, we had a middle click option with our mice.
Then came the scroll wheel, and it seemed like just about every other innovative feature came out soon thereafter.
The Mouse of This Generation
You now have wireless options, mice with lots of extra buttons, and many other capabilities and features.
How are you to make sense of all these different types of computer mouse?
Our TOP 5 Different Types of Computer Mouse
The good news is that we have a list of outstanding examples of mice.
It will show you how the different types of computer mouse can suit your particular needs and preferences.
“Trackball for Reduced Wrist Pain”
Our Rating: 4.5
Logitech is one of the most famous brands in the computer mouse industry, and they offer numerous different types of computer mouse in their lineup.
This uses a trackball, which you don’t normally see on a computer mouse.
You use the trackball to move around the cursor on screen, so you won’t need to move around the mouse at all.
You don’t have to use a mouse pad or pick the surface you use with your mouse.
You can work on your lumpy bed and it won’t matter.
It does take a bit of practice to maneuver and rotate the track so you get the cursor exactly where you want it to go.
But when you’ve mastered this, you’ll like how the design reduces the muscle fatigue you might feel.
Easy to Clean
The trackball does share a rather unfortunate similarity to the old-style mice, as you’ll need to clean the ball here as well.
The good news is that the trackball is removable and easy to clean.
Unlike the first mice models which were mostly symmetrical and ambidextrous, this one is asymmetrical and designed for right-handed users.
That means you won’t have to contort your hand and fingers to conform to the shape of the mouse.
That way you can avoid hand pain.
The Logitech designers shaped the mouse to conform to the natural shape of your hand when you’re using a mouse.
This is much more ergonomic and pain-free, especially after using the mouse for hours on end.
Wireless Unifying Receiver
This is a wireless mouse as well.
In the old days, lots of people didn’t like wireless mice since the wireless connections weren’t all that reliable.
That wasn’t just annoying, when you have to suffer through lag when working.
When you’re gaming, wireless mice can be a suicidal option.
That’s why to this day, plenty of hardcore gamers insist on still using wired mice.
But those are most the old fogeys, since younger gamers have become used to reliable wireless connections.
Logitech helped with that, since they eschewed the use of Bluetooth connections for many of their wireless mice.
Instead, they offer a nano receiver that you connect to the USB port of your computer.
The receiver automatically connects the mouse if it’s within range (usually 3 meters or 10 feet).
With the M570, the range is 10 meters, or 30 feet.
Can Connect to Multiple Devices
This particular model even uses a unifying receiver, which means this same receiver on a single USB port can work with other “unifying” devices.
That means this same receiver can be used to simultaneously connect your headphone and keyboard to the computer.
This wireless mouse works with Windows (from XP onward) and Macs (Mac OS X 10.5 or later).
Some might say that wireless mice can be inconvenient because they need to be powered independently.
For the M570, it’s no bother because it only needs a single AA battery.
In most cases, this battery is even included with your purchase.
And you won’t have to replace it anytime soon, because it’s expected to last for 1½ years with normal usage.
There’s a battery power indicator light here, so you’ll know when it’s time to replace the battery.
Aside from the scroll wheel (which is a standard feature these days), you also have 2 extra buttons on the left side.
These normally work as your Back and Forward buttons for online navigation.
But you can assign custom functions and macros to this mouse.
“Familiar Shape with Extra Buttons”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is also a wireless mouse that uses a unifying nano receiver to connect the mouse to the PC.
That’s one of the major ways that it’s different from the traditional wired mice popular during the 1990s.
It has a lot of different (and improved) features, which a time traveler from 30 years ago would certainly enjoy.
In the old days, there’s a ball inside the mouse that you roll around when you move the mouse around.
This time, you have an invisible optical light that tracks your mouse position precisely.
How it Works
Basically, this type of mouse uses 2 sensors and a light source.
It takes more than 10,000 images per second of the work surface to come with the exact location of the mouse.
The mouse then reports its position to the computer at regular intervals, so that your cursor goes where you want it to go.
This reporting is called the polling rate, and a good polling rate is at least 500 Hz.
That’s the polling rate here in the M510.
That means the mouse is reporting its position to the PC 500 times per second.
Unlike older mouse models that sometimes look like hefty bars of soap, the M510 offers an ergonomic shape.
You’ll notice that the left and right click buttons have subtle grooves on them, so your clicking fingers rest on the buttons more naturally.
You have deep contours on the sides, to make the mouse easier to grasp.
The sides even feature soft textured rubber grips so you can have a secure hold.
The shape looks mostly symmetrical, which is comfortably familiar for older users who aren’t used to fancy shapes.
If you’re right-handed, you’ll find this comfortable to use and hold whether you have large or small hands.
Despite the symmetrical design, it’s not really for left-handed users.
That’s because you have 2 extra buttons on the left side.
If you’re right-handed, you’re able to access these buttons easily enough with your thumb.
But if you use your left hand with this, there’s no way you can press those buttons with your pinkie finger.
These buttons are normally for Back and Forward online navigation.
Scroll Wheel Plus
The scroll wheel spins nicely, and offers a nice touch with a firm middle click.
You’re able to use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out quickly.
What really sets it apart from most of the other different types of mouse is that the scroll wheel can tilt left and right.
You can then use this for convenient side to side scrolling.
That’s great for documents like Excel files with tables that go well beyond the width of the monitor.
All these buttons, including the thumb buttons and the tilting scroll wheel, can be configured to do specific tasks instead of the default functions.
You’re able to assign macros for work applications, so that a single click can replace the more tedious use of the menu bar.
You can also assign particular moves or weapons to the buttons when gaming, to help you survive.
For this, you’ll need the Logitech Options software.
It’s free, so don’t worry.
This needs 2 AA batteries to operate.
It uses the battery power so efficiently that it usually takes 2 years before you’ll need to replace the batteries.
It has a smart sleep mode that activates after you stop using the mouse for a few minutes.
You can also just switch the mouse off (use the on/off switch at the bottom) to really cut down on battery use.
When it’s time to replace the batteries, you’ll know due to the battery power indicator light on top.
“Comfy Mouse for Work/Gaming”
Our Rating: 4.5
It can be annoying if you’re left-handed when you’re trying out and you find out that most of them are only for right-handed folks.
It’s also a problem buying an exclusively left-handed mouse, especially when you’re buying a mouse for the family computer.
The good news here is that this Logitech Mouse is ambidextrous.
Yet it’s not a basic as the old-style mouse, and you have several advanced features to enjoy.
This is a trackball mouse, but this time the trackball isn’t by your thumb.
Instead, it’s located right at the top, displacing the left and right click buttons plus the scroll wheel.
You can then use your pointer finger for the trackball, whether you’re right-handed or left-handed.
No Scroll Wheel
This is actually a problem for many, which is why plenty of people who really love this mouse those who don’t use the scroll wheel much.
The driver software instead offers you the option of assigning one of the small buttons here to work with your marble trackball.
While you’re pressing the small button, you can then roll the marble up or down just like you would a scroll wheel.
This is actually non-intuitive, but you may find other alternative solutions online.
Just Google for “marble scroll wheel” and you’ll find utility programs and suggestions you can use.
This has a large button on each side, with a smaller button on top of it.
These buttons take the place of the left and right click button, and you have the Back and Forward navigation buttons too.
It’s easy enough to use with your thumb on one side and your pinkie and ring finger on the other side.
This is actually a large mouse, so it’s lucky you don’t need to move it around.
The size is actually a good thing, since you can rest your whole hand on it.
Since the mouse stands still, you’re basically resting your hand as you use this.
The size does make it harder to bring along, so it’s better for a home computer or an office computer rather than for your laptop.
It’s also wired, and that makes it even less portable.
Works with Mac
This works for Windows computers, starting with Vista onwards.
It also works with Macs from Mac OS X 10.4 and later versions.
“Mouse with Numerous Buttons”
Our Rating: 4.5
Remember when mice just had 2 buttons?
You’d be amazed at the different types of mouse these days with lots of extra buttons.
Nowadays, having 5 or 6 buttons on the mouse can be considered normal.
This one certainly isn’t, because it may even have more buttons than you know what to do with it.
That’s because this isn’t just a gaming mouse.
It’s an MMO gaming mouse, and that’s a very singular type of computer mice.
Lots (and Lots) of Buttons
If you have a buddy boasting about their 8-button mouse, show them the Logitech G600 you own to shut them up.
That’s because this one has 20 buttons all in all, which certainly stands out among the different types of mouse.
In fact, you have 12 of these buttons sitting right there on the left side for your thumb.
Then you have the clickable scroll wheel, and it also tilts left and right.
Aside from the usual left and right click, you also have 2 more buttons right below the scroll wheel.
The G shift button for your ring finger also doubles the number of actions you’re able to do.
Programs and Profiles
You need to use the Logitech Gaming Software to assign specific functions and macros for your various buttons.
Having this many buttons is a boon for massive multiplayer online games, since you can then assign weapons and special skills to the various buttons.
You’re able to do things much more quickly to survive.
You’re not even limited to a single set of programmed functions.
The mouse can store up to 3 mouse programming profiles, so you can switch from work to play in a jiffy.
You’d think that with all the buttons here, you’d be fumbling around trying very hard to press the right button.
That’s not the case, since the arrangement of the keys has been carefully thought over.
You have 2 sets of 6 buttons on the left side, and they’re all set at different angles to let you pick the right button by feel.
Then you also have buttons to change the dpi settings.
The whole mouse is comfortable to use, and you shouldn’t have any hand cramps even after hours of gameplay.
The many buttons won’t really matter if they fail too quickly.
Fortunately, they’re designed for gaming, which means the Logitech designers know about the frantic clicking of trigger-happy gamers.
That’s why the buttons here were built to last, and they’re designed to go on working for up to 20 million clicks and more.
This is a wired mouse, and even the wire is braided for extra toughness.
Heck, even the PTFE feet designed for smooth gliding on various surfaces are meant to last for 250 kilometers.
After all, those small inches of movement with the mouse do add up.
“Ergonomic with Unique Vertical Design”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is a wireless mouse that’s also ergonomically designed, and most of us know what being “wireless” and “ergonomic” entails.
But what the heck does “vertical” mean in this context?
When you check out the look of this mouse, you’ll know you have a different mouse than you’re used to.
It’s unique among the different types of mouse because somehow the mouse is taller than it’s wide, and that’s certainly strange.
It’s 5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, and 3 inches high.
But there’s a method to this madness, because you then hold the mouse like you’re shaking hands with it.
That means you’re able to hold your hand in a way that’s a lot more natural and comfortable.
Reduced Wrist Pressure
It’s certainly more comfortable to hold this natural position for hours, compared to the usual way if having your palm down on your work table and mouse.
That traditional mouse position eventually squeezes your nerves around your wrist area, leading to discomfort and pain.
But the handshake position reduces the pressure to your wrist joint, so your hand doesn’t cramp.
You still have the buttons and the scroll wheel, and you have your regular pointer and middle fingers for them.
It’s just that they’re now set to the side, which is why you need the handshake position to begin with.
You even have the 2 extra buttons for your thumb.
Finally, you also have the dpi switch button so you can quickly change the speed of the cursor.
The main buttons are also tough, as they’re rated for 5 million clicks.
They’re even designed to give you soft clicks, so that you won’t bother people around you when you’re gaming.
This uses the usual nano wireless receiver, so it’s plug-and-play.
It works well with Windows PCs, but the thumb buttons don’t really work well with Macs.
You do need to wire this when you’re charging the mouse, as it has a built-in rechargeable battery.
But at least you won’t have to bother buying new batteries.
Different Types of Computer Mouse: Conclusion
As you can see, there are lots of different types of mouse to pick from.
Do you go with a wired mouse, or go wireless?
How many buttons should you have?
Do you want quiet clicks or the reassuring clicks of a mechanical mouse?
Do you stay with a standard optical mouse, or do you go with a trackball?
These are questions that in the end, only you can answer.
Pick the Mouse You Need
It’s all about picking the mouse that suits your needs and preferences.
Pick from our list of the different types of computer mouse, and at least you have a great example of the type of mouse you’ve chosen!