Wired vs. wireless mouse: Which should I get?

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Wired mice offer great affordability and reliability, but wireless mice continue to improve with battery life, range and response time.

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Are wired or wireless mice best?

The computer mouse is one of the most useful accessories for desktop and laptop users. A smooth, accurate and comfortable mouse offers an optimized computing experience. 

There are several factors to consider when choosing between a wired or wireless mouse. These include portability, battery life, weight, grip style, response time, and more. Another consideration is that a wired mouse transmits information to the computer through a USB cable, while a wireless mouse uses either Bluetooth or RF technology for transmission. 

Wired mouse

While the wired mouse was originally developed in the 1960s, it has been available for use with computers since the 1980s. This hand-held pointing device has evolved over the years into different shapes and using different technologies, but the basic function has remained the same. The wired mouse allows users to navigate the screen of the computer. Most modern wired mice feature a left-click button, right-click button, and wheel in the center of the mouse for scrolling.

Some advanced wired mouse products have extra features, such as the DPI/CPI toggle button, which allows users to increase or decrease the sensitivity of the mouse. Other features, like side buttons, programmable buttons, and lights can make a computer mouse an essential part of the user’s work or gaming experience.

Wired mouse pros

  • For high-performance applications that require precision and accuracy, such as hardcore gaming or professional editing, the wired mouse can perform comparably to a wireless mouse with a similar price.  
  • As wired mice are connected through a wire, there are no issues with signal interference.
  • Most wired mice are less expensive when compared to a wireless mouse of similar quality and features. 
  • Wired mice don’t need batteries, making them extremely reliable and long-lasting.

Wired mouse cons

  • A wired mouse will be tethered to the computer and the wires can get entangled or damaged. Any damage to the wire can compromise the performance of the mouse. It also may be less aesthetically appealing
  • Most modern wired mice require a USB port in the computer for connectivity. Some older wired mice use the PS/2 port but today’s computers don’t offer this port.
  • Depending on their features, some higher-end wired mice can be expensive.
  • The wired mouse is not as portable as a wireless mouse.

Best wired mouse

Razer Mamba Elite Wired Gaming Mouse

Razer Mamba Elite Wired Gaming Mouse

The Razer Mamba Elite Gaming Mouse offers a high-precision 16,000 dpi optical sensor with dedicated dpi control buttons. It also offers rubberized side grips for reduced fatigue when using the mouse for an extended time.

Sold by Amazon

Logitech G502 High-performance Wired Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 High-performance Wired Gaming Mouse

The Logitech G502 offers customizable buttons through an onboard memory system. It also features RGB lighting that can be customized using 16.8 million colors. The DPI sensitivity can be adjusted to as high as 25,600.

Sold by Amazon

Wireless mouse

As the name suggests, the wireless mouse does not need a wire to send a signal to the computer. Today’s radio frequency, or RF, wireless mice are usually “plug and play,” meaning that the user can plug the included nano receiver into the USB port of the computer, turn on power to the mouse and it’s ready to be used. When not in use, the nano receiver usually can be stored in a built-in storage compartment on the underside of the mouse. 

A Bluetooth wireless mouse can connect directly to the computer without needing to use a nano receiver. However, Bluetooth wireless mice are not as battery-efficient as RF wireless mice.

Traditionally, wireless mice did not have the precision of wired mice, but as tracking technology in wireless mice continues to improve, the difference has narrowed. Unless you are a hardcore gamer or professional media editor that requires extremely high precision, a good quality wireless mouse should feel as precise and accurate as any regular wired mouse.

Wireless mouse pros

  • The wireless mouse is more convenient and portable to use than a wired mouse.
  • The minimalist design and lack of a wire makes it attractive, as well as less messy and cumbersome compared to a wired mouse.
  • For most wireless mice, the maximum range without any interference is around 9 meters, which is enough for most desktop users or gamers. 
  • Many models are quite affordable.

Wireless mouse cons

  • Wireless mice need batteries, which means you will have to either recharge or replace the batteries regularly. The longevity of the batteries will depend on the usage and type of mouse, but you can expect to replace the batteries every 3 to 9 months.
  • If you misplace or damage the nano receiver, you might not be able to get a replacement.
  • Depending on their features, some higher-end wireless mice can be expensive.

Best wireless mouse

Logitech MX Master 3

Logitech MX Master 3

The Max Master 3 comes from one of the most reliable mouse brands on the market. This product offers a long battery life and excellent control over scrolling.

Sold by Amazon

Lenovo ThinkPad Wireless Mouse

Lenovo ThinkPad Wireless Mouse

With its simple and professional design, the Lenovo ThinkPad is an affordable wireless mouse that offers a 1200 DPI sensor. There is no setup required, just plug the receiver into the computer, and it is ready for use.

Sold by Amazon

Should you get a wired or wireless mouse?

As long as charging or replacing batteries isn’t an issue, a wireless mouse is a better option for most users. They are becoming increasingly more affordable and offer better portability, versatility and convenience. Users looking for an ultra-portable mouse can get a travel wireless mouse that is smaller and has better battery life. For those that require it, there are higher-end models of wireless mice that offer excellent precision.

 

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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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