Finding the Perfect Mouse - Dabbling with Logitech, Razer and Apple Mice
I always want a better mouse - longer-lasting, silent, smaller (in certain circumstances), less heavy, smoother, more comfortable etc. And it has to be a mouse - trackpads on laptops are for emergency only, because a mouse just seems to make doing things so much easier.
At the moment my default laptop mouse is the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 or Anywhere 2S (longer-lasting, a little smoother and does Logitech Flow, if needed). The Anywhere 2/2S is pretty compact if annoyingly it needs to be charged by a Mini-USB cable and they are no longer actively sold by Logitech, if still listed on Amazon. I also use a Logitech M720 Triathlon for a home PC. Both mouse types are pretty good but can be noisy in some environments. And something smaller for travel would be nice. However, there are some things I absolutely insist on and that means many mice are not for me:
- I need a Tilt Wheel which I map to Forward and Back browser functions. It’s just so easy that with a finger I can zoom up and down a page and skip back and forward as I want. No need to touch anything else. (Sadly Logitech may be moving away from tilt - their new MX Anywhere 3 does not include it as part of a reengineered scroll wheel. Duh)
- Need (what Logitech call) Hyperscroll - the ability for the mouse wheel to freely scroll quickly so I can navigate a long web page or document with ease. Click scroll just seems too ancient and slow (and I never, ever, use it)
- Bluetooth - I don’t want dongles or cables in day-to-day use. That said a dongle as a backup, that always works, is no bad thing.
- I need a mouse to work on any surface. I sometimes use a mouse on the sofa, in bed or on a train seat and I want it to work on less than smooth surfaces.
I’ve bought a few mice over the years and leave them dotted around so I’m not carting a mouse around all the time as well as the laptop (my constant companion). So a mouse in my man bag for when I’m out and about, one in the bedside cabinet, one in the sitting room. And the Triathlon is in my study with my desktop PC. All perhaps OTT but it actually just makes life easier and more straightforward.
Periodically I look around to see if there are better mice out there and two just caught my eye. Neither of what follows is a full review, but the thoughts hopefully complement reviews out there…
Apple Magic Mouse
The Apple Magic Mouse was on special offer from Amazon (£54.90), looks impressive and I did a search to see if it ran with Windows 10. That threw up Magic Utilities, which looks well capable. So on that quick check, I ordered one.
I love the slim nature of the Magic Mouse and can imagine it sliding in my day bag really easily. Less impressive is the fact it has to be charged with a lightning cable, but not an absolute deal-breaker. I downloaded the Magic Utilities (it’s free to evaluate) which seemed to work well and I was generally pleased with the touch nature (tilt wheel alternative) for forward and back browsing. But I couldn’t really achieve a speedy vertical scroll with the setup. Worse the Magic Mouse sensor seemed to struggle with use on less than perfect surfaces like the fabric of my sofa. It would move the pointer but it was a bit too jerky and imprecise. So while I’d like it as a travelling mouse it fails the reliably work on a train seat test.
Even if I liked the mouse I’d be a bit wary of the Magic Utilities software. I’m not at all against paying for software, but they won’t sell you the software, instead you have to pay a yearly fee. You can buy 2 years at a lower cost but there is no ability to pay more and have permeant use - they give their perspective on all this in their FAQ. I’m not sure paying £10/year and all the remembering to pay etc is a place I really want to be on a mouse. It would certainly have to be an exceptional mouse to go there and the Apple Magic Mouse is not that special - measured against my requirements anyway. So, sadly, another return to Amazon.
Razer Pro Click Mini
I recently saw a review of the Razer Pro Click Mini which looked interesting and nominally fits my requirements. At the moment it costs £70-£80 - a little higher than the Logitech mice I use. But I guess over time the price will drop.
It turns out to be a nice mouse with a size not unlike the Logitech Anywhere 2/2S. It perhaps feels easier to grip and the main left and right buttons are relatively silent - really worth having in a quiet environment. However, the left and right tilt wheel buttons don’t seem so silent. Duh.
You control the scroll wheel with the small rocker switch behind it - one way gives the freewheel/Hyperscroll (I like) and the other a conventional feel with clicks. This works well and is better than the equivalent on the Anywhere 2/2S, which has pressing on the wheel itself as the switch between the 2 modes of operation. On the Pro Click Mini I mapped pressing the scroll wheel to browser page reload/refresh - I truly can’t think of a better setup than that. But…
While the sensor on the Pro Click Mini is better than the Apple Magic Mouse it’s not as good as Logitech use. The Razer works as well on some fabrics but is a tiny bit jumpy on others. Also, vertical scrolling is a bit jumpy/staccato in any browser. It seems to jump 3 lines at a time (following how it is set up in W10 mouse settings) and it feels kludgy. If you change the W10 setting for it to move 1 line at a time, then the freewheel speed suffers badly. Logitech seems to have things better sussed here. I use Firefox as a browser with the Logitech Setpoint extension that makes it all super smooth. The Razer feels OK but crude by comparison.
Another hassle is that you seem to have to register with Razer to download/use the mouse advanced configuration software. Seems a bit unnecessary for an expensive mouse.
All up the Razer Pro Click Mini shows great promise but needs a slightly better optical sensor (capable of working on many different and uneven surfaces) and some browser support to enable smoother scrolling.