Our Picks

We hate this. We really do. This section is a sweep for Microsoft. Before anyone accuses us of being in the pay of Microsoft, please understand that we get as mad at Microsoft as anyone else does. It just so happens we think Microsoft makes the best mice available.

Logitech mice are generally a bit less expensive than comparable Microsoft models, and some people actually prefer them, but whenever we try a competing model we invariably find ourselves coming back to Microsoft. Some also prefer tablets to mice or trackballs, but we have insufficient experience with tablets to have formed any valid opinions concerning them.

Here are the mice and trackballs we use and recommend:

Inexpensive mechanical mouse

Microsoft Basic Mouse, Wheel Mouse, or IntelliMouse. We like to keep an extra mouse or two around so we’ll always have a spare when we’re building a system or need to replace a failed mouse. Either connects to a PS/2 port. Both are the original straight-sided “Dove bar” form rather than the curved shape that Microsoft calls ergonomic, making them equally usable with either hand. The two-button Basic Mouse and the three-button Wheel Mouse are both so inexpensive—$12 or so for the Basic Mouse and a couple dollars more for the Wheel Mouse—that there’s no point to using a no-name mouse. Either of these mice is excellent for building ultra low-cost systems. But do consider spending $5 or $10 more for an optical mouse. (http://www.microsoft.com/products/hardware/mouse)

Ergonomic ...

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