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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Our Picks

In prior editions, we recommended Microsoft mice exclusively because they happened to be the best mice available. People sent us nastygrams accusing us of being in the pay of the Borg. Well, we get as mad at Microsoft as anyone else does, so it’s a pleasure to be able to recommend some non-Microsoft products in this edition.

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:

Mechanical mouse

None. There is little reason to buy a mechanical mouse nowadays. Basic red-eye mice sell for as little as $10, and even the best red-eye mice cost little or no more than mechanical mice with similar features. The only reason to buy a mechanical mouse is if you have a notebook or KVM that doesn’t work with red-eye mice. In that situation, we recommend an inexpensive Microsoft IntelliMouse.

Basic optical mouse

Samsung or Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse. At $12 or so each, these red-eye mice are good enough for nearly any purpose. Similar products are made (or relabeled) by Labtec, Keytronic, IOGEAR, and others. We haven’t tried those, but we suspect any of them would suffice. Many models are available, most of which have two ...

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