I’ll get right to the point: if you work on a computer all day long, you should invest in a good mouse for more reasons than just longevity.
After several years of service, my Microsoft and Logitech mice (which I used to use at home and work, respectively) died on me, and I replaced them with an inexpensive mouse from a domestic brand here in India.
That was a bad, bad idea.
The $8 Portronics Puck boasts an ergonomic design that keeps your forearm and wrist in a natural posture – but it also makes you question your purchase soon enough, thanks to its atrocious build quality, lack of features and poor performance. It feels cheaper than it is, and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it.
Of course, I wanted to make sure I didn’t score a dud the next time around, so I looked to The Wirecutter for advice, and picked up a $25 Logitech Marathon M705, and boy, what a difference it made to my daily computing experience.
The M705 is responsive, comfortable in my right palm, and comes with all the features I’ve been looking for in a mouse and then some. The scroll wheel works vertically and horizontally so you can skip between files in Explorer and multiple columns in TweetDeck; there are two extra thumb buttons that I’ve configured to switch between browser tabs, and there’s a tiny one near the base that switches between apps. No more Alt+Tab!
Oh, and you can switch between smooth scrolling that takes you from the top to the bottom of a long web page with a single flick of your finger, and ratcheted scrolling, which restricts you to three lines at a time. I didn’t think I’d care to use this at all, but it’s a nice little touch that gives me a lot more control over how I navigate the Windows UI.
Granted, these are all minor niceties, but they all add up to a significantly better experience when compared to using a fiddly mouse that feels – especially as you get used to the additional buttons and features over time.
I’ve previously felt the same way about upgrading from a run-of-the-mill membrane keyboard to one with mechanical switches; beyond allowing for greater typing accuracy, it’s simply far more satisfying to use, and there’s something to be said for that factor when it comes to a device you use daily.
By the same token, the Puck constantly made me feel like I was using someone else’s desktop, and couldn’t get comfortable even after a couple of months. It’s nice to have the right tool for the job at hand, and the M705 is just the thing for my mix of working with documents, photo editing tools, and audio production software, as well as for gaming on the weekends. It fits into my workflow just so, and you can’t put a price on that.
So if you’re looking to treat yourself with a gadget upgrade, I highly recommend considering a decent mouse if you haven’t already got one. I’m totally in love with the M705, but it may not be the right one for you; The Wirecutter has a few other recommendations for those with a larger grip or can’t stand the sound of clicky buttons. You can also check out this roundup of great gaming mice if that’s your persuasion.
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