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Choosing the Best Gaming Mouse: High-Quality for the Hardcore

written by: M.S. Smith•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 5/27/2011

Once upon a time, gaming mice didn't exist. Everyone had to use boring little white or black dust-collectors, with little variation. But some smart marketing minds have slowly built up this segment, and there are now outstanding gaming mice available that even non-gamers might learn to love.

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    Finesse At Your Fingertips

    If you're a serious gamer - as in, you've got sound cards named after you - then you already use a gaming mouse. That's great. If you're not a hardcore player, however, chances are good that you've viewed gaming mice with a certain amount of dismay. I don't blame you. Gaming mice tend to be rather tacky looking devices, given either strange color schemes or strange shapes, and in sometimes both. Whats more, a decent gaming mouse will set you back between $40 and $80 dollars, making it less than a bargain.

    But there are reasons to love gaming mice, even if you're only a casual enthusiast. Being expensive, gaming mice aren't meant to feel cheap, and most manufacturers oblige by giving their gaming mice a high-quality, solid feel. Plastics seem thick, buttons feel durable, and grips are comfortable. Gaming mice are also decked out with features like laser technology, multiple programmable buttons, and on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments. Even if you don't need these features to help you bust a cap in XxB1GUN7xX's head, they are nice to have in games, and also nice to have outside of games. Trying to edit a photo, for example, is infinitely easier on a gaming mouse than most general purpose mice. There are exceptions, of course - there are some nice general-purpose mice out there - but those exceptions tend to be just as expensive as a gaming mouse, anyway.

    Interested? If so, here are three gaming mice that you should check out.

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    Logitech G5

    LogitechG51 Logitech has a reputation for quality mice and keyboards, and the Logitech G5 lives up to that reputation. At first glance, it looks like the teenage boy's pointer of choice, with its crackling blue color scheme and textured black grip. Certainly, it isn't as sleek as some of Microsoft's or Razor's gaming mice in the same price range. But if you put looks aside, you'll find that the Logitech G5 gives you great bang for your buck.

    It has most of the features you would expect from any gaming mouse. Laser optical technology? Check. Adjustable weight? Check. On-the-fly sensitivity adjustment? Check. Textured for maximum grip? You get the picture. None of these features are at the absolute cutting edge, but they are all there, and they give you everything that you would expect from this kind of mouse. Yet the G5 does it on a budget - the Logtiech G5 costs only $50 dollars at most retailers, making it only a little bit more expensive then basic general-purpose laser mice. Which are, by the way, often far less fun to use, as they don't offer adjustable sensitivity and they are often far, far too light.

    Better yet, the G5 is incredibly comfortable to use. As such, it makes a great choice for those who want a gaming mouse that stands firmly between traditional mice and more extreme gaming hardware. You could use the Logitech every day, never once loading a game, and still feel like you're getting your money's worth. That is a quality that no other gaming mouse can claim.

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    Razer Lachesis

    Razer Lachesis Razer is often given credit as the driving force behind the creation of the gaming mouse and keyboard market, and that credit is largely deserved. Unlike Microsoft or Logitech, Razer devotes itself exclusively to gaming products, and as a result have been able to consistently deliver unique, high-quality products. The Lachesis, a high-end gaming mouse, is just another example, and you don't have to do more than glance at the Lachesis to see it is a premuimu product. Like an expensive suit, it strives for elegance more than attention, and depends on the quality of its construction to win over potential buyers. It looks and feels sturdier than just about any other mouse on the market, gaming or no.

    The Lachesis is filled with tech. Its 4,000DPI laser optical technology is so precise that you'll have to dust your mouse-pad constantly, as even microscopic flecks of dirt will throw of your aim. Okay, I'm exaggerating - but the 4,000DPI rating is the highest you'll find on any gaming mouse sold today. The Lachesis also has 9 programmable buttons, among the highest that can be found on any mouse. This is infinitely useful in games. Heck, in some games you won't even need your keyboard. The Lachesis even has hints of practicality, as its design is ambidextrous, and its large size will be comfortable for hands that find some other mice too dainty.

    One downside to the Lachesis is its price of approximately $80 dollars. You are getting what you paid for, but unless you specifically need a super-precise mouse, some of the Lachesis's features might be overkill. The Lachesis is also a rather large mouse, so while those of you with large paws will enjoy its long, wide construction, smaller folk will probably find the Lachesis difficult to use for long periods of time.

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    Microsoft Habu

    Microsoft Habu Mouse 

    The Habu, by Microsoft, is the odd-man out in Microsoft's lineup, as it does not fit in with any of Microsoft's typical naming structures such as the Sidewinder series. The reason for this is that the Habu is special. The Habu is the result of a combination effort between Microsoft and Razer, the maker of the above Lachesis gaming mouse. Why this duo came to pass is hard to say, but it did, and so we have the Habu, a cheap and competitive gaming mouse.

    In terms of aesthetics, the Habu isn't hard on the eyes. It combines the flow of Razer's matte-black designs with the sensibility of a Microsoft logo. If you're concerned that buying a gaming mouse might make you look a tad too geeky when you have someone over for dinner, the Habu will fit the bill. As long as you leave the mouse turned off, that is; because once you start moving this sensible looking little gadget about, some firey blue LEDs light up to let you know that you're having a good time - or something like that. The LEDs are cute, but also potentially annoying in a dark room, and unfortunately they can't be turned off.

    In terms of features, you don't lose much by going with Microsoft's Habu over something like a Razer Deathadder or the above Lachesis. Its buttons are programmable using bundled software, its shape is extremely similar to most Razer products, it has on-the-fly adjustability, and it even has laser technology. The only thing missing is a way to adjust the weight. All of these features seem nice enough, and when you consider that the price is typically around $50 to $60 dollars, the Habu is a pretty good value. This is particularly true if you have smaller hands, as users often comment that the Habu's grip gives the mouse a much smaller feel than any of Razer's products. Unless you're particularly attached to the glowing blue logo in the center of most of Razer's mice, you should be perfectly happy with the Habu.