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Reviewing the Field of Mice for PC Gaming

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 5/20/2011

In this article, we examine the top 3 mice in the industry - find out which ones are worth your time and money.

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    And the Winners are...

    Ever wonder what it is that makes the perfect mouse so "perfect"? Is it the ergonomic design? The incredibly fast tracking optics (or trackballs)? The scroll wheel that goes frictionless? Or is it all these things put together?

    The reality of buying a mouse is the same as most components in your rig. If you find it to be a good fit - it will continue to be a good fit until you find something better. I didn't think I needed a new mouse until my old Logitech one broke and I laid eyes on the MX Revolution - now I find it hard to picture life without it. We get accustomed to PC peripherals very easily, so before you go out and grab any $20 dollar mouse, consider that it'll be a piece of hardware you touch for at least 3-4 years.

    That being said, I tried to keep the mice as futuristic as possible. If you're looking for trackball mice, you're better off looking elsewhere (same goes for mice that don't move, but rather have that large ball on top). All the mice you'll see in the top three are optical or laser - the main reason for this is that as far as technology goes - a look at my previous article proves one thing - nothing beats light-speed tracking, not to mention you'll never have to open an optical mouse to clean the dust off its innards.

    First, our selection for the top 3 gaming mice:

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    1. Logitech MX Air

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104089

    You're looking at what is possibly the most expensive mouse in the world (taking out of consideration any crazy diamond-encrusted mice). This is a cutting edge piece of hardware - a mouse so light you won't need to stress your hand to move it. Furthermore, the MX Air is optimized for surface AND 3D tracking. Tired of old navigation shortcuts? Take to the skies with your mouse and rule over your domain with firm wrist gestures that let your computer know who's boss. Obviously, the $130 price tag is absurd, but the 3D tracking in the air is downright impressive - the only downfall of this mouse is the fact that it has no scroll wheel, rather, much like a laptop, its surface buttons includes a scroll bar that you can move using your finger.

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    2. Logitech MX Revolution

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104015

    When I first moved to my new place, I had to set up an all-wireless peripheral environment to make everything look 20 times cooler than it did at my old place - so I went out and bought a new wireless keyboard and mouse combo. Both were incredibly good (the keyboard is still serving me as we speak). The mouse however, broke after 2 years of use (which isn't half bad considering how much I use my computer). When it came time to replace my old stand-by, I realized that springing for something a little better was well worth it. Turns out I was right - I bought the MX Revolution and it has literally changed the way I use my computer. For starters, Logitech created a "frictionless scroll wheel" - what this means is that you scroll the wheel normally until it reaches a certain velocity (which you determine), at that point, the wheel becomes frictionless and goes into a free-spin. Going through a 120 page document and don't want to use the scroll bar? Just move the scroll wheel like there's no tomorrow. Add in an amazing responsiveness and a rechargeable docking station and you have yourself an amazing mouse for the price.

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    3. Logitech MX620

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104070

    The MX620 is everything you would expect from a reliable, $50 mouse. For $20 more, you could get the MX, but then again, maybe the ergonomics of that mouse aren't to your liking. The laser tracking system is unparalleled in its class, and throw in the fact that it's wireless and your purchase has just justified itself. At the end of the day, the MX620 is all about comfort and style and less about having a million programmable buttons. While gamers feel like they need special keyboards and mice to program, the fact is that unless you're an incredibly good multitasker, a mouse with less than 5 buttons should take care of any job easily.

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    Budget Mouse - Microsoft Intellimouse N50

    And now, for the cheap gamer's favorite - the budget mouse. Wondering who won?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826105148

    This mouse isn't going to win any awards for sleek-looking design. It also has far fewer buttons than the MX Revolution. However, this mouse does one thing incredibly right - it un-complicates the whole experience for you. Users of this mouse have been claiming for years that it is the best thing Microsoft has ever come out with - and they make a good point. With 5 buttons and a good scroll wheel, this corded mouse offers resposiveness (and optical tech) at a price that is affordable even on the smallest of budgets. My suggestion? If you're building your first rig - buy this mouse. Once this breaks (which could take forever), then consider moving into the wireless, rechargeable olympians at the top of this page, but before then, you'll have a reliable mouse which could see you through half a decade or longer.

    That wraps things up for mice - join us next time when we start talking about keyboards - ever wondered why the keys aren't in alphabetical order? All that and more on the next "Building the Perfect Gamer PC".