September 26, 2008
Viewed 2179 times.
Average Price: $25
An important fixture on my own desk, my Logitech TrackMan has been with me for 10 years now. I was more than pleased to see the TrackMan take a substantial lead, and while I rarely come across trackball users in my daily grind I'll always know I'm among a rather passionate group of trackball devotees here on Lifehacker. Universally users gave the same reasons I have for using it: it cuts down or completely eliminates RSI pain, with practice using your thumb to control the cursor is extremely precise, and it's nice to not have to devote desk space for moving a mouse around.
Average Price: $70
The most popular mouse in the traditional slide-it-around-the-desk category, the MX Revolution has endeared itself to many of you. The rather severe looking indentation on the left side is comfortable and keeps your hand in a more neutral position than a traditional mouse. Within the indentation is a thumb side wheel which functions as an application switcher—essentially Alt+Tab on steroids attached to a thumb control. The primary scroll wheel is a much-loved feature based on Logitech's MicroGear technology. Instead of clicking through a range of motion like most scroll wheels it is free spinning for faster and smoother movement.
Average Price: $50
Although marketed as a gaming mouse, the majority of readers selected the G5 for the gaming features that make it great at home, on the desktop of a power user. The mouse has a tray in the bottom that allows you to adjust the weight to your preference from no additional weight to 36 grams tucked inside. It has on-board sensitivity switching allowing you to go from 400 to 800 to 2,000 dpi instantly depending on the sensitivity you desire for the application you're using.
Average Price: $70
The MX1000, while no longer in production, was the first laser-based mouse on the market, and many of you early adopters still have your original purchase. The MX1100 is a subtly-tweaked replacement for the MX1000. Sporting a larger and broader profile than many mice, readers with bigger hands found the MX1100 to be quite comfortable. The MX1100 shares the MicroGear scroll wheel with the MX Revolution for extremely fast scrolling that several readers noted was great for moving quickly through large web sites or spreadsheets.
Average Price: $45
While not as flashy as its bigger brothers in the Logitech line and with just a hair less sensitivity at only 1800 dpi, the MX518 makes up for it by being much more economical than say the $70 Revolution. Despite the lower price tag the MX518 still has 8 programmable buttons with conveniently-located forward and backward buttons under your thumb.
Average Price: $55
The Logitech VX Nano mouse ruled the laptop category. Readers loved the extremely small USB receiver, so small you can leave it in all the time without worry about damage to the laptop or the receiver. When not on the laptop the receiver tucks inside the mouse for storage. Despite its small size, the Nano has the same fast scrolling technology of the larger Logitech mice and five programmable buttons.
Average Price: $60
Breaking out of the Logitech streak, the Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 also wins an award for having an absurdly long name. Similar to the thumb based Alt+Tab on the Revolution, the scroll wheel on the Laser Mouse 6000 functions as an application selector when depressed. Many readers noted that the shift in their grip angle while using the Laser Mouse 6000 did away with recurrent wrist pain. Battery life is long enough be a notable feature.
Average Price: $70
The readers who used the Evoluent Vertical Mouse were vocal about how much it had done to relieve pain they experienced with using the computer. It's the only mouse we opted to include an "in use" photo for, to avoid it being confused with a simple three button mouse. You really have to see the thing standing up with the hand on it for the full effect. The comfort with the Evoluent stems from the vertical position of the hand. By mousing in a handshake instead of a palm down position you prevent your forearm from twisting unnaturally. Basic shape aside, the Evoluent sports programmable buttons, smooth scroll wheel, and small rubber lip at the bottom to cradle the pinky finger to keep it from touching the desk.
Average Price: $80
The Kensington Expert is stationary like the Logitech TrackMan but with the ball placed in the center of the mouse and significantly larger. The most loved feature of the Expert was by far the scroll ring. Surrounding the oversized trackball is a scroll ring that readers found immensely functional, allowing them to use everything from the tip of their fingers to a full out twisting motion to scroll quickly through documents and web sites. A small but nice touch is that the Expert comes with a nice gel wrist pad right out of the box to complement the ergonomics of the trackball design.
Average Price: $60 to $700+
Some readers ditched a mouse altogether and did all their "mousing" with a graphics tablet. Entry level tablets start at around $60 for the Wacom Bamboo (pictured right) and can begin approaching a grand as you get into the higher-end, larger models. While the learning curve for switching from a mouse to a tablet is a little steeper than switching between different styles of mice, many users found that like the hand/arm placement of the Evoluent mouse using a pen on a tablet put their body in a more natural position and relieved pain. It helps when switching over to using a tablet to not having your old mouse plugged in but to spend a week or two using just the tablet. After that it's easy to switch between the two when you need to because of applications or to mix up input to help with RSI.
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