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Wired or Wireless Mouse?

Weighing the pros and cons of each peripheral

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Should I get a wired or wireless mouse?

While this used to be a passionate debate among computer users, the gap between the two peripherals has become narrower over the years. There are still a variety of pros and cons for each column, although the priority you place on each feature will depend on what kind of user you are.

Wired Mice

Point: Cheaper

Although the prices of wireless mice have plummeted over the years, the fact remains that wired mice are still less expensive.

Point: Battery Life

You're never left searching for batteries when your mouse is powered by your computer. This is also another point in the price column. Some wireless-mouse manufacturers try to circumvent this issue by using a docking station, but this in turn can take up valuable desk real estate.

Point: Increased sensitivity

As with price, the differences between wired and wireless mice are not quite as vast as they once were. It used to be that gamers and graphic designers were firmly in the wired camp because they relied on the high DPI and zero lag that only a wired mouse could provide. I now know converts in both categories who have switched to wireless mice as their preferred peripheral. However, some wireless mice still do face lag issues when they employ a sleep mode to preserve battery life.

Point: One-piece solution

Nano receivers are all fine and good when they're safely plugged in your USB port, but you're often out of luck once it goes missing. To be fair, some companies have developed technology to solve this problem (see below), and most mice now include receiver placeholders somewhere on the device to prevent it.

Wireless Mice

Point: Comfort

This tends to be the biggest draw for wireless users: There is simply no cord to get tangled up in when you're using a wireless mouse. This also tends to make them a bit more travel friendly, with fewer cords making a snarled mess in your carry-on bag.

Point: Distance

You're only limited by the specific wireless technology when it comes to distance. (Bluetooth typically affords at least 30 feet, and 2.4GHz wireless technology is about the same.) Although some manufacturers have attempted to provide an extra-long cord to compensate this feature, it's still not quite the same.

Point: Unifying Technology

Although this technology is currently relegated to just one manufacturer, it is still worth noting. Logitech's Unifying Technology lets you save USB ports by pairing multiple devices (up to six) with just one USB receiver. Of course, that means you will need to purchase Logitech devices for all of your peripheral needs, but it's something to consider if you're sick of swapping receivers.

Want to know more about wired and wireless mice? These links could help you:

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  3. Computer Peripherals
  4. Mice
  5. Computer Mouse: Wired vs. Wireless

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