Wired or Wireless Mouse?

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Wired and Wireless Mice

Different types of computer mouse
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Whether to buy a wired or wireless mouse used to be a passionate debate among computer users, but the gap between the two peripherals has become narrower over the years. There are pros and cons for each type, although the priority you place on each feature depends on the kind of user you are.

Wired Mice

When you are comparing types of computer mice, keep a few things in mind about wired mice:

  • Wired is cheaper. Although the prices of wireless mice have plummeted over the years, the fact remains that wired mice are still less expensive than wireless ones.
  • 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 it, in turn, takes up valuable desk real estate.
  • Increased sensitivity. The differences between wired and wireless mice are not as vast as they once were. It used to be that gamers and graphic designers stood firmly in the wired camp because they relied on the zero lag that only a wired mouse could provide. However, as wireless mouse technology improved, many of those same gamers and graphic artists switched to wireless mice as their preferred peripheral. A few wireless mice still face lag issues when they employ a sleep mode to preserve battery life.

Wireless Mice

Proponents of using wireless mice usually have these considerations in mind:

  • Comfort tends to be the biggest draw for wireless mouse users. There is simply no tangled cord when you use a wireless mouse. This factor tends to make them a bit more travel-friendly, with fewer cords to make a snarled mess in your carry-on bag.
  • Distance. You're only limited by the specific wireless technology when it comes to distance. Bluetooth typically affords at an effective distance of at least 30 feet. Although some manufacturers have attempted to provide an extra-long cord to compensate this feature, it's not quite the same.
  • One-piece solution. Nano receivers are all fine and good when they're safely plugged into your USB port, but you're often out of luck once your receiver goes missing. Some companies have developed technology to solve this problem, and most mice now include receiver placeholders somewhere on the mouse to prevent it from being lost.
  • Unifying Technology such as Logitech's Unifying Technology lets you save USB ports by pairing up to six devices with just one USB receiver. Of course, this means you must purchase Logitech devices for all your peripheral needs, but it's something to consider if you're sick of swapping receivers.
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