A few weeks back I talked about the best mice for PC gamers. The gamer needs a special mouse. The notebook user that needs a mouse for use on the go also has some very special needs. The notebook users doesn't typically need tons of sensitivity, they just need a mouse that is easy to use and very portable.
You can take any old mouse and plug it into your notebook if you are in the home or office and work just fine. Once you are out of the office and carrying all you need to work with you in a bag of some sort, you quickly realize that you need a smaller mouse. Most notebook mice will be sized much smaller than the typical mouse used at your desktop. Different mice will be smaller than others will so how small you go really depends on the size of your hands and how much portability you really want.
One key decision you need to make when buying a notebook mouse is whether you want wired or wireless. You can get plain old mice for notebooks that have the same style cord you use at your desk most likely, the problem here is that the cord can be a pain to deal with and really clutter you the inside of your notebook bag.
You can also get some wired mice with retractable cords. These are all fine and good, but my experience with them tells me that the retracing mechanisms don't last long. Pull it too hard one time and it’s done. That leaves the best mouse tech for most notebook users as wireless. You can get wireless mice that come with a USB receiver and some that connect via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth mice are great in that you don’t need an adapter in one of the often scarce USB ports on your notebook. The downside is that I have had more problems with Bluetooth mice just randomly dropping signals than I have with any other peripheral I have used on the road. I prefer the USB wireless mice and in particular the new mice with the small receivers that you can just plug in and forget rather than the large ones that look like flash drives. The tiny nano receivers can just be plugged into a USB port and left there forever if you want. If you need a good notebook mouse, check out my picks for the best in the mobile mouse category below.
1. Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse - This mouse has one of the best sensors in it that you will find. The thing I really like about it is that the sensor will tracks on just about any surface, as long as that surface isn't reflective. It also has a tiny nano receiver you can plug in and forget. It also has an awesome scroll wheel that is made to let you easily flick the wheel to scroll long pages in a snap. The laser sensor is a Logitech Darkfield unit that has better tracking than most. The little mouse is available now for $48.99.
2. Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse - This mouse is much cheaper than the one right above it on the list. This little V220 mouse is a basic portable mouse with a price of right under $10 making it a bargain. You don’t get fancy scroll wheels and the tracking might not be as good on as many surfaces, but the price is right for many. It also comes in a number of colors to suit your style and match your notebook. The big issue of this mouse for me is that it uses a large USB dongle for connectivity that you will have to remove from your notebook each time you are done using it. It is a three-button mouse with a scroll wheel.
3. Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 - If you aren't a Logitech fan and want something from a different company Microsoft makes some nice mobile gear. The Microsoft WMM 3500 here is one of its better portable mice and it comes in a bunch of colors. The mouse has three buttons and a scroll wheel. It uses the BlueTrack sensor inside which has better tracking on all sorts of surfaces to make the mouse easier to use and more accurate. It also uses a small nano transceiver you can plug in and forget.
4. Belkin Mobile USB Retractable Wired Mouse - If you just don’t like wireless mice this offering from Belkin has a wired USB cord that retracts. The retractable design is very nice because you can extend the cable and then reel it up to take up less space in your bag when it's time to hit the road. The mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel with an optical sensor.
5. Logitech V470 Bluetooth Cordless Mouse - If you don't want a wired mouse, but don’t want a wireless mouse that needs one of the few USB ports on your notebook the V470 is a perfect option,. This mouse connects to your notebook using Bluetooth. That means if your notebook has Bluetooth you don’t need a dongle or wire to use this thing. The mouse has three buttons, a 30-foot range, and side to side scrolling with the click wheel. It also has a battery life indicator integrated as well. This little mouse is about $35.
6. USB Finger Mouse - If you really need to be different this is the mouse for you. This little thing has a Velcro strap that wraps around your finger. You control the mouse on the screen my moving your finger with the sensor attacked. The finger mouse uses a normal wired USB connector and offers more sensitivity than most portable mice at 1200dpi. The cool part is that it will work on any surface since it has no traditional sensor.
7. Microsoft Arc - The Arc is one of the coolest mice on the market today. This thing is the size of a normal notebook mouse when folded. When you unfold it is about the size of your average desktop mouse giving you the best of both worlds. Folding the mouse turns it on and off too. It uses a tiny nano receiver and has three buttons with a scroll wheel. It looks really cool too. You can get it for under $40.