Best Mice of 2015

We spend several hours a day interacting with computers, so having the right tools at hand is serious business. Deciding on the best mouse is a subjective process where several things come into play, such as intended use, feature set, price and how comfortable it feels in your hand and grip style. Over the years we’ve tested some of the best mice on the market, but to come up with this list we combined our own experience with hundreds of reviews and customer feedback across the web, to bring you our choices for the best overall mouse, best gaming mouse, best wireless / portable mouse and a handful of budget picks.

Best Overall

Razer DeathAdder Chroma

Great | Differentiating Features

Sober, aesthetically pleasing design. Performs superbly in everyday tasks as well as gaming. Configurable lighting.

Good | Most Have It

Accurate sensor. Very comfortable and ergonomic. Straightforward and simple to use software. Braided cable.

Average | Competitors May Be Better

No on-the-fly DPI switching. No on-board storage, though Razer’s cloud storage works well.

The Razer DeathAdder has had a handful of iterations the last few years (without changing much, and definitely not its shape) and every time it’s consistently mentioned as one of the top pick for gamers, especially if you play first-person shooters. But even if you’re not big on gaming we like this mouse so much that we’ve selected it as our best overall pick. It tracks movement with flawless accuracy, its buttons are large and offer just enough resistance while responding with a satisfying click; its notched scroll wheel feels and works great.

The Deathadder’s latest revision is called ‘Chroma’, adding customizable lighting and an upgraded sensor. If that’s not worth the extra $10-20 for you, the previous 2013 model is almost the same and an outstanding value at $40.

The Chroma’s DPI can be adjusted in increments of 100 all the way up to 10,000 (or up to 6,400 on the DeathAdder 2013). There’s no dedicated button to adjust DPI settings on the fly, but Razer’s software lets you save different profiles which you can cycle through using a button on the bottom of the mouse — though it’s not an ideal location if you’re in the middle of a gaming session. Other features on the software side include the ability to program macros to tie different key combos to a single click of the mouse.

In terms of design, the DeathAdder is shaped to accommodate the curve of the hand and its body is a rubbery matte black plastic that’ll keep your hand from sweating. There are also a couple of textured pad areas on both sides for the thumb and two non-dominant fingers to ensure a good grip. Your opinion may vary on how comfortable a mouse is depending on your grip style and hand size, but most reviewers (including us) agree the mouse is extremely comfortable to use even in extended gaming sessions, and at 105 grams it slides easily across a mousing surface.

Razer offers a left-handed version of the Deathadder, too. It should be noted though this model hasn’t received all the updates as its right-hand counterpart, so the sensor only goes up to 3,500 DPI and the sides of the mouse have a smoother plastic finish instead of a rubbery grip.

If you want something a little more substancial — or perhaps just a high end wireless alternative — the Logitech MX Master is a great pick, albeit pricier at $80. The MX Master is a big mouse but it doesn’t feel ‘fat’ and it features a perfectly sculpted shape that supports your hand and wrist in a comfortable, natural position. It’s precise and highly customizable. The Darkfield Laser sensor can be set as low as 400 and as high as 1600 in increments of 200 DPI, and it tracks flawlessly on a range of surfaces. You also get five programmable buttons, a clever speed-adaptive scroll wheel, a thumb wheel and the ability to connect to three different devices using Bluetooth.

Best Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 Proteus Core

Great | Differentiating Features

Customizable weights system. Dual-mode scroll wheel. 4K-friendly 12,000 DPI sensor. Surface calibration software. Eleven programmable buttons.

Good | Most Have It

Comfortable and ergonomic design. Large, well placed buttons are easy to reach. Braided cable. Capable, easy to use software. On the fly DPI switching.

Average | Competitors May Be Better

May sit a little low for someone with a large hand and a preference for the palm grip. Do you really need 12,000 DPI?

Logitech’s G502 Proteus Core is a customizable beast of a mouse that can accommodate to various gaming styles. The marquee feature is its DPI range that goes from 200 to a whopping 12,000 — which is frankly overkill even at 3840 x 2160 — and it’s adjustable on the fly so you can go from fast-paced close quarters action to slower more precise sniping. It has a total of eleven programmable buttons, the classic Logitech dual-mode scroll wheel for buttery smooth or notched motion, and five chevron-shaped 3.6g weights that let you adjust not just how much weight to add but to offset it to one side or the other.

Thanks to its large, spaced buttons, the mouse performs well in various game genres including first-person shooter (FPS), real-time strategy, action/adventure and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

Design-wise it has a distinct gaming look that not everyone will love — hard edges, LED lights, and a blue accent along the side — but beyond aesthetics it is extremely comfortable to hold. Both sides of the mouse are coated in a rubberised material to enhance grip and the surface of the mouse allows for air movement under your hand to reduce sweaty palms.

Logitech’s Gaming Software allows you to calibrate the sensor for different surfaces and setup different profiles — up to three can be saved internally using the built-in storage. It can also scan for games on your PC and automatically create profiles for them. The Logitech G502 Proteus Core currently hovers around $60 (as much as $20 below its launch price), making it a good value for the specs and features you’re getting.

For about $15 less the Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury is a leaner version of the Proteus Core that loses some customisable buttons (8 instead of 11) and the weights system. The physical shape and aesthetics of the G402 are similar to the G502, which is to say it’s extremely comfortable to hold. The resting place for your thumb is reduced in size but still provides plenty of support. It’s a quality FPS gaming mouse, with superb tracking abilities. It can go from 240 to 4,000 DPI and its standout spec is a tracking speed of 500 inches-per-second — which, realistically, you won’t ever achieve.

If you want something optimized specifically for MMO games the Razer Naga offers a total of 19 buttons — twelve of them on the side in four rows of thumb buttons. Each one of these buttons rest at a different elevation due to the curvature of the mouse, making it easier to tell them apart. The Naga uses the same Razer Synapse software as the DeathAdder and the mouse itself is very responsive and accurate at up to 8,200 DPI. It’ll set you back $65.

Best Wireless & Portable Mouse

Logitech M705 Marathon Mouse

Great | Differentiating Features

Up to three year battery life. Dual-mode scroll wheel. Portable without being uncomfortable to use for hours. Comes with its own zip-up carry case for safe keeping.

Good | Most Have It

Comfortable design, buttons are easy to reach and very responsive. Unifying Receiver. Eight customizable buttons, capable and easy to use software.

Average | Competitors May Be Better

Not ideal for people with large hands. Lacks the Darkfield sensor found in Logitech’s higher-end mice.

The M705 is a little larger than the typical portable mouse but that also makes it more comfortable to hold than the typical portable mouse. It feels sturdy and well built, with a smooth grey plastic surface and a more grippy black-matte plastic on both sides. You get a total of nine buttons between the traditional left and right click buttons, back and forward buttons to the side, an application switch button located under the thumb rest, a clickable scroll wheel that also tilts to the left of right, and a toggle button to switch between ratchet and infinite scrolling. All but the scroll type toggle are customizable. The buttons are well placed, easy to reach and very responsive.

It’s fitted with a 3200 DPI laser sensor that’s able to track accurately on a variety of surfaces. The accompanying software lets you customize sensitivity, acceleration, scroll speed, and other settings. On the underside of the mouse is the battery hatch and storage for the Unifying Receiver USB dongle. You can choose to use either one or two AA batteries, which will affect overall weight and also the center of gravity for the mouse. Clever. Logitech says the M705’s battery life lasts a maximum of three years. If you are in the market for a wireless productivity mouse, this is a great pick and an even better value at $30.

If you are looking for something that takes up less space while on the go, the Logitech Wireless Mouse M325 is highly rated on Amazon — 4.6 stars and 4,450 customer reviews. It’s not the most comfortable to use for extended periods, especially if you have large hands, but it’s functional and accurate — even though it uses only a 1000 DPI optical sensor. For $16 it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Since you only get the essential (left click, right click, back, forward) buttons, the M325 is a plug and play affair. It has a well built ambidextrous design with no buttons on the side (the back and forward buttons are located on the scroll wheel), making this a good pick for both left- and right-handed users. It uses a single AA battery which will last for up to 18 months.

Best Budget Mice

Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse

Great | Differentiating Features

Solid, durable build. Super cheap.

Good | Most Have It

Good driver support. No frills design. Accurate tracking, gets the job done. Mouse wheel feels nice.

Average | Competitors May Be Better

No thumb (back/forward) buttons. Left and right click buttons are a little louder than they should.

You can get a very good mouse like the Logitech Marathon M705 for $30, so we really recommend you set this as the starting point for your budget. However, if you really need to go lower, or just want a spare unit to have around for ocasional use, the Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse is a safe bet that’ll only set you back $10. It’s a plain two button and scroll wheel mouse that feels comfortable in the hand with a nice grip, solid drivers, accurate tracking and very dependable over time. It uses an optical sensor instead of laser and it only goes up to 800 DPI, but then again, remember what you are paying for it.

Initially we were going with the Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse, but felt it was close enough in price to our best wireless pick that you might as well drop the extra ~$10 and get the better device. That said, a quick search shows that the M510 has dipped to $15 several times in the last few months. If you keep an eye out and buy when the price goes down, the M510 makes for a solid alternative that’s wireless and better equipped than our main budget pick.

An alternative tailored for gamers — a rare find in this price range — is the Redragon M601 Centrophorus. Although not a household name, the M601 is highly rated on Amazon (4.5 stars and 3,225 customer reviews) and for a mere $13 gives you a total of six buttons, a 2,000 DPI sensor, a weights system and braided cable. The accompanying software lets you program four of the buttons with different keystrokes, actions or macros as well as gives you control over things DPI settings, lighting, acceleration, double click speed, and more. The design is a little flashy and it doesn’t feel premium but the textured, rough surface helps with the grip without being uncomfortable.

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