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Our Mouse Design Tests

Updated
Score components:
  • 2% Portability
  • 40% Build Quality
  • 50% Comfort Of Use
  • 5% Wireless Versatility
  • 2% Cable
  • 1% Mouse Feet
Score distribution

Our design tests for mice look at physical attributes like dimensions, weight, style, and material, as well as more technical aspects like wireless connectivity, battery type, and individual parts. Our goal is to determine, with a mix of subjective observations and objective testing, how portable, sturdy, and comfortable a mouse is as a whole.

Of course, design can be a little subjective, and your preferences may influence your take on things like style, comfort, and ease-of-use. Accordingly, a universally perfectly-designed mouse doesn’t exist, but high-scoring ones must feel solid and durable while also being comfortable for different hand shapes and sizes. They should come with a light and flexible cable or easily connect wirelessly. Also, they should give you good control without having to constantly readjust your grip or replace the wire. Portable size and shape can also be part of the equation, depending on how you plan to use it.

Our design section has six testing components; below, you'll find more details and explanations for each test.

Test results

Our tests

Style

Our style section provides info about the colors and patterns, shell, cover, RGB lighting, logo positioning, and overall shape. However, we don’t score this aspect as it's widely influenced by taste, preferences, and usage. Differences in style can have an impact on other attributes like weight, portability, and comfort, and many mice are designed with their own preferred usage in mind. Gaming mice may have a more aggressive style, with RGB lighting, flashy colors, or honeycomb-patterned holes, while office mice often have a more professional look and ergonomic features like a vertical design or a large thumb rest.

Our description aims to give you a general idea of the style. You can then take a look at other test boxes to see how it may impact your experience.

Weight

Our weight test is divided into five different sections.

First, we weigh the mouse with and without its wire and additional weights. If the mouse uses AA or AAA batteries, we use our own to ensure consistency. The batteries we use are AmazonBasics brand. The AA weighs about 27.5g, and the AAA weighs about 12.5g.

  • Maximum weight with wire: if the mouse can be used while plugged in, we weigh the mouse, the cable, and all additional parts or weights together on the scale.
  • Maximum weight without wire: we weigh the mouse without its cable, but with any additional parts or attachable weights.
  • Minimum weight without wire: we only weigh the mouse and remove any parts that aren't necessary to use the sensor, L/R clicks, and the mouse wheel. We don't open or break the mouse to remove parts, and we don't remove anything that would greatly affect the ergonomics.

We then determine the weight distribution (front-heavy, back-heavy, or centered) and if it comes with dedicated extra weights so you can obtain your preferred heaviness. No scoring is attributed to this test, as different users may prefer a lighter or heavier mouse. However, we generally start qualifying the result as somewhat lightweight when it weighs 85g or less, with some of the lightest mice we've tested being around 50g. On the contrary, starting at 105g, we consider it to be somewhat heavy, and we use a stronger qualifier the more the weight goes up. The heaviest mouse we've tested is around 200g.

The dimensions and design, the material used, whether or not it has honeycomb-patterned holes, and the type and number of batteries needed are all components that could impact the final weight.

Portability

What it is: The convenience of portability based on volume and where the accessories are stored.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your mouse in a bag, purse, or pocket.
Score components:
  • 80% Volume
  • 20% Cable/Receiver Storing
Score distribution

Our portability test evaluates how easy it is for you to carry your mouse around. It’s mainly based on volume, but also partly on the receiver and storage space. The larger the mouse is, the less portable it is, as it would likely take up to much space in a bag. Likewise, if it’s wired or has a receiver but doesn’t provide any storage inside the mouse itself, the score is reduced.

Gamers and professionals who are often on the move may want to bring their own mouse with them when away from their home or office. Generally, the smaller the size, the better, and some people may favor wireless mice since they eliminate the clutter of a cable. That said, depending on your situation and gaming or working habits, portability may not be very important.

Build Quality

What it is: The material quality, whether it has a cheap/expensive feel, and the assembly quality. Poor build quality might lessen the expected lifetime of the mouse and may also affect comfort when using the mouse.
When it matters: When you're looking for a well-built mouse with quality materials and a durable design.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Score distribution

Our build quality section subjectively evaluates the mouse's quality, in terms of sturdiness and durability. We take a look at the material used and assess how well the different components come together. We make note of any wobble or squeaking sound in the buttons or scroll wheel, any loose parts when shaking the mouse, and any other aspect that could impact the quality.

As mentioned, this assessment is subjective, and different users may have different preferences in terms of build quality and materials. Generally, mice with a metal frame or made with high-quality, rigid plastic feel more solid and are less prone to breaking, especially if there are no loose or squeaking parts. This is especially important if you’re looking for a durable mouse or if you plan to share it with other people.

Comfort Of Use

What it is: The general curve of the mouse, ease of use of extra features, and the format of the mouse, which define the comfort of use.
When it matters: When you use your mouse for long periods and want to optimize comfort and ease of use.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Score distribution

Our comfort test is subjective and covers different ergonomic features to help you choose a mouse that feels comfortable even after long periods. Keep in mind that not one mouse is a universal fit for every grip and hand size, and there isn't a perfect mouse that matches everybody's idea of comfort.

To help you choose the right one for you, we check if the mouse has a symmetrical design or a right or left-handed orientation. We take a look at the coating, as a matte finish usually feels more grippy for sweaty hands, and a glossy one generally feels better for dry hands. We then write down if there’s a thumb or finger rest, as some people find them more comfortable.

We also look at key characteristics to determine if it's well-suited for one or more of the three grip styles:

  • Palm grip
  • Claw grip
  • Fingertip grip

We evaluate which hand size would be a good fit for the mouse, based on its shape and size, and have at least three different employees with different hand sizes hold it to see if they have good control and if they can reach all the buttons with all three grip styles.

Scoring is calculated subjectively, based on grip, button placement, and ergonomic features. Other usage problems could also impact the final score.

Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation

What it is: The hand size we're recommending if you use a palm grip with this mouse. The picture represents the grip style with a medium size hand. Hand measurement should be taken from the wrist line to the top of the middle finger.
Hand size category Hand size range
Small 14 cm to 17.5 cm (5.5 in to 6.9 in)
Medium 17 cm to 19.5 cm (6.7 in to 7.7 in)
Large 19 cm to 20.5 cm (7.5 in to 8.1 in)
Extra Large 20 cm to 24 cm (7.9 in to 9.5 in)
When it matters: When you want to know if the overall shape and dimension of the mouse will fit your grip style and hand size for maximum comfort and ease of use.

The palm grip is very popular and widely used, due to its easiness and comfort. With this grip, most, if not all, of your palm is resting on the mouse with your index and middle finger flat on the L/R click. Usually, the best mice for this grip have a higher back, a large body, and curves that mold to your finger.

This grip style is known to be great for slow, smooth, and precise gliding. It may not be the best position for fast and small adjustments like flick shots, as they might be less precise and accurate than with other grip types.

Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation

What it is: The hand size we're recommending if you use a claw grip with this mouse. The picture represents the grip style with a medium size hand. Hand measurement should be taken from the wrist line to the top of the middle finger.
Hand size category Hand size range
Small 14 cm to 17.5 cm (5.5 in to 6.9 in)
Medium 17 cm to 19.5 cm (6.7 in to 7.7 in)
Large 19 cm to 20.5 cm (7.5 in to 8.1 in)
Extra Large 20 cm to 24 cm (7.9 in to 9.5 in)
When it matters: When you want to know if the overall shape and dimension of the mouse fit your grip style and hand size for maximum comfort and ease of use.

With a claw grip, the lower part of your palm is touching the back of the mouse, while your index and middle finger are curled up over the L/R clicks. Mice with a rounder back and a shorter body are generally well-suited to use with this grip.

Most would say that this grip style allows for faster and smaller movements and may provide better precision than a palm grip, as it potentially gives you more freedom around your wrist.

 

Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation

What it is: The hand size we're recommending if you use a fingertip grip with this mouse. The picture represents the grip style with a medium size hand. Hand measurement should be taken from the wrist line to the top of the middle finger.
Hand size category Hand size range
Small 14 cm to 17.5 cm (5.5 in to 6.9 in)
Medium 17 cm to 19.5 cm ( 6.7 in to 7.7 in)
Large 19 cm to 20.5 cm (7.5 in to 8.1 in)
Extra Large 20 cm to 24 cm (7.9 in to 9.5 in)
When it matters: When you want to know if the overall shape and dimension of the mouse will fit your grip style and hand size for maximum comfort and ease of use.

A fingertip grip is pretty much the opposite of a palm grip and allows for minimal contact between the mouse and your hand. In this position, only your fingertips are touching the mouse, while your palm is hovering above it without really touching it. Good mice for a fingertip grip usually have a low profile and a smaller design and are often pretty lightweight.

Most people agree that this grip style gives you more control and allows for faster and smaller adjustments, like flick shots, as it reduces the need to move your wrist, arm, and elbow to a minimum. It might also not be ideal for slower movements for some people.

 

Wireless

What it is: If the mouse supports wireless connection to a device.
When it matters: When you don't want to be bothered by a wire.
Score components:
  • 30% Bluetooth
  • 30% Receiver
  • 16% Battery Type
  • 6% Use When Charging
  • 16% On/Off Activation
  • 2% Receiver Extender
Score distribution

Our test for wireless versatility assesses if and how the mouse wirelessly connects to a device. If applicable, it also gives more info on the battery type, power management, and receiver extender.

To receive a perfect score, it must offer every connectivity option (Bluetooth and USB receiver), have a rechargeable battery, allow you to use it while it charges, and have a convenient way to be turned off automatically and manually.

Cable

What it is: The cable that comes with the mouse, whether it's the charging cable or a wired mouse's cable. The perfect cable would have a paracord-like or true paracord design that has good flexibility, doesn't tend to grip onto surfaces, has no permanent kink, and is a reasonable length.
When it matters: When gaming, having a flexible and well-built cable can reduce cable drag that could impact your mouse movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Score distribution

Our cable section gives you information on the included wire. We take note of the cable length, type, and style (braided, paracord, paracord-like, or rubber). We then subjectively evaluate the cable's quality based on its general feel, flexibility, and potential flaws, like permanent kinks.

Permanent kinks are folding marks along the cable that usually result in crumpled parts. They're often the consequence of the way the cable was packaged and its overall stiffness. We consider it a permanent kink if there's no way to easily remove the folding mark. We also film a video to help you get a better sense of the cable, where we slowly swipe the mouse from side to side and then get progressively faster for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Our testing process would give the highest score to a flexible paracord cable that’s at least 1.3 meters long, with no permanent kink, that doesn’t create any drag on your desk.

Conclusion

Our design tests look at the layout of a mouse and how well all its components are put together. As mentioned, this test group is mainly subjective, though most people would agree with the importance of things like build quality, dimensions, weight, and comfort. A well-designed mouse should be sturdy and comfortable for you while also answering your needs in terms of weight, connectivity, and portability.

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