One of the most important parts of a mouse is its shape and how well it fits in your hand. Our Shape tests aim to provide as much information as possible so you can compare, study, and more intuitively understand a mouse's shape.
When shopping for a mouse online, it can be challenging to choose one that will suit you best without the opportunity to see and feel it. The results of our shape test can help you evaluate the mouse in detail, and even though nothing beats seeing the real thing, it's sure to give you as comprehensive an idea as possible.
We use a high-resolution 3D scanning tool to create an accurate model of every mouse we test. This scan provides an intuitive way to understand how a mouse is shaped. You can compare the scans of any mouse we've tested using our 3D tool.
Using the 3D tool, you can view each mouse in three different ways:
You can compare mice side-by-side or stacked directly onto each other, making it easier to see size and shape differences. You can also rotate the models on any axis, additional options to view, and align them from the top, sides, front, back, and bottom.
Our Shape tests provide information about the overall shape of the mouse. We determine the dimensions using a pair of digital calipers and create a complete 3D scan of each mouse using a high-resolution 3D scanner. You can see more in-depth details of how we conduct each test below.
We measure the length of each mouse from its longest point with a set of digital calipers and record the result. Note that if the mouse is wired, we don't include any part of the cable in our measurement.
We measure the width of the mouse at its widest point with a set of digital calipers and record the result.
We measure the height of each mouse at its highest point with a set of digital calipers and record the result.
To determine our grip width result, we take three measurements: one placed slightly forward, one more toward the rear, and one centered. The results of all three of these measurements are averaged together to produce our result. We use an average of these three measurements because people tend to hold mice differently, depending on the size of their hand and their preferred grip type.
With this test, we visually determine whether the mouse is symmetrical. If not, the result is 'no'. If the mouse's shape is symmetrical but only has side buttons on one side, we record the result as 'Shape Only'. If a mouse is symmetrical and has side buttons on both sides of the mouse, the result is 'True Ambidextrous'. Some mice allow you to swap the left- and right-click functions using customization software. While we don't consider this a requirement for a mouse to be 'True Ambidextrous', we'll often mention whether a mouse has this capability in reviews when relevant.
This test is a subjective determination as to whether the shape of the mouse is suitable for left-handed use. This test only takes the shape into account and doesn't account for aspects like side button placement.
We indicate if the mouse shape has dedicated areas to rest individual fingers. We indicate whether a mouse has a Pinky, Thumb, and/or a Thumb and Pinky rest. Note that many 'Pinky' rests may also serve as 'ring finger' rests, depending on how you hold your mouse.
We use an ARTEC Space Spider scanner to capture a 3D model of each mouse we test.
We mount the mouse in an upright position with a sticky tack material on a rotating table with the scanner positioned next to it. We take a 360-degree scan of the mouse and then flip the mouse so that the end that was in the sticky tack is now facing up. We then take a second 360-degree scan, and using ARTEC Studio 15 software, we align and stitch together both models to create a completed model. We finalize the image by applying textures and doing a thorough inspection to ensure the model is accurate.
Note that there are some limitations of the 3D scanner tool:
Ultimately, shape preferences are a very personal thing. The results of our Shape tests don't affect any of the score results, but they offer a more in-depth way for you to examine and understand each mouse and compare it to other mice we've reviewed. Considering how critical a mouse's shape is to how comfortable and useful it is, this test is intended to provide you with enough information to make an informed decision and buy the mouse that's right for you.