Computers aren’t dying. They’re not going away. You’re not all going to be using just iPads and Nexuses (Nexi?) and Surfaces (Surfi?) in six months. Whether its for hardcore gaming, graphic design, publishing, video production, or checking your email, you’re still going to need a computer, and your computer is still going to need an input device, at least for now.
Here are 5 Computer Mice and Input Devices for a 2014 Computer
1. Drakonia Black Gaming Mouse by Sharkoon — $60
This is a brand new one. Sharkoon’s Drakonia Black is as good as it gets for PC gaming mice right now. It’s up there with Razer’s products, and it’s in the same ~$60 price point.
The Drakonia Black features the accurate Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor, a nice design and tactile scale casing. It has 11 buttons, 4-way scroll wheel, decent software to customize the buttons, and 8200 DPI. It also has a scalable weighting system to totally customize your gaming experience.
Oh, and it’s totally unnecessary if you don’t play games.
2. Penclic Mouse B2 by Prestige International — $99
Every few years, a new mouse-killer comes out, claiming to defeat repetitive strain injury, carpel tunnel, and all the other great ailments that we’re all getting after decades of using keyboards and mice. None of them ever take. Trackballs. Touchpads. 3D motion input. The mouse is still king.
And that’s the worst thing I can say about the Penclick B2, which is a great product on its own. If you forget that you’ll probably still have to use a mouse (unless you try to quit cold turkey) the Penclic is pretty awesome. It is the offspring of a graphic tablet and a joystick. The motion is smooth. The Bluetooth is seamless. There’s still a scroll wheel. The battery isn’t awful.
We’ve been testing the penclic for about a month off and on. It’s not a mouse killer, but it’s a valiant option, especially for graphic designers.
3. FAVI Entertainment Mini Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Touchpad — $30
I’m having SO much fun with these Dual Core Android TV Sticks. You can put Linux on them and turn a $40 item into a print or file server. With such a tiny computer at your disposal, it’s important to have a matching input device.
Amazon us running a $19.77 special on these FAVI Mini Wireless Keyboard/Touchpad devices. They have a long-lasting lithium battery that charges via USB. The 2.4GHz USB receiver hides away inside the device and is good from 30 feet. Oh, and it’s cheap.
The touchpad is a little small, but its responsive enough to do the job.
You can go up the ladder and get versions of the FAVI that work with your Xbox or Playstation and feature things like LED backlit keys and laser pointers. For my money, I like the basic model.
4. Kensington Mouse For Life 3-Button — $9.99
Mice aren’t known for their insanely long lifespans. At least they don’t use mechanical balls anymore! If you’ve had your computer for a while and have upgraded the memory, switched to a SSD, and put a new video card in, you probably don’t want to go out and spend a lot on a replacement mouse.
So spend $10.
I’ve never been a fan of the wireless mouse. They have their use, but I prefer my desktop devices battery-free. The Kensington Mouse for Life USB Three-Button Mouse is an ideal replacement. The product line has evolved over the years, and Kensington has been in the business of computer electronics for three decades.
As far as input devices go, this is your basic mouse. It’s not fancy. It’s not the most comfortable. It’s not ideal for complicated MMO games. But’s a mouse that plugs in and installs instantly for $10.
5. Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse — $59.95
It’s actually $39.60 brand new on Amazon. Check it out.
If the Kensington is the basic replacement budget mouse for your 2014 computer, the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is 2114 magic. It features touch-clicking, an ergonomic shape, and BlueTrack technology that will work on just about any surface including glass and couch cushions.
The only complaint about the Arc Touch is that the Nano Transceiver USB plug can get lost easily. Lose it, and you’re out $40-$60 for a new mouse. It is not ideal, but it just goes to show how much Bluetooth failed to take over the world, even in 2014.
The Arc Touch is a great companion for a Surface or another tablet PC, because of its portability and rapid/seamless install on any Windows PC. It also comes in “Sangria Red” if that does it for you.