Best Wireless Mouse of 2021
The Tecknet BM308 Wireless Mouse is not only a great value with its affordable price but also impressed us with its performance across the board. For a traditional mouse orientation, we were pleasantly surprised by its ergonomic shape with a high palm support and thumb/pinky depressions. Given that the BM308 is a Bluetooth design, we thoroughly tested its pairing function and found consistently easy device-bonding. While testing the mouse's latency, we found it on par with most of the mice in this review, providing a consistent and reliable connection. The built-in DPI adjustment button was easy to reach mid-use to adjust sensitivity when doing more detailed cursor tasks such as airbrushing during photo edits.
The BM308 is very hand-size dependent when considering the mouse's ergonomics. Our reviewers with larger hands found the mouse far less comfortable than those with small to medium-sized hands. With a hand-size specific design, this mouse might be challenging to try out before buying, so be cautious moving forward with a purchase if you feel your hands are larger than average. The BM308 is best for those seeking an inexpensive option that offers a decent amount of hand support and features.
The Apple Magic Mouse is the best option for Mac users looking for a great mouse to use on the go. This model performed wonderfully across tasks like email composition, document creation, and web browsing. With a sleek glass finish and slim design, this mouse offers a unique aesthetic to this review and stands out in numerous ways. The smart zoom feature enables a massive screen zoom-in on your cursor, which was an incredible gift when utilizing spreadsheets and small-text documents. Additionally, the Magic Mouse offers a touchpad-style design enabling four-way scrolling, which can register your finger's movement anywhere on the top of the mouse. The Magic Mouse has a built-in rechargeable battery and uses Apple's universal lightning cable- making this an ideal option for Apple enthusiasts.
The Magic Mouse has a charging port on the underside of the mouse, rendering the mouse out-of-service while being charged. We found this quite a surprise given Apple's track record of producing well-designed and thoughtful products. Additionally, this option was among the most expensive in the review. We did find the touchpad and smart zoom to be unique features that provided some decent value for such a high price, but it is still nonetheless 5-7 times more expensive than many of our other award winners. With diminished functionality on PC, we recommend this mouse for Mac users who care about unique functions rather than low cost.
The Fenifox Slim Mini takes first place in our travel category. We judged this category on the principles of profile, weight, and baseline features. The Fenifox is our slimmest and lightest mouse in the review and will likely fit in even the most over-packed luggage. In the rare instance the mouse doesn't fit in your travel bag, it'll easily fit in your pocket. The mouse connects via Bluetooth, which is also ideal for travel, so you don't have to use a USB dongle while at an airport or on a plane. The Fenifox has a left/right-click, a two-way scroller, and adjustable DPI, which satiates our baseline needs of a mouse and provides enough features for the Fenifox to be actually useable.
The Fenifox designers put most of their eggs in the travel basket rather than in comfort, and it shows. After about an hour of mouse use, we were ready for a hand-break with effectively no ergonomic support under the palm. We also found a design flaw with the DPI adjustment underneath the mouse, forcing one to flip the mouse over for a basic mouse adjustment. The Fenifox is recommended for travelers needing a mouse they can take anywhere for short sessions.
The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Mouse comes out on top as the most ergonomic mouse within our best wireless mouse review. Whether or not you've used an upright mouse before, this mouse feels great right off the bat. The rubber coating around the entire mouse is inviting, and the click action is at just the right level to keep fatigue down for heavy mouse use. The functions on this mouse are at the standard of the rest of our top selections, with an adjustable sensitivity (dots per inch) button on the mouse and forward-back page buttons. The Anker 2.4G Wireless also fits various hand sizes, unlike some of our other ergonomically designed mice in this review.
The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Mouse is a vertical or "handshake" positioned mouse, so there will likely be a learning curve for users that have never used this type of mouse before. Additionally, while the shape of this mouse is incredibly ergonomic, the scroller and the forward-back buttons are not in the ideal place for comfort, requiring one to move their hand slightly to use each button. Lastly, a mouse that is this ergonomic can't also be travel friendly given its bulky size, but comfort comes at a relatively small price. The Anker is a great option for those wanting an ergonomic mouse on a budget.
The Logitech M570 is one of the only trackball options we tested and topped the charts in many of our tests, particularly in the ergonomics category. Trackball mice utilize a ball to carry the cursor around the screen rather than moving one's arm. In recent years this style of the mouse has particularly gained popularity so we included one in this review. The Logitech M570 is an incredibly comfortable mouse and right up there with our most ergonomic mice of the review with a position in-between traditional and handshake position mice. The forward and back button pages are in a fantastic location by your pointer finger, and the scroller doesn't require stretching from those of us with smaller hands.
The Logitech M570 is among our most bulky mice and is likely for home use only, depending on your luggage space budget. Additionally, we would have liked to see a sensitivity adjustment for the trackball built into the mouse rather than a computer setting. Lastly, the trackball, similar to the handshake position mice, will involve a learning curve. The M570 is recommended for those seeking a high-quality trackball option in the wireless market.
The Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse is an option worthy of your consideration, particularly if you are a PC user. This product is well-built with some hidden functionality, including the windows button on the thumb, which doubles as a programmable button and a touchpad scroller. The scroller can navigate the page four directions and offered a consistent connection that held its own in the review's spectrum.
The Sculpt Comfort Mouse has a top sheet of plastic that we found quite uninspiring. When putting batteries into the Sculpt, we nearly broke the top of the mouse while removing it to expose the battery compartment. The top sheet is made of an incredibly thin piece of plastic that was unsettling to bend as it was removed and reinstalled. Outside of this construction concern, the Sculpt is a great option for a PC user looking for advanced functionality in an otherwise simple design.
The Microsoft Arc Mouse is the only option in the review that can fold/flatten for storage or transport. Like the Magic Mouse, the Arc has a touchpad style design that allows four-way scrolling though it doesn't have the smart zoom feature of its Apple counterpart. With the folding capability, we loved its slim profile, and it easily fit into any travel bag we used during testing. Bluetooth pairing was also a breeze, with an intuitive system that didn't require instructions.
The Arc tops the charts of this review when examining cost. The folding feature is great, but we didn't feel the value was there, particularly when considering how much value other options offer. While testing latency, we occasionally had the cursor lag during high-demand mouse use, including gaming and photo editing. Lastly, we found the mouse to put an uncomfortable angle on the wrist for reviewers with smaller hands. This option is best for those seeking a travel mouse with four-way scrolling.
The AmazonBasics Wireless Computer Mouse is a well-functioning mouse for a great value. Its plug-and-play connectivity is quick and easy, and the functionality of the three-button design may be simple but is effective for general computer use. Depending on the device you're paring with this mouse, you can adjust the DPI (dots per inch) sensitivity even though the mouse doesn't have a DPI button- keeping this mouse simple but with just enough useable functions for home/office use.
The AmazonBasics mouse offers an ergonomic design that provides a great deal of hand support with a high palm profile. This, unfortunately, is less comfortable for smaller hands, putting the wrist in a more acute angle than desired. This mouse is best for those shopping for an inexpensive mouse for those that have larger hands.
The Logitech M510 is an excellent mouse with great working features like programmable buttons and side to side-scrolling. The connectivity was quick and reliable with various computer uses and offered low-friction sliding across all surfaces tested. We found this mouse to be a quality build and maintains Logitech's reputation as a well-built mouse manufacturer.
The M510 is a more narrow design, and even those with smaller hands felt the thumb and pinky rests were uncomfortable to use. While testing, this mouse caused a bit of cramping, making this one of the more ergonomically inferior designs in our review. The M510 is for you if seeking a narrower mouse with otherwise top-of-the-line quality.
The Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 is among our most simple designs in the review, offering just a left/right click and a scroller. This mouse is an ambidextrous design and is quick and easy to connect to any computer. As a slimmer profile mouse, the ergonomics were relatively decent for general/light computer use.
The 3500 had inconsistent connectivity compared to other mice in the review. With extended use, we found the cursor to occasionally lag inconsistently. This lag was not attached to any particular surface and never was an issue for more than a few seconds, but we wouldn't recommend this option for heavy computer use. The 3500 is best suited for those seeking the most simple mouse design they can find and don't anticipate extended mouse use.
Why You Should Trust Us
Leading this review's testing and research is Zach Joseph. Zach wears several different administrative hats in the outdoor industry that are incredibly mouse-intensive. These mouse-intensive roles include graphic design, website construction, content management, audio engineering, and photo editing. After such a consistent tenure in mouse use, Zach has become incredibly knowledgable on mice, their design considerations, and how to test their functionality.
Each product was put through the gamut of mouse demands, from speed-intensive use like gaming to detail-focused tasks like airbrushing a photo. Furthermore, each option was evaluated through several lenses to determine which mouse is best for certain shoppers.
Analysis and Test Results
We created several objective metrics to properly score each mouse for an accurate evaluation. We used these scores to stick each mouse against each other in a battle of connectivity, features, value, sensor quality, and ergonomics to discover the best mice.
Types of Wireless Connection for Mice
As you hunt for a wireless mouse, you will likely notice two options: Bluetooth and Radio Frequency (with a USB Dongle). These options achieve the same goal of connecting a mouse to a computer sans wire, but there are some very specific considerations to each connection method. Bluetooth connections are relatively simple as long as a computer has a functioning Bluetooth attachment and doesn't involve any USB use; simply turn the mouse on and pair it with the computer. A Bluetooth connection is up to eight times slower than radio frequency, so Bluetooth is not a recommended connection for activities like gaming, where dozens of commands a second are getting sent from the mouse. Radio Frequency requires a USB dongle and is in some ways faster to set up than Bluetooth; one simply puts the mouse's dongle into their computer, turns the mouse on, and they're ready to roll. One consideration with radio frequency is that a USB dongle can serve as an entry point into your computer for the skilled hacker at the next coffee shop you're working in.
A connection from the mouse to the computer is critical in its quality. We judged this metric based on the examination of the mouse's ability to communicate with the computer. Any lagging with the cursor can render the mouse useless depending on the severity of such lag, so we put this metric as the most important metric in the review. Additionally, this metric considered how simple or reliable it was to initiate the Bluetooth or RF connection for a session. We kept a running note tab on each mouse for their connectivity for the entirety of the examination. Even the slightest of lags were noted, describing the conditions of the lag and what mouse activities. We utilized gaming especially to judge this metric, though technically, no mice are gaming mice. Gaming allowed the connectivity to truly be tested with a high number of mouse commands needing to be registered on the computer.
Mice like the Logitech M570 and the Apple Magic topped the list in this category for higher performance demands, like airbrushing a photo in editing software or some light gaming. Given that the Logitech M570 is an RF mouse, it shouldn't come as a surprise that this option scored highly, with RF's method of information transmission being far superior to Bluetooth. When we were testing each mouse under more relaxed conditions than gaming, like emailing or web-browsing, most every mouse scored well, with a few outliers falling to the back of the pack.
Whether a mouse is used for one hour of web browsing or six hours of graphic design, comfort plays a huge factor. Our ergonomics category was weighted by using each mouse for several short and several extended sessions, noting fatigue and discomfort in the hand, wrist, arm, and shoulders. We were careful to address each mouse's intended function, particularly if there was a clear specialty the mouse was designed for. For example, if a mouse was clearly meant to be a travel mouse, we tested it for the same length of time as every other product, but with the understanding it was designed for shorter sessions. We were objective in the scoring of every product but were particularly ruthless in the scoring of mice that were clearly intended for extended use.
The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Mouse outperformed almost every other mouse in the lineup when tracking the amount of hand and arm fatigue, with the Logitech M570 Trackball coming in as a close second. These two mice were built with ergonomic design as a priority, and it shows, with the Anker mouse in a comfortable handshake position and the M570 in a position in between the handshake and the standard flat mouse alignments. Both of these mice open up the group of muscles, bones, and ligaments on the Ulnar (pinky) side of the wrist, which commonly get constricted with a standard flat mouse. The balance in the ergonomics category that can be hard to manage is size versus comfort, given that both of these mice are the bulkiest that we tested.
There are two different components to our features metrics: foundational and extra features. Foundational features are defined as a right/left click, a power source, and a scroller. Extra features are defined as any offerings outside of the previously mentioned foundational features. The extra features include: forward/back page buttons, touchpad, four-way scrolling, programmable buttons, adjustable DPI, sleep mode, foldable mouse body, rechargeable battery, and smart zoom. We determined what features each mouse had and then addressed whether those features worked and whether they were relevant.
The Apple Magic Mouse offers a truly unique feature known as smart zoom, which dramatically boosted the mouse's score in this metric. Smart zoom allows the computer to zoom into wherever the cursor is- an incredibly helpful tool for dozens of applications. On top of that, the Magic Mouse had a touch glass design where the entire mouse top can be used to scroll in four directions. Other mice like the Fenifox didn't have many flashy features, but as a travel mouse, it offered a simple left/right-click, a scroller, and still managed to sneak in an adjustable DPI button regardless of its micro-size.
Surface Slide/Sensor Quality
We judged this metric based on the physical ease of sliding a mouse and how well the mouse's sensor worked on different surfaces. We tested the surface slide characteristics of each mouse by simply sliding each mouse on different surfaces without a paired computer- solely focusing on the resistance (or lack thereof) of each mouse's slide. The sensor quality was examined by using each mouse on several different types of surfaces, from wood to glass, to see how they each performed. We didn't begin examining the sensor quality until we understood the mouse's connectivity so that lag wouldn't get confused with a sensor issue and vice versa.
Almost every mouse held up to the test with a similar level of physical ease of sliding, with a few exceptions regarding the sensor. The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Mouse and the Apple Magic Mouse didn't perform well on glass. This setback may be minor for many users given the anticipated surfaces they will be using, but a consideration nonetheless. The Microsoft Arc Mouse took the prize for the worst quality sensor- operating lethargically on wood and plastic.
We can hold high expectations for a wireless mouse in this day and age, regardless of intended use and functions demands. As you browse options, don't settle for anything but exactly what you want at the price you can afford.
— Zach Joseph