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Detangle that desk with these 6 mighty wireless mice

Wires are so last century, and at this juncture, the tethered mouse looks more than a bit antiquated. Wireless mice have become the standard for computer interaction. They just make sense: if you’re going to have an input device that constantly moves around by its very design, why would you want anything getting in the way? At this point there are literally thousands of choices vying for your wireless dollar, from under $20 to well over $100. But which one is the best? While that’s certainly a subjective question, you can’t go wrong with any of the picks below.

The Best

Logitech MX Master ($75+)

Logitech MX Master

The MX series has been the cream of Logitech’s crop for high-end mice, and the company pulled out all the stops with the “Master” update to its much-loved MX Performance model. While the Master retains the basic shape of the MX line with its distinctive thumb rest flare, the body has been resculpted with a higher back and some eye-catching trim.

The scroll wheel now automatically switches between the gliding “fast scroll” mode and the more usable single-scroll function without the need to press a physical button, and a secondary scroll wheel lets you scroll horizontally with your thumb. Standard left, right, and middle buttons, plus forward and back buttons and a multi-tasting thumb button are all programmable in Logitech’s software.

But it’s what’s on the inside that counts. In addition to a new permanent rechargeable battery, the MX Master is one of the only mice on the market that works wirelessly over RF (with Logitech’s proprietary “Unifying” dongles, one of which is included) and Bluetooth, allowing dongle-free connection to most new laptops and tablets. A handy illuminated button on the bottom of the mouse allows you to switch between three devices, connected via dongle or Bluetooth, without any extra pairing.

The mouse only has two downsides. First, its $100 price tag, and second, its small and pointy forward and back buttons. If those are points of contention for you, the MX Performance (with more finger-friendly browser buttons) is still widely available, and often discounted now that its successor is on the market. Also, if you want a mobile version of this mouse, check out the superb MX Anywhere 2.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Best Buy

The Rest

Best mobile mouse — Logitech Marathon Mouse m705 ($33)

Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705

The Marathon Mouse m705 is actually a few years old at this point, and it’s not technically a mobile mouse. Logitech and its competitors sell much smaller models, and this one is often paired with keyboards for desktop sets. But it’s our pick for a great laptop companion because it’s a fantastic traveller. Not only is it smaller and lighter than some of the more elaborate desktop mice available, it’s designed to last for positively ages on a pair of standard AA batteries. The specifications page says that it has a maximum life of three years (yes, years), so even with intense use you’re looking at months and months without a battery swap.

There are smaller mobile mice available, but we’ve found them to be uncomfortable in my medium-sized hands, barely better than a laptop trackpad. The Marathon Mouse m705 has that Goldilocks “just right” quality, a fast-scrolling wheel, forward and back browser buttons plus a multi-tasking button.

The only drawback is that it uses RF wireless and Logitech’s low-profile Unifying receiver, not Bluetooth, so you’ll need an open USB port on your laptop. The MX Anywhere 2 mouse has the same dual RF-Bluetooth functionality as the MX Master above, but it’s smaller and more expensive than the Marathon Mouse m705.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Best Buy

Best ergonomic mouse — Handshoe Wireless ($109)

Handshoe Wireless

Handshoe made our roundup of best wireless mice a few years ago, and there’s still no better option for an impressively-engineered ergonomic mouse. With a unique shell design that cups your entire hand to help prevent repetitive stress and low-force buttons, plus three size options for both left and right-handed users, no other mouse on the market is as dedicated to the idea of a comfortable design for extended computer use. The wireless model includes a rechargeable battery.

Though the Handshoe lacks browser buttons or a fast-scroll option, its laser sensor should track on most surfaces. The mouse is available directly from the manufacturer for a hefty $140, or at a slight discount from resellers like Amazon. That’s a sky-high price, but considering the specialized nature of the mouse, not an unreasonable one. Be sure to follow the measuring instructions on this page to correctly choose between the small, medium, and large models.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Best Buy

Best trackball mouse — Logitech M570 ($28)

Logitech M570

Trackballs aren’t all that popular these days, so your options are limited, and even more limited if you want one that’s wireless. The Logitech M570 is the clear standout in the limited field of conventional stationary trackballs thanks to is standardized mouse shape that puts the ball comfortably under your thumb instead of jutting out beneath your index or middle fingers.

That design choice leaves your fingers free for mouse-style click buttons, plus smartly-placed browser buttons that leave your thumb on the ball. The M570’s ball pops out without any extra pieces or tabs for easy cleaning, and it works with Logitech’s Unifying RF receiver (handy if you share a desktop with a fan of a standard mouse).

Buy one now from:

Amazon Best Buy

Best mouse for gaming — Razer Mamba ($150)

Razer Mamba 2015

The Razer Mamba comes loaded with plenty of “handy” features, and given it weighs just over 4 ounces, the Mamba certainly won’t hold users back.

Customization is the name of the game with the Mamba. On the bottom of the mouse, there are two hex screws, which are solely for the purpose of adjusting the click force on a user-by-user basis. The Mamba also incorporates Chroma lighting accents on the sides and along the scroll wheel. Users can use either the default color schemes or customize their own. These colors can also be synced with other Chroma-enabled devices.

The lighting accents aren’t frivolous either, as the lighting system can actually be used as a battery life indicator. If the Mamba’s battery drops below preferential levels, the mouse will flash red. Similarly, while the Mamba is charging, the lights will turn green as the battery approaches a full charge. Based on our own testing, the Mamba endured nearly 30 hours of game time on a single charge. This was with the the mouse set at 1,800 DPI, and while utilizing the Mamba’s color cycling effects.

While there are wireless mice with larger battery capacity, 30 hours of continuous use should be enough for the vast majority of individuals. Even if one were to exhaust the Mamba’s batteries, the unique ergonomic design will certainly keep users from feeling the fatigue.  The mouse doesn’t come with your run-of-the-mill scroll wheel, either. Rather than simply limiting users to two-directional scrolling, the wheel can be “rocked” left or right for horizontal scrolling. It’s a convenient feature, though it’s not often the most useful. That said, those who use the Mamba for gaming and web surfing will definitely appreciate the added mobility.

Lastly, Razer claims that the Mamba’s wireless latency is one thousandth of a second. This is faster than human reaction time, so if you’re a split second late when “pwning” your enemy, you really only have yourself to blame. Read our full review.

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Best budget mouse — Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 ($15+)

Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500

The Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 is a economic, no-frills alternative. The wireless mouse may not blow you away with adjustable click force or customizable accents, but if you’re in need of a wireless mouse and want to spend less than $20, this is your best bet.

The Mobile Mouse 3500 uses the company’s BlueTrack Technology, which capitalizes on a combination of both optical and laser precision for reliable tracking on an array of surfaces. The symmetrical, ambidextrous design also makes the Mobile Mouse 3500 perfect for users of left or right-handed persuasion.

And unlike the other premium mice on our roundup, Microsoft’s offering can last up to eight months on a single charge, which a welcome feature to say the least.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Microsoft Best Buy