Improving your mouse experience
January 26, 2007
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A mouse is an essential tool that most of us use almost every day. In the course of a day, many of us end up cursing them because they don’t track as well as they did when they were brand new. Often this is due to the mouse itself, but these days most quality mice from Logitech and Microsoft in the $30-50 range are really good when used properly. Proper use often requires a good mousepad. But unfortunately, even with a good mousepad, the feet on these mice tend to wear out over time.
Earlier ball-based mice were plagued with the problem of the mouseball getting dirty and failing to track properly. Most mouse-freaks would clean their mice on a daily basis to improve their tracking.
Optical mice were supposed to resolve the issues of the much hated mouseball, but they introduced a new problem as the friction was now solely placed on the feet of the mouse. The feet don’t have the same problem of getting dirty as quickly, but they come at a cost of reduced durability. The feet may fall off or wear down over time requiring that the whole mouse be replaced.
A colleague at work (and self-described mouse freak) introduced me to two products which greatly help improve the tracking on mice. Coupled with a good quality mouse (not the standard two button type), these will give you a great mouse experience.
First up is the Xtrac Hybrid Mousepad, a very large 10" x 16" mousing surface with a combination cloth/plastic based surface. This pad is huge, so you are far less likely to slip off during any gaming sessions or during fine-tuned Photoshop work. I wish they made a smaller version, but this is the best mousepad I have found so far and it’s easily worth every penny. Its one of the top sellers on NewEgg and many reviewers attest to its greatness.
Next up are the Slicksurf Replacement Mousefeet, a great set of durable, smooth mousefeet that can be used with just about any mouse. The website lists different models and the prices are very reasonable. This is a small, little known Austin, TX based company that makes an excellent quality product.
With the combination of both products, you are well on your way to improving your mouse experience, no matter which mouse you actually own.