Ask LH: Which Wireless Mouse And Keyboard Should I Use?

Dear Lifehacker, I'm in the process of clearing up my workspaces both at home and in the office using a heap of your previous tips. One thing I'm looking at for a cleaner desk is wireless keyboard and mouse. Can you recommend what your picks would be? Rechargeable docks/cables would be nice, but not required. Cheers, Uncluttered Desk

Picture by Michael Aulia

Dear Uncluttered,

Congratulations on getting started on the de-cluttering process. Shifting cables off the desk is always a great step to take — there's less tangle, less mess and more potential to effectively use the space you do have.

I can't personally offer any brand insights into wireless hardware, as I've long been an advocate of the notebook-with-no-external-input-peripherals approach. That will absolutely minimise desktop clutter, but doesn't suit people who want a full-scale keyboard, a separate numeric keypad, or who prefer working with a mouse than a trackpad. So to get some more specific thoughts, I consulted with our in-office experts: Gizmodo editor Nick Broughall, publisher and former Giz editor Seamus Byrne, and night editor (and definite mouse enthusiast) Elly Hart. Here's our collective wisdom/buying advice:

  • Don't skimp by buying super-cheap devices. You'll use your mouse and keyboard constantly, so it's absolutely worth investing in decent quality. You can check out a bunch of recent models by looking at Gizmodo's keyboard and mouse categories.
  • The obvious dominant brands in this space are Microsoft, Logitech and (particularly if you're thinking Mac) Apple. If you don't want a full-size keyboard, both Nick and Seamus are big fans of Apple's wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
  • If you're connecting to a notebook, then a Bluetooth option will be the most sensible and won't claim one of your USB ports. If you're working with a desktop which doesn't have built-in Bluetooth, then a separate wireless connection dongle won't be such an issue.
  • If you're a heavy mouse user, consider specific gaming mice. Even if you're not a games freak, good games mice are designed for extremely heavy use.
  • If desk space is tight, then a wireless trackpad doesn't require as much coverage area as a wireless mouse.

If any readers want to share their own favourite wireless keyboard and mouse combos, speak out in the comments. Happy shopping (and clearing)!

Cheers Lifehacker


Comments

    What I use at home and recommend:
    PC - Razer Mamba (as per your screenshot)
    MAC - Magic Mouse

      I bought the G700 over the Mamba. The main reason for me was the Philips Twin Eye sensor in the Mamba that has been plagued with issues for me (google around for Philips Twin Eye lift off) since day one. I still can't find a use for all the buttons on the G700 though...

    I've used many different wireless mice from Belkin, Microsoft, and Logitech. My current favourite is the Logitech M305. It's a good size, lightweight, responsive, decent build quality, and doesn't have all those silly extra buttons like some mice have.

    I much prefer wired keyboards over wireless. The Apple aluminium keyboard doubles as a USB hub and it's fantastic for touch typing (low key travel). The only annoyances are the caps lock key which has slight delay before activating (perhaps this is a "feature") and the position reversal of the alt/win keys which takes some getting used to. But you only end up with one cable on your desk.

    I'm a fan of the Microsoft mice. My MacBook Air actually has four different pointer type devices connected to it when I'm at my desk.

    There's the default trackpad, which is irrelevant. A Magic Trackpad which is fantastic when used with OS X but I hated using with my Windows 7 computer (the drivers are somewhat lacking and being unable to use Better Touch Tool was a major let down).

    Then there's the actual mice. The one I used until the other day (and I still plug in out of habit) is a stock standard Microsoft optical mouse. It's a great shape but there's nothing particularly special about it.

    The other is a Microsoft Arc mouse that I won from the trivia night Gizmodo and Lifehacker ran here in Brisbane the other night. Still getting used that that one because the shape and weight distribution is a little different from what I'm used too. Also, the side button on it is in a weird position that I can't comfortably use with my normal grip (seeing as I have it bound to cmd + w, that is a slight hassle). Ignoring those faults, which I assume I will get used to, it is a damned good mouse.

    In terms of keyboards, all of the ones I've used are wired but my default keyboard is a wired Apple keyboard. I also tried out a few keyboards from mechkeyboards.com.au and they're pretty nifty, although they're wired and thus irrelevant.

    Although I've always been a Logitech fan, I have to say that the MS "Laser Mouse 7000" was just great for office duty. Phenomenal battery life, great comfort and very good performance.

    Since the cable hardly moves, at home I have a wired keyboard + wireless mouse. If you must have both wireless, I'd got with a Logitech set. Pretty much any one you choose that has the features you want will do the job.

    Logitech K 800 keyboard and Logitech performance MX mouse with a unified adapter.

    I use a Logitech Performance MX wireless mouse. Very comfortable to use, works everywhere, including on a glass table we have at home. Also has a free spinning scroll wheel which I use constantly when working on long documents. Good battery, and it charges over a micro usb cable, so if you let it go flat you just have to run corded for a while.

    Only down side is it's not bluetooth so you have to use a dongle, albeit a tiny one.

    Oh and if you're using a notebook, stear clear of the Logitech Alto wireless keyboard dock. Keyboard has a range of about 5mm from the dock before it starts dropping keys.

    I've gone the Logitech way and have a wireless MX Revolution mouse (which I highly recommend) but have a wired G110 keyboard with cords running under the desk, because I wanted a backlight and wireless would consume power too fast.

    Wifey and I yearn for a Wireless MX518 (No not a G5, thats missing buttons)

      The G5v2 isn't missing buttons and neither is the G500, all of which share essentially the same shape. You might be thinking of the G7. If you want something similar in shape/ability, the G700 is wireless and has no shortage of buttons whatsoever.

      I'm personally opposed to wireless keyboards and mice, but moreso the keyboards. Both of which usually (excluding the high-end wireless gaming mice, such as the Mamba, SW X8, G700 etc) have a horrible lag that makes them painful to use. The same is true of keyboards, when you're gaining very little from being wireless when something sits still and further back. I can understand the need for a wireless mouse, because it's constantly on the move and needs to be more free.

      Of course, if one isn't playing any games or isn't already used to fast polling mice, then there are quite a few options - especially from Logitech.

    Its a shame that noone does a high quality mechanical keyboard that is wireless. Ever since I bought myself a Filco with Cherry Brown keyswitches, I have not been able to stand typing on a regular rubber dome keyboard, much less the horrible low travel laptop style keyboards.

      Most mechanical keyboards are fairly weighty, so having them be wireless doesn't seem to add any benefit aside from having one less cable on your desk.

      I have one of thesekeyboards at home (I only borrowed it from a friend) and aside from the fact it doesn't work on OS X because of firmware issues, it was one of the best keyboards I've ever used. At least, in the short time I spent testing it out on my Windows PC.

        I've also got a SIIG Minitouch with simplified white ALPS, similar to this:

        http://www.d2.dion.ne.jp/~n1093/LOVELOG_IMG/20041102412c2b2f.jpg

        I'd love to have a wireless version of the same.

          Maybe it's not the time yet - I reviewed 3 mechanical gaming keyboard on my blog (Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, SteelSeries 6Gv2, and Thermaltake tteSports Meka G1) and I do wish one of them is wireless :)

          Although honestly I haven't seen a wireless gaming keyboard so far..maybe the latency technology is still bad for a gaming keyboard?

    Logitech diNovo for Notebooks
    Logitech Performance MX

    Sexy and functional. I like laptop style keyboards so the diNovo fits that. Everyone that has tried my setup has liked it.

    I've never had much luck with bluetooth peripherals. Almost without exception they have had some sort of bug/lag.

    Have been using Microsoft Wireless 2000 mouse [and keyboard] for some time with no problems. The thing I most like about it is the physical size. If you have large hands [that would be me] some of the other brands are difficult to use. A great combination for everyday use.

    3 mice I have...

    Logitech Performance MX - $79 delivered from eBay overnight. Darkfield laser works on everything, wireless, takes one normal AA battery, can be recharged using micro USB cable. Programmable buttons, awesome scroll wheel, very ergonomic.

    Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 - uses BlueTrack optical sensor, great on all surfaces, very quiet buttons, silent scroll wheel, one programmable button on the side, great battery life. USB dongle stores inside mouse.

    Logitech M305, scroll wheel sounds like a lawnmower, horrible for your wrist, poor battery life. USB dongle also stores inside mouse.

    Hey, thanks for including a screenshot from my Razer Mamba review post :)

    Still in love with my Razer Mamba (although I have to occasionally change my mouse for reviews) but I also love the Logitech M905 Anywhere mouse for a smaller/compact mouse

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