Hardware Reviews

Best professional mouse: which mouse should you choose for work?

best professional mouse

Everyone will have their own tastes when it comes to mice, but having put several to the test over the past six months we feel there is one clear winner. It’s expensive, though, so if your budget doesn’t extend to triple figures then we have a number of excellent, cheaper alternatives to our choice of best professional mouse.

This article was updated on 27 March 2019 to reflect an increase in prices due to high demand.

Two of these are typical “Amazon mice”. That is, the cheap mice you find on Amazon with suspiciously high ratings. We also review one ergonomic mouse, one “silent” mouse, and a couple of affordable alternatives to Logitech.

We also embed audio from each mouse – demonstrating how loud it is in use – within each review.

Read, listen, enjoy, and let us know in the Comments section if there are any other mice you’d like us to review.

Logitech MX Master 3: the best professional mouse, full stop

£100 from Amazon

RATING 5/5

There are two categorical things we can say about the Logitech MX Master 3: first, it’s one of the best mice in the world; and second, it’s also one of the most expensive. Beyond £100, you’re heading into specialist gaming mice and high-end ergonomic mice. Here, though, you’re simply paying for quality. Logitech has engineered this mouse down to the tiniest detail, whether that’s its shape in your hand or the perfectly weighted scroll wheel. 

If your work involves a lot of scrolling then this wheel is arguably worth the money on its own. Engineered and built in Switzerland, you can switch between a freewheel action (easily audible in the clip above) or a granular click via a tiny button below the wheel. There’s even a scroll wheel on the side, for horizontally scrolling through those gigantic spreadsheets with hundreds of columns. Then there’s the sheer number of shortcut buttons, all easy to program via Logitech’s Options software.

best professional mouse
The Logitech MX Master 3 is our top pick of all the professional mice

Like the significantly cheaper Triathlon, you can pair the MX Master 3 with three different machines and then jump between them using a button on its underbelly. With Logitech Options loaded, you can even move between them as if they were one gigantic extended desktop (you can copy and paste text from one to the other too). Things get even cleverer if you buy a Logitech keyboard, such as the brilliant MX Keys, as it effectively becomes a reverse KVM: as you move the mouse between the screens, the keyboard and mouse become active on the machine where the cursor sits.

Logitech claims the MX Master 3 has a 70-day battery life but that clearly depends on how much you use it. I find it lasts for around two months between charges, but recharging it is hardly a hassle: simply connect the provided USB-C cable and use it as a wired mouse until it’s fully charged again. 

It’s hard to argue that any mouse is worth £100, but if you do buy it then I can guarantee you won’t regret it – with the one obvious caveat that it’s designed for right-handers, not lefties.

KEY SPECS 200 to 4,000dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB plus Bluetooth LE, 500mAh rechargeable Li-Po battery, 125 x 84 x 51mm (L x D x H), 141g weight, 2yr limited warranty

Logitech MX Vertical Advanced Ergonomic Mouse: best choice for avoiding muscle strain

£89 from Amazon

RATING: 4/5

As its rather long name indicates, the Logitech MX Vertical Advanced Ergonomic Mouse has been designed to reduce the muscle strain often associated with daily computer usage. The idea is that your hand sits vertically, like a handshake, placing less strain on your wrist as you move the mouse around a screen. While it feels weird at first, you’ll soon get used to it – and then find it equally difficult to go back to a conventional mouse.

What’s clever about Logitech’s design is how natural everything feels under the hand. The left- and right-click buttons fall under the index and middle fingers, while the two extra shortcut buttons (programmable as you see fit) are perfectly placed for your thumb. 

Another brilliant button – and much loved by gamers as well as creatives who need fine cursor control – sits on the ridge. Press this and you can adjust the dpi sensitivity from 400dpi to 4,000dpi in 40dpi increments: you simply press it down and then move the mouse from left to right to set your preferred speed, using an on-screen slider that pops up. Well, it will if you install Logitech’s Options software.

As with other advanced Logitech mice, you can pair the MX Vertical with up to three computers at a time (one via the nano USB port supplied, the other two via Bluetooth) and switch between them using the button on the underside of the mouse. 

You can expect around two months of battery life per charge, but as with the MX Master 3 it’s stupidly simple to charge it via USB-C. One minute of charging will even keep it going for three hours. 

Note that Logitech has made the MX Vertical lighter than the Master, so it doesn’t feel as ruggedly engineered, but a ridged surface feels great underhand and there’s no doubt that you’re buying a high-quality mouse. Reassuringly, it’s backed by a two-year warranty too.

KEY SPECS 400 to 4,000dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB plus Bluetooth LE, 240mAh rechargeable Li-Po battery, 78 x 79 x 120mm (L x D x H), 135g weight, 2yr limited warranty

Logitech M590 Silent Wireless Mouse: best mouse for peace seekers

£34 from Amazon

RATING 4/5

This is a mouse with a very obvious selling point and it’s one that it lives up to: press on any of its buttons and you’ll barely hear a squeak, which is in stark contrast to a few of the mice we’ve tested here. It offers several other talents, too, including the ability to pair with two devices (one via Bluetooth, the other using the supplied USB receiver). A button below the scroll wheel makes it simple to switch between the two.

Even the scroll wheel has hidden talents, as it not only allows you to scroll rapidly up and down pages but from side to side. Logitech claims there are seven customisable buttons, but head into Logitech Flow and you’ll find five – we presume it forgot that you can’t program the left- and right-click buttons. Also, three of those “buttons” are actually the scroll wheel. You can assign actions for pushing left, right and pressing it down. 

The two more obvious programmable buttons sit to the left of the mouse, just above where your thumb naturally sits (assuming you’re a right-hander). Most of the time, though, you’ll simply use them for back/forward. 

The M590’s final plus point is its portability. Slip the supplied AA battery inside (Logitech claims two years of life) and it weighs just shy of 100g, while it’s small and aerodynamic enough to be stuffed in a rucksack. The downside is that the big-handed might find it too compact for everyday use, but even they will enjoy this as a travel companion. 

KEY SPECS 1,000dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB plus Bluetooth LE, 1 x AA battery (supplied), 103 x 64 x 40mm (L x D x H), 101g weight, 2yr limited warranty

Lenovo 520 Wireless Mouse: a good-value wireless mouse

£20 from lenovo.com 

RATING 4/5

While Lenovo doesn’t pitch the 520 as a travel mouse, it’s so compact that it edges close to that category. Despite this, it feels substantial in the hand, and could certainly pass itself off as much more expensive than £20.

There are no frills here, with a single scroll wheel and only left- and right-click keys; nothing programmable, nothing hidden. While it may seem petty, I missed the back/forward keys found on most of the Lenovo’s rivals.

I tested the dark blue version of the Lenovo 520 Wireless Mouse and thanks to a matte finish it looks professional – a platinum version is also available. My only criticism is that Lenovo could have been more subtle in its branding.

Lenovo doesn’t quote a life for the battery, but users on the company’s website state that it’s still going after six months of use and I have a sneaky feeling this mouse is actually made by Logitech – in which case you can expect a good year, possibly even two, from each AA cell.

KEY SPECS 1,000dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB, 1 x AA battery (supplied), 197 x 120 x 55mm (L x D x H), 93g weight (with battery), 1yr warranty

Logitech M720 Triathlon: lightweight alternative to the MX Master 3

£46 from Amazon

RATING 4/5

You can think of the Logitech M720 Triathlon as the “junior” version of the MX Master 3. It’s lighter, uses an AA battery instead of a rechargeable unit, and has a much more limited number of shortcut buttons. Nevertheless, it still pairs with up to three computers and shares the ability to treat them as an extended desktop – so long as you have Logitech’s Options software on all three, you can “roam” between them simply by moving the mouse. 

Arguably, it includes all the shortcuts most people need anyway. Two programmable buttons sit to the left, and these act as back/forward shortcuts when web browsing. There’s no dedicated horizontal scrolling wheel, but nudge the scroll wheel right in, say, Excel and it will scroll to the right – all very intuitive. You can also set the scroll wheel to be friction-free if you want to hurtle through a document. 

The final advanced tool is a gesture button at the bottom of the mouse, just below where your thumb would normally sit. This takes some getting used to, but if you work between virtual desktops in Windows then pressing it and moving left (or right) will take you to the previous (or next) virtual desktop. Or simply pressing the button will bring up the Windows Task view.

There’s no getting away from the fact that this mouse lacks the luxury and heavyweight feel of the MX Master 3, but it packs all the features most people need – and then some. Add a promised life of two years for the single AA battery and it’s also very convenient. 

Final note – if you want to buy a keyboard at the same time, consider the Logitech Advanced MK850, which is currently £90 on Amazon.

KEY SPECS 1,000dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB plus Bluetooth LE, 1 x AA battery (supplied), 115 x 74 x 45mm (L x D x H), 135g weight, 1yr limited warranty

Tecknet M002 Cordless Optical Mouse: nothing short of a bargain

£13 from Amazon

RATING 4/5

I always worry when cordless mice come with slots for two AA batteries, as it generally means that their power consumption isn’t optimised. However, Tecknet claims a 30-month battery life for this mouse, and if that’s true then I’m willing to cast aside my doubts. There’s a nice side benefit to using two batteries too: compared to the Askea mouse in particular, it actually feels higher quality as a result. That impression is only helped by the relatively quiet click of the buttons.

Despite the low price, Tecknet offers six different DPI settings. The default is 1,200dpi, but you can adjust from 800dpi all the way up to 4,800dpi by pressing the button immediately below the scroll wheel. Once again, I was surprised by this wheel’s high-quality feel; it’s easily a match for the Lenovo’s. A back/forward button sit to the left, and are easy to press with your thumb, and while there’s no ledge to rest your thumb on during use this mouse still feels comfortable to hold. As with all the mice on test here other than the Lenovo, it’s designed for right-handers rather than lefties.

This an excellent mouse for the money. In fact, its only downside from a “professional” point of view is the fact it has TECKNET written so obviously on its back. Without that, you could have easily passed this off as a much more expensive offering.

KEY SPECS 800/1,200/1,600/2,400/3,200/4,800dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB, 2 x AA batteries (not supplied), 111 x 70 x 41mm (L x D x H), 127g weight (with batteries), 18-month warranty

Aksea A8 wireless mouse: feature-packed but one to avoid

£14 from Amazon

RATING 2/5

You may be tempted to go cheap when buying a mouse, and on paper the Askea A8 appears to have it all for £14. It’s wireless (the USB receiver neatly tucks away in the battery compartment when not in use), offers six buttons and even a multiple DPI mode: pressing the DPI button below the scroll wheel takes you from 800dpi to 1,200dpi and then 1,600dpi. Useful if you’re a gamer or need high levels of control in, say, Photoshop. 

In terms of design, Askea appears to have been “inspired” by Logitech’s MX Master series. Where it differs is in offering what I can only describe as a rest for your ring finger. It’s comfortable enough, although makes me wonder why they didn’t go the whole hog and add a rest for your pinky too. Anyway, what’s immediately clear when you start using the Askea is that it stopped its analysis of the MX Keys at the looks stage: it feels incredibly light and hollow, while the friction “feet” on its bottom (to help add control on a desk) are made of plastic rather than rubber. As such, they’re for show only.

I can’t definitively comment on battery life because Askea doesn’t quote anything (it “varies upon use”) but from previous experience of similar products I’d expect around three months from the single AA battery. I asked the question on Amazon, and was told by one customer to expect a month’s life. Note that no battery is supplied.

This isn’t a terrible mouse, but with a harsh click and that lightweight feel you’ll be constantly reminded of the fact you made a budget choice. With better mice available for less money, this is one to avoid.

KEY SPECS 800/1,200/1,600dpi sensor, 2.4GHz nano USB, 1 x AA battery (not supplied), 112 x 88 x 48mm (L x D x H), 99g weight (with battery), limited warranty

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

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