As a programmer, the use of a traditional mouse that lacks in ergonomics can lead to health issues and affect your productivity. Sustained use of a conventional mouse can cause muscle tension, and even damage your tendons and nerves. As such, you need a quality mouse to improve your efficiency, while also keeping you away from these health concerns.
Even casual computer users are now spending hours a day on the computer. Between office workers, gamers, and laypeople that scroll through social media pages, our society spends enough time on the computer that ergonomics and comfortable usage are a key point of emphasis. As such, computer accessories and peripherals are being designed with greater comfort in mind.
As a programmer, you expect a mouse that is comfortable and affordable while providing accurate cursor positioning, quick movement, functionality, and portability. For programming and coding, you demand a lot from your computer, accessories, and peripherals.
Naturally, a mouse with a shape that conforms to the hand and is comfortable to work with is what every programmer desires. Rubber grip on the mouse perimeter and around the thumb will make it less slippery, and ensure maximum efficiency and accuracy of movement.
Durability and price are important for any device, including computer mice. And features like bluetooth connection, battery life, and programmable buttons will make your computer usage more productive and less frustrating.
Continue reading for discussion of the best mouse for computer programmers.
Key Mouse Features for Programmers
Before buying a mouse, it is vital to take some time to evaluate its features against the task at hand. These are elements to consider when purchasing a mouse for your programming tasks.
Dots Per Inch (DPI) is the metric for mouse sensitivity. You can easily adjust the mouse speed by varying the DPI. A sensitive mouse has a higher DPI. The best mouse for coding supports customizable and multiple DPI settings. This way, you can change the sensitivity to your ideal setting.
Some mice will have DPI on-the-fly adjustment, which allows you to change the sensitivity of the mouse without accessing the control panel/settings of the computer. Basically, it is just a shortcut that saves you some time.
Depending on the nature of your tasks, you may only need to set the sensitivity once, and then never change it once it is adjusted to an ideal setting. But if you do different tasks that require different sensitivities, having a mouse with DPI on-the-fly adjustments will save you time, day after day.
2. Wireless vs. Wired
Both wireless and wired mouse have their benefits and downsides. You don’t need to be concerned about cables with a wireless mouse, since it is cordless and battery-operated. Many mice are capable of connecting via bluetooth. This can eliminate the need for a USB dongle, which has a tendency to get caught on things despite its small size.
With a wired mouse, you will never be forced to stop working because the battery ran out of charge. Similarly. you will not have to worry about losing a USB receiver, or missing a deadline because of a drained battery.
3. Extra Buttons
A suitable mouse for programmers should have additional buttons for functions designed to ease usability. Some of these functions may include Zoom, Pan, and so forth. Ease of access to these functions will enhance your speed and performance.
A mouse with programmable macros can be an invaluable feature for programmers. Many mice have programmable buttons that can be used for any shortcut you desire. Thus, there may be a command that would take ten or more seconds manually, which can be shortened to a single button press via a programmable macro.
For the average computer user or office worker, these features may go unnoticed. But for someone that is coding, programming, or working on complex and/or repetitive tasks, it can save minutes or hours a day.
4. Scroll Wheel
In a mouse, a scroll wheel will assist you in managing workflow and navigating pages. Access to the scroll wheel will ensure you can complete your task efficiently without wasting time searching for a scroll arrow or down button.
Product Comparison: Best Mouse for Computer Programming & Coding
#1: Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse
Logitech is always a safe choice when it comes to computer accessories and peripherals. This is an ultra-fast mouse with a magspeed wheel that promises extreme accuracy, precision, and quiet function. It also features app-specific customization, which can speed up workflows with predesigned profiles.
This best mouse for programmers will give you a seamless experience, allowing you to work on multiple systems simultaneously. Furthermore, you can use it to transfer files, texts, and cursors between operating systems, mouse and desktops. Logitech MX works smoothly on any surface, including glass, thanks to its four-thousand DPI sensor.
This device can work on multiple devices and OS. One of its most distinctive features is linking to three devices through a USB receiver or Bluetooth. It is designed to fit users’ palms easily, and comes with an advanced steel thumbwheel and gesture button. Some users report that its sensitivity reduces as dust collects, and the buttons can be finicky on occasion.
Excellent design that is light and comfortable
Premium performance at a relatively affordable price
Some bluetooth connection issues
Scroll wheel can be finicky, sometimes lagging
Although it tested well for us, some users complain of poor ergonomics and hand discomfort
#2: Razer Naga Pro
Razer makes some excellent computer accessories, and the Razer Naga Pro is one of its finest.
Naga Pro was designed for gamers, with an emphasis on ergonomics and comfortable use, even for those that spend the entire day in front of the computer. This makes it a great choice for programming or coding.
In addition to the ergonomics, the device was also built for speed and performance. Among wireless mice, the latency on the Naga Pro is incredibly low. And the actuation of the buttons makes the buttons extremely fast, also. The mouse allows for on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments. And there are programmable buttons on the side of the mouse, allowing for macros through the Razer Synapse software.
Simply put, this device was made for performance gaming, and is over-built and over-designed for the average computer user. But for programming and coding, these features are perfect.
Excellent design that is lightweight and comfortable
Low latency, on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, fast button actuation
Abundance of programmable buttons for shortcuts
Razer Synapse program is challenging to navigate, yet needed for full functionality
No on-board storage, so you have to use Razer Synapse software to program macros
#3: Corsair Scimitar RGB Pro
In many ways, the Corsair Scimitar is similar to the above Razer Naga Pro.
The Corsair Scimitar is a gaming mouse, designed for gamers and designed with performance in mind. As with the Naga Pro, a mouse that is designed for gaming also means it works well for programming and coding.
The mouse is light, comfortable, and fits nicely in the hand. The sensitivity is off-the-charts high.
Because this is a wired mouse, there are no concerns with connection. The cable is braided and extremely durable.
There are programmable buttons on the mouse, and onboard storage allows for programmable macros to be saved to the device itself.
And as with the Naga Pro listed above, the customizable RGB lighting is a cool touch esthetically.
Although it wasn’t designed specifically for computer programmers, use it and you will feel like it was made just for you.
Excellent design that is lightweight and comfortable
Low latency, extremely sensitive and precise
Abundance of programmable buttons for shortcuts
Not the most expensive mouse on this list, but still more pricey than budget models
#4: Anker Vertical Mouse
The Anker Mouse frequently featured on “best of” lists, since it is a quality vertical mouse at a budget price. It can’t match some of the premium performance features of $100+ mice, but it is hard to beat in the budget category.
Most users agree that the size is perfect for an average-size hand. This results in a comfortable, natural feel for most. The rubberized finish contributes to comfortable usage, at least in theory. However, in our testing, the finish was slicker than expected, and forced me to “squeeze” the mouse slightly. Over time, this slight flexing/squeezing motion could be damaging to muscles and tendons.
The buttons are not perfect, but overall the mouse still tests well. It is lightweight and tracks properly.
We noticed some lag, and some missed clicks. It felt like there were occasional glitches, as if the connection strength was lacking.
Power saving mode
Some glitches and lag time
Durability concerns, and device failure in the first year is not uncommon
#5: Logitech ERGO M575 Wireless Trackball
Trackball mice are unconventional, so this device may not be everyone. The concept is simple — rather than moving the mouse across a surface, you control the cursor with a thumb-navigated trackball. This can minimize strain on your wrist and especially elbow, since you can use a computer without even moving your arm.
Another benefit of this design is that it can be used on any surface. Logitech markets this design as being ideal for use in cramped or small workstations. A normal mouse requires roughly a square foot of flat, decluttered space. With a trackball mouse, you can place the mouse on a couch armrest or even your own thigh, and move the cursor without moving the mouse itself at all.
Logitech makes a whole series of trackball mice, so you can find other models with additional features. For example, the Logitech MX Ergo adds a tilt feature that can place your wrist in the optimal neutral position, and also features a rechargeable battery built in. However, we chose the Ergo M575 rather than the MX Ergo due to the lower price.
If you work for a considerable number of hours on your computer in a single day, as programmers do, then this may be the device for you. The previous-model Logitech M570 was a classic for its excellent performance and durability, and the M575 seems to be even better.
Comfortable grip with minimal strain
Battery life extends for up to 2 years
Scrolling is effortless with trackball (once you get used to this design)
Design is molded nicely to shape of hand, and uses recycled plastic
No left handed version
You need to upgrade to more expensive version for tilt feature & precision mode
No seamless multi-OS feature
1. What are the important decisions when buying a mouse for programming?
First, you should decide between wired and wireless.
Next, decide whether you want a traditional design or something unconventional like a trackball or vertical mouse. A vertical mouse puts the hand in a comfortable position, minimizing strain.
Of course, if you are left-handed, be sure to find a mouse that is made for left-handed people, or at least supports left handed use.
Durability and price are a factor with any computer accessory, and mice are no different.
The hand grip, button “clickiness,” and additional programmable buttons are also important to consider when choosing a mouse.
2. How can a mouse maximize your productivity?
A mouse with higher sensitivity results in less wasted movement and quicker controls.
Programmable keys allow for shortcuts, which can save a few seconds every time the button is pushed. For anyone doing complex or repetitive tasks, these few seconds are likely to add up to minutes saved per day, or hours per week.
If you use a wireless mouse, good battery life can minimize downtime caused by a dead battery.
And a reliable, quick connection strength can minimize downtime caused by trying to connect your wireless mouse to the computer. If you work on more than one computer, a seamless transition connecting from one to the next could save you a minute each time you change devices.
3. What is RSI? How do programmers avoid developing RSI?
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a buildup of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves, which is caused by repetitive motions such as using a mouse. This can affect your wrist, elbow, forearm, neck, or shoulders. Pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and heat/cold sensitivity can result from this damage.
Computer programmers are at high risk for repetitive strain injury. To prevent RSI caused by computer use, sit in a neutral and balanced position. This means your shoulders should be square, your core muscles engaged, and your hand resting comfortably on the mouse. More specifically, your hand should be relaxed and not in a twisted position.
Many users have found that trackball mice and vertical mice place their hand in a more comfortable, natural position. Gaming mice, which are specifically designed for extended use, are also designed with ergonomics and comfort in mind.
4. What features make a mouse ergonomic?
If there were a tool for accurately measuring the ergonomic benefits, selecting the most appropriate would be a no-brainer. Lamentably, there are no such metrics to let you choose the best product based on ergonomics. If such were the case, a user would only be required to identify the product with maximum ‘ergonomic index’ for purchase.
“Most ergonomic” mouse is subjective, and depends on the user. If you have a chance to test a mouse before buying, we recommend doing so. And also read reviews, especially if you have very large or small hands.
Remember to pay attention to your body, because it is usually possible to feel strain in your wrist, elbow, forearm, and fingers before damage is caused. If you notice discomfort, reposition yourself, or better yet take a break from your computer.
Different products work differently for different users. It is your job to figure out the best mouse for programming for you rather than what works for all. As a user, you should understand the factors that impact your comfort, since it is these factors that will help you define the perfect mouse for you.
We recommend the above products for many reasons. We recommend choosing a vertical mouse, trackball mouse, or gaming mouse. These products were chosen based on their performance, reliability, comfort, and value.
Don’t forget, also, that a quality mouse is just one of the tools available to you. For a further discussion of other accessories and peripherals, see our continued reading of best monitors, best vertical monitors, programmable keypads, and high performance gaming mice.