Many computer notebooks come with a built-in touchpad, in effect, a built-in mouse. But, touchpads are not mice and don’t respond quite the same way.
Most of us, and especially people who move between desktop computers and notebook computers routinely, want to have a real mouse to use with their notebook.
Of course, a desktop mouse is a big thing and would take a lot of room in a computer bag. Also, when you’re working with a notebook, desk space to be able to use a mouse is usually at a premium, too.
Fortunately, there are a lot of mice that are designed specifically for the notebook users. Whether you want wireless or wired, you’ve got plenty of choices. You’ll find that almost all notebook mice are optical mice — they use a light sensor rather than using a ball to track movement.
Notebook mice are available in several sizes. The smallest is about the size of a small pill bottle, and way too small for my hands. The Targus ultra-mini mouse is a good example of these.
If you’re thinking about getting the smallest possible, consider playing a few what-if games. Get a couple different size pill bottles — or carve up a bar of soap into some shapes to see what your hands like. Now, put your hand on one and move it around like a mouse. Comfortable? Do you strain to control it? Unfortunately, most places don’t have notebook mice out where you can actually feel them.
While I could use a tiny mouse if I had to (and I have one in my bag as a spare), I use a slightly larger Logitech notebook optical mouse, with scrollbutton, that is much easier to grip. This one is about 2″ wide and 3.5″ to 4″ long.
The Logitech V450 wireless notebook mouse is the one I use.
Be sure to get a notebook mouse with a scroll wheel. A few years ago, scroll wheels were unused accessories on mice. Now, they’re recognized by most programs.
If you normally use a scroll wheel, you have no idea how much you will miss the wheel, if you get a notebook mouse without one.
Fortunately, notebook mice have come way down in price, even more so than many of their desktop counterparts.