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One of the little things you might’ve noticed if you’ve gone shopping for gaming peripherals is the difference in prices between a normal mouse and a gaming mouse. And if you’re a person that has to work on a computer for a noticeable amount of time, the questions that may come after noticing that difference maybe somewhere along the lines of “Is a gaming mouse good for work? Is it more durable?”
Yes, a gaming mouse is definitely good for work. The gaming mouse is a step up from a normal mouse. There’s a list of ways where they improve over normal mice and other ways where they do things normal mice just can’t do e.g. AutoHotKeys. So they’re a great idea for work and yes, they can be very durable and consistent, when compared to normal computer mice.
Gaming mice are a great idea for people who spend time working on computers especially for people who spend the majority of their working hours doing computer work. The benefits of using a gaming mouse instead of a normal mouse at work (or at home) include:
- They’re major upgrades when it comes to comfort and ergonomics.
- They’re more responsive and improve user experience.
- They address acceleration.
- They’re built to last since dedicated gamers don’t tend to go that easy on their mice.
“Is a gaming mouse good for work?” Here’s Why:
Comfort and Ergonomics
If you have to spend a lot of time with computers and have found yourself asking the question “Are gaming mice good for work?”, chances are that the biggest upgrade or plus-point that gaming mice can offer you is improved ergonomics.
Ergonomics is a term that refers to the suitability and ease-of-use of a product with respect to its design and feel, e.g. how a trimmer feels in the hand of the user is part of its ergonomics. Similarly how a mouse feels in the hand of its user is a great part of that mouse’s ergonomics. Good gaming mice are put through several tests before they’re put out into the market. During this testing process, these mice may be redesigned over and over again to make the design more comfortable for the end-user.
According to an article published in PCGamer, companies like Logitech (a relatively established name in the circle of gaming computer peripherals) can usually go through about 30-40 redesigns from the initial concept to the product’s official release. That gives you some idea of how serious and dedicated companies are when it comes to improving the ergonomics and design of their products.
Normally these variations and modifications may involve feedback from users that test the products. Some mice may be redesigned just in response to the UX feedback rather than the internal process of engineering and designing inside the company.
As Chris Pate said in the above-mentioned article:
“We spend a huge portion of our time doing UX testing with fully functional prototypes. We do quick tests that are maybe 10, 15 minutes. Is this button in the right place? The right size? But we’ve also started doing prolonged testing. We try to get a unit out to maybe 10, 20 users to use for a week. That’s what makes a difference.”
What comes out of such processes are gaming mice that are much more comfortable to hold, that are less of a hassle to operate and thus encourage longer periods of use as compared to normal mice.
You might also want to read: Are Gaming Keyboards Good for Work?
Responsiveness and User Experience
Aside from the external design, gaming mice are also an upgrade over normal mice in terms of hardware and software. They generally have better sensors, better software optimization, and more features than normal mice.
One of these explicit features is the ability to use hotkeys or more precisely Auto Hot Keys (AHKs). AHK is technically a programming feature (which really isn’t all that complicated when you get into it) that lets you develop your own shortcuts to different functions that may take more effort to reproduce quickly if they weren’t on your AHK jumplist set-up. Gaming mice often come with a bunch of buttons, even up to a dozen extra buttons as compared to a normal mouse. These buttons may be placed on the side (or sides) of the mouse and after a relatively simple process, you can designate these buttons for specific shortcuts that may be related to gaming in particular or for general shortcuts of Windows or Mac.
Polling rates and DPI
Polling rate and DPI (or CPI) are terms used to describe how frequently and how well a mouse can report its location and thus make the system aware of movements on the mousepad.
Polling rate, put simply, is the number of times that your mouse reports its position to the system.
Why the polling rate might be important in UX (or user experience) is pretty straightforward. If your mouse reports its position more often, the synchronization between your movement and the recognition of that movement in the system will become better. The lag between you moving the mouse and the actual implementation of the movement by the system becomes shorter and shorter until you’re virtually perfectly synchronized.
So what’s the ideal polling rate? One might think the higher the frequency of reporting (or polling rate), the better. But that is only true up to a limit. The unit of measurement for the polling rate is the same as for frequency i.e. Hz. And practically, you may not be able to tell the difference between 800 Hertz and 1000 Hertz. Secondly the higher you go, the more processing power you’ll need to be able to use all that incoming information in a suitable amount of time. It’s like your computer has to catch balls of information coming at it from a tennis-ball launcher. Each ball can have different information written on it. It has to catch each ball and then read the information on it and react appropriately. It can only keep up until a specific frequency and after that, there’s just too many balls incoming and so the performance may actually start lagging (from the overload) rather than continuing uphill. So there’s a specific range for the ideal gaming UX.
According to HP, that range lies between 500-1000 Hz.
Now onto DPI (or CPI).
DPI stands for dots per inch and CPI for counts per inch. When talking about mouse sensors, they both are a measure of optical resolution and ultimately reflect sensitivity. DPI refers to the number of units or pixels that a mouse’s sensor can divide the underlying surface into while CPI means the number of steps (or pixels) your mouse reports to have moved when it moves one inch.
DPI and CPI essentially measure the same quality, i.e. the degree of minute movements that a mouse can pick up on and then relay to the system. This isn’t just dependent on the type of sensor that your mouse uses. Although laser sensors do provide a head-start if you want improved sensitivity.
As for the ideal resolution, the ideal gaming DPI is supposed to be somewhere between 800-1600 DPI. Some mice can go way beyond this limit in their capacities but as with the polling rate, the higher you might go with DPI, the more processing power you may need to actually get the desired results in the end without lagging and other overload drawbacks. And then after certain limits (around 6000 DPI), different errors and bugs start popping up e.g. your cursor might start jittering and gliding here and there even though you haven’t even touched the mouse yet. This happens due to noise and you can look into why and how it happens in the article linked under the heading below if you’re interested.
If you’re not a gamer, you may not be concerned about what acceleration is and you probably shouldn’t be. But if you ever see gaming as a potential aspect that your mouse should be able to back-up e.g. if you’re working from home and have kids around that may use your PC, knowing about acceleration could be beneficial.
So to discuss this topic, we should know that gaming mice come in two variants if you only look at the type of light source they use. Some mice use optical sensors while others have laser sensors. Both use LEDs to produce light but optical sensors use infra-red or red LEDs while laser mice use infra-red laser LEDs.
Acceleration is one of the most noticeable problems that gaming mice are supposed to address.
According to an article by PCGamer, acceleration occurs due to the difficulty of the interpretation of movements at higher speeds by the mouse. And it may be better to technically refer to it as “speed-related accuracy variance” as per the experts at Logitech.
Types of acceleration and how gaming mice can correct for them:
There seem to be two main types of acceleration. These are positive acceleration and negative acceleration.
Positive acceleration results in overshooting the point on the screen (or the number of pixels) where you would’ve landed on normally. Negative acceleration is the opposite of this and it means undershooting or being short of the normal position.
Since negative acceleration is pretty rare these days, for this topic, we can suffice with just talking about positive acceleration.
- Positive acceleration may occur because of the game’s innate software settings or due to the data coming from the mouse itself. The mouse might send erroneous data due to its inability to differentiate between noise input and the right input. You can read up on the relevant mechanisms behind acceleration here.
There are a couple of solutions that may be available for you to try out. You can go into the settings on your computer for your mouse and modify acceleration levels. Note that this option may not be available in laser sensor mice and in that case you should try using a harder, more even surface e.g. plastic or glass mouse-pads rather than cloth mouse-pads.
“Are Gaming Mice Durable?”
A common perception about fancy, expensive stuff can be that they might be fragile and it’s not uncommon for people to be asking questions like “Are gaming mice durable?”.
Gaming mice are built to last. Don’t be misguided by their looks since some of them look like they’re straight out of Tron. They’re supposed to be built and designed under the overarching goal of not collapsing and wearing-down under conditions of stressful use and consistent user experience. If you buy a good gaming mouse from Logitech or Razer, chances are you could be using it for anywhere between 6 months to 5 years provided you don’t victimize the mouse to any temper tantrums.
Gaming mice usually come with a 50 million click lifespan. They’re also better at not getting mushed up or creaky due to continuous use.
You can get a gaming mouse for up to 20$ but go secure and look into mice somewhere under a 100$. If you buy from solid and established brands, your investment should pay off.
Gaming mice also may come with braided cords rather than plastic cords. Braided cords are supposed to be more durable and better at handling bending.
Hopefully, that answers the question of whether the gaming mice are more durable than normal mice.
That said, we have addressed the topic of whether gaming mice are good for work. But does this also address the same question for your specific gaming mouse? Is your gaming mouse good for work? To answer that, the best thing you can do is to check the specs of your mouse. Ask yourself, if it provides a fine grip or does it tire your hand over time? Is it more precise than the average mouse you might have used before?
If you haven’t bought a gaming mouse yet, then we suggest reading reviews and various details about the particular gaming mouse in question before deciding on it. That said, hope this article helped you with the relevant answers to your questions. Do let us know how we can improve this information by leaving your comments below.