Mice & Keyboard Guide
Mice & Keyboards 101
Mice & Keyboard Options
Keyboard & Mice Combos
Keyboard & Mice Buying Tips:
• Look for an ergonomic keyboard with padded wrist rests, a split-key format and mechanical keys
• Opt for an ergonomic mouse with rubber side grips and thumb scoops for comfort
• Look for extra function keys that make it easy to launch apps and control multimedia
• Choose adjustable features, such as variable height, tilt and sensitivity, to suit everyone’s needs
• Consider picking up charging docks and/or rechargeable batteries if you’re going wireless
Keyboard & Mice Features
Mouse Ergonomics +
Your mouse should be the right size and grip for your needs and the surface should ne contoured to the shape of your hand to promote comfort and prevent repetitive strain injuries. A palm grip, which involves using your entire hand to navigate, is faster and more comfortable but less precise. A claw grip involves using your fingers to hold the mouse. This allows more control and precision but may cause more strain. Switching to a flatter mouse can also help reduce wrist extension, and a rubberized relaxed grip provides alignment, support and comfort.
Mouse Buttons +
Every mouse has standard buttons, including a left button for basic functions like clicking, dragging and highlighting, and a right button for a drop-down menu of advanced functions. But many mice feature extra buttons, including programmable buttons that allow you to simplify computer tasks and set keyboard shortcuts for greater control and versatility. You can customize your spare buttons for frequently used functions, from faster scrolling through long pages to switching between virtual desktops or worlds during work and play.
Mouse Sensitivity +
Your mouse’s sensitivity determines the minimum movement necessary for your cursor to move. Sensitivity is measured in dots per inch (DPI). A higher-sensitivity (or higher DPI) mouse allows you make more precise movements, which can be helpful for gaming, designing scrapbook pages, laying out Christmas cards or editing photos. Choosing a mouse with adjustable sensitivity settings allows more versatility for a variety of computer tasks and users.
Mouse Performance +
Some mice are better suited to specific uses or tasks. A standard ball mouse, which has two buttons and a scroll wheel, and a trackball mouse, which has a rolling ball, are adequate for everyday use. An optical mouse, which uses an optical sensor to track movement, is more precise and responsive, while a laser mouse, which tracks movement with a laser sensor, has the best accuracy and responsiveness. If you’re editing photos, designing yearbook pages or doing other precision tasks, an optical or laser mouse is your best bet.
Mouse Size +
Your mouse should fit comfortably in your hands and allow you to reach all the buttons without straining or arching your fingers to prevent wrist strain and finger fatigue. Mice come in two sizes — travel size and full size. A travel-size mouse is a good fit for kids and those with smaller hands, and packs easily for travel to the cottage or a weekend getaway. A full-size mouse suits most other users.
Mouse Connectivity +
Mice are available in both wired and wireless designs. Wireless mice tend to be more convenient than wired mice and can streamline your workspace, but they may have lag times and interfere with other wireless devices in your home, such as cordless phones and routers. Wireless mice also require batteries, which can be costly and inconvenient if you run out of power in the middle of an important conference call or homework deadline.
Keyboard Ergonomics +
Like your mouse, your keyboard should be designed for optimal comfort and convenience. Keyboards with adjustable height and tilt help keep your arms and wrists level to your desk to promote comfort while preventing wrist strain and finger fatigue. Curved keyboards with padded wrist rests help align and support wrists to promote good posture. Keyboards with split key designs and mechanical switches promote a relaxed, natural position for your hands and wrists to prevent strain.
Keyboard Keys +
There are a variety of different types of keys. This basic keyboard component helps determine your comfort while typing. Dome-style keys, which are usually found on desktop keyboards, require more force and become less springy and responsive over time. Scissor-style keys, which are typically found on laptops, are more durable than dome-style switches but less comfortable to type on for prolonged periods. Mechanical keys, which are spring-loaded, are easiest to type on, provide faster feedback, last longer and are easily repaired, saving you time and effort.
Extra Function Keys +
Many keyboards come with extra bells and whistles to increase their functionality. Some feature special function keys that allow you to control music players and other media, adjust volume and launch apps at the push of a button. Others feature dedicated programmable keys that can perform a series of functions or complex macros with the press of one key. Extra function keys, usually found above the F1 to F12 keys, can be customized to create keyboard shortcuts or set functions in the software that comes with your keyboard.
Gaming Features +
Gaming keyboards are specially designed to enhance gaming. Common gaming features include gaming hotkeys, macro keys and programmable keys that let you customize commands for more control at your fingertips. Other options include LCD track panels and touchscreens that display secondary information like game stats and maps, colourful backlighting for night play and anti-ghosting features for disabling keys near command keys.
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Mice & Keyboard Maintenance Tips:
• Unplug and clean your mouse and keyboard with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to remove dirt
• Deep-clean your mouse and keyboard regularly by blowing out dust with a handheld vacuum or compressed air
• Disassemble your rollerball mouse and clean with a soft cloth dipped in warm water and dish soap
• Turn off wireless keyboards and mice when not in use to extend their battery life
• Keep peripherals away from direct heat, large metal surfaces and liquids