Mice & Keyboard Guide

Your mouse and keyboard are crucial to your comfort, health and productivity when using your computer. This mice and keyboard guide will help you find the perfect peripherals for your needs.

Mice & Keyboards 101

Whether you use your computer to pay bills, edit photos or slay dragons, the right keyboard and mouse can make you more productive and prevent wrist pain. When shopping, consider who uses the computer most and tailor your purchase to their needs. Everyday emailing and surfing require ergonomic keyboards and mice for comfort, while graphic design and gaming demand devices that are sensitive and customizable. Choose a keyboard and mouse combo for a consistent look and compatibility. Wired peripherals offer more reliable connectivity with no lag time, while wireless reduces clutter and frees you from your desk. The key to working more comfortably on your computer is just a few clicks away.

Mice & Keyboard Options


Gaming Mice

If your household is crazy for the latest video games, you need to have a gaming mouse. This gaming essential improves accuracy and performance for players of all skill levels. Choosing the right mouse can boost your kids’ scores and help them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. When shopping, look for features like high sensitivity and polling rates for quicker response times, programmable keys, acceleration and profile memory for swapping profiles between games. You'll also want wireless connectivity for enhanced mobility during play. 

Gaming Keyboards

Gaming keyboards give gamers more control over their environment and let them customize their gameplay. The various keyboard controls include media keys (to control music and volume), reinforced keys (for intense gameplay), programmable keys (for customizing commands), mechanical switches (for improved response), anti-ghosting (for disabling keys near command keys). Other features include backlighting (for night play) and performance indicator panels (for gameplay stats). Design elements like wrist rests, wireless connectivity and split key design can also help fight wrist strain and finger fatigue.

Keyboard & Mice Combos

If you need both a keyboard and a mouse, consider buying a keyboard-and-mouse combo, rather than buying the items separately. When you buy a set, you get a keyboard and mouse that are compatible in design and function. This can also make it easier to manage warranties, repairs and software upgrades. Look for features that you need, such as ergonomic design, wireless connectivity and media controls.

Wired Mice

While it’s tempting to cut the cord, a wired mouse offers a number of advantages over the wireless variety. For starters, wired mice connect with a USB cable and draw power from the computer, so you don’t have to recharge or replace batteries when trying to meet a work deadline or escape the villain in an intense gaming session. A wired mouse also offers a more reliable connection, without lag times, interruption or disconnects from their power source. Plus, their wire tether helps keep them from being misplaced, or carried off by toddlers and tykes. 

Wired Keyboards

Your keyboard is the gateway to your computer and all it has to offer. Choosing a wired keyboard ensures the link between keyboard and computer will be consistent and reliable. These sturdy peripherals typically connect to your PC through an easy-to-use USB cable. Most are designed to be plug-and-play, meaning the software set-up is simple and fast. Like wired mice, wired keyboards eliminate the hassle of recharging or replacing batteries in the middle of a friendly video chat or late-night cram session. They're also lag free and not vulnerable to signal interference. 

Wireless Mice

If you want to free yourself of clutter and chaos, a wireless mouse may be just what your desktop needs. Wireless mice, which use radio-frequency (RF) or Bluetooth technology to connect to your computer, eliminate cords and streamline your workspace. They’re also ambidextrous, which is handy for the lefties in your household. But convenience comes with compromise: wireless mice sometimes have noticeable lag times, can interfere with other wireless devices in your home (such as cordless phones and microwave ovens) and require regular recharging or battery replacement. 

Wireless Keyboards

A wireless keyboard gives you the freedom to work and play at your computer while away from your desk. Shoot up zombies from the couch, edit travel photos from the armchair — whatever you like. Once you cut the cord, you'll begin to rethink your environment and traditional approach to using your computer.  Since wireless keyboards connect to the computer through radio waves instead of cords, they also free up input space for speakers and other accessories. But, like wireless mice, wireless keyboards have longer lag times, interfere with other wireless devices and require batteries, which can be costly and inconvenient to replace. 

Keyboard & Mice Buying Tips:

• Buy a keyboard and mouse tailored to your computing needs
• 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:

• Follow manufacturer’s directions for cleaning your mouse and keyboard
• 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
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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