Masterful mousing: 6 out-of-the-ordinary laptop mice

You're heard of the better mousetrap -- here are some mice that do their job better than the average rodent.

If you're still using a traditional computer (as opposed to a tablet), you're probably also still using a traditional mouse. While laptops all come with touchpads to help us move our cursors around the screen, there's no denying that many users are more comfortable pushing a mouse around a desktop. However, sometimes there isn't a desktop -- and sometimes you need a mouse that is more portable or more powerful than the $20 piece of plastic that you picked up on sale.

To help deal with such issues, we've found six mice that break the design mold that most of today's mice are built from. They do have some things in common -- they are all laser mice and they all use wireless Bluetooth to connect with the computer. Otherwise, these cursor-control devices don't have a whole lot in common -- except possibly the ability to make computing more efficient.

Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse

Mad Catz

Price: $150

Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse
Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse

You think a mouse is a simple device? You've got another thought coming. The Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse is one of the most customizable mice around -- this is the mouse for gamers who are really, really serious about their pursuits. It offers a wide variety of tweaks, including interchangeable palm rests and pinkie grips; two batteries (one to power the mouse, the other to recharge in the wireless receiver/recharge dock); five 6-gram weights that you can subtract or add in order to get a perfectly weighted mouse (the knob that you unscrew to get at the weights doubles as a screwdriver to help you adjust other parts of the mouse); five programmable buttons; the ability to change the dpi rating (which goes up to an impressive 5600 dpi) -- and that's just for starters. This $150 device is the Maserati of mice.

Logitech Couch Mouse M515

Logitech

Price: $40

Logitech Couch Mouse M515
Logitech Couch Mouse M515

Most of the mice in this roundup are styled differently than the traditional mouse that we -- or, at least, our computers -- have grown up with. The Logitech Couch Mouse, though, is a nice combination of the old and the new -- it resembles the larger old-fashioned mice that fit nicely in the hand, yet it offers a variety of interesting features. These include hand detection -- so that the mouse is only active when it is gripped -- good control no matter what surface you're moving it on and a scroll wheel that also tilts from right to left to let you move backwards and forwards through Web pages. Unlike most of the other mice in this roundup, the Logitech Couch Mouse uses traditional AA batteries, so you don't have to worry about recharging it (only replacing the batteries), and the battery compartment also has a handy little space for the tiny Bluetooth receiver. And it's less expensive than any of the others here -- in fact, at $50, it's a bargain.

Magic Mouse

Apple

Price: $69

Magic Mouse
Apple's Magic Mouse

Despite recent rumors that it was going to be phased out in favor of Apple's Magic Trackpad, the Magic Mouse is still available for those Mac fans who prefer the feel of a mouse to that of a trackpad. The Magic Mouse offers a multitouch surface that lets you click and swipe with one or two fingers, depending on what you want to do. You can also use it like a traditional mouse on any surface -- like the other mice in this roundup, it's a laser mouse and therefore doesn't require a mouse pad to be effective. And it has the smooth white styling that has become the signature of Apple products.

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