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Advantages & Disadvantages of a Computer Mouse

Updated July 20, 2017

The computer mouse is one of the most common input devices on computers. However, there are many variations to the standard computer mouse. Computer mice can have a single button or many buttons along with a scroll wheel. Wireless mice are available. Mice also may have trackballs or use optical light to sense movement. However, while computer mice are because of several advantages, there are still a few disadvantages to computer mice as well.

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Computer mice need an unobstructed and flat surface to effectively monitor and manage user movements. However, flat surfaces may not always be available, especially as computer users become more mobile with laptop computers, and this may cause limited use of the mouse. In addition, even wireless mice require the computer user to be relatively close to the computer to register mouse movements.

Movement Flexibility

The mouse gives the computer user the freedom to move cursors in any direction, unlike the arrows on a keyboard, which constrain the user to a limited set of directions. In addition, the mouse can be fine-tuned to each user, so that movements can match with the user's expectation. For example, you can adjust the speed of the cursor so that it will travel a farther or shorter distance with the mouse movement. Computer mice are also popular input devices for many computer games since they are highly responsive and accurate for user input.


There are a large variety of computer mice to suit individual needs. Small compact mice are available for frequent travellers or mobile computer users. Optical mice are available to avoid previous problems with trackball-based mice, when they became dirty or obstructed. Mice can have a single button or many buttons to support control and minimise the need to switch often between a keyboard and the mouse.

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About the Author

Stephanie D has been writing and exploring the outdoors for as long as she can remember. She has spent time climbing across the United States and backpacking out west. Stephanie D earned her Bachelor of Science in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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