Best mouse for Mac: Apple, Razer, Microsoft, Logitech, and more

Five of the best mice for Mac

Tired of your MacBook's trackpad? Maybe it's time for a mouse. Here's a roundup of my favorites

I use a Retina MacBook Pro. Most of the time I'm content to use the trackpad, when I'm taking it out and about especially. But when I'm at my desk I like to tether the laptop to a big screen and put it on a stand, so I can't use the trackpad comfortably. That's when it comes in handy to have a mouse to use instead. Of course, if you have a Mac mini, iMac, or Mac Pro, and Magic Trackpads aren't your thing, you'll need a mouse all the time.

Here's a roundup of five of my favorites. Most of them are wireless, and three of them are general purpose. Two are there for gamers. Hopefully you'll find one to fit the bill for what you're looking for. One note: All prices listed here are the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Your mileage may vary.

Apple Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse

Apple's Magic Mouse sports a beautiful, ambidextrous design, works elegantly using Apple's built-in drivers and looks great with your Macintosh.

Looking at it superficially, the Magic Mouse seems to have a "no button" design, but that belies some really clever electronics that recognize distinct left-button right-button key presses as well as scrolling and gestures.

Apple's Mouse system preference lets you thoroughly customize how the mouse works, from scroll direction to activating Mission Control or swiping between full-screen apps. And the system also shows you using little videos how to actually perform those gestures.

At $69, the Magic Mouse costs more than some of the other mice on this list, but if you're going for seamless system compatibility and elegant use, it's hard to go wrong with this one.

Razer Ouroborous Elite

Razer Ouroborous

Razer has distinguished itself as one of the finest purveyors of PC gaming products on the market, and they take special pride in their mice, made especially for gamers. If you're looking for a mouse that will give you an edge in the games that you play, check out the Ouroborous.

It sports an aggressive ambidextrous design that glows toxic green, a really mean looking piece of equipment. An adjustable arch lets you more easily rest your palm, and it's been designed to accommodate a wide range of mouse-grip styles, like claw grip, palm grip or finger grip. There are a total of 11 programmable buttons, and yes, Mac driver software is available.

Inside is a hair trigger-sensitive 8200 DPI sensor. It's wireless, communicating with a USB dock/receiver which recharges it when you attach the mouse to it. The Ouroborous works for about 12 hours per charge using a single AA NiMH battery (included).

Razer DeathAdder

Razer DeathAdder

If the Ouroborous is total overkill for you but you're still looking for a solid gaming mouse, I'd recommend having a look at Razer's DeathAdder instead. It's a wired mouse that sports five programmable buttons, rubber sides for improved grip and a 6400 DPI optical sensor. Razer makes a left-handed version for the sinister folks out there.

The DeathAdder just feels good in my hand. The slope of the mouse, the click of the buttons. Paired with the Razer Synapse driver software, the DeathAdder also works like gangbusters. The driver software paired with some sophisticated on-board electronics makes the DeathAdder a great choice for gamers looking for something that can be set up to spring like a bear trap or move a bit slower if necessary — eminently customizable.

Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse

Microsoft Sculpt Touch

Yes, believe it or not, Microsoft makes mice that work with the Mac. What's more, Microsoft's Sculpt Touch offering is one of the less expensive options on my list. It's got a nice feel to it, an ambidextrous design that makes it good regardless of which hand you favor, and supports Bluetooth, so it's wireless and without any sort of USB port-blocking receiver.

The optical sensor works on just about any surface, and it runs for nine months on a single pair of AA batteries. In place of the traditional scroll wheel is a touch sensor that works a little bit like the scroll gesture of the Magic Mouse.

Logitech M705 Marathon Mouse

Logitech M705

If you're not averse to a wireless mouse that uses a (tiny) USB receiver, Logitech's M705 is great (provided you're a righty). It has an elegant shape that feels great in the hand, sports eight buttons and a scroll wheel.

The Marathon gets its name from its power-sipping circuitry, which Logitech claims works for up to three years on a single pair of AA batteries. At 1000 DPI this isn't a mouse that's likely to appeal to gamers, but it's a solid performer that's built well and designed to last a while. Logitech offers up Mac-compatible Control Center software to manage the mouse, and its unified receiver works with other Logitech peripherals.

Your favorite mouse for Mac?

Mice are a bit like shoes — they fit each person differently, and what you want and need out of your mouse may be entirely different than what I'm looking for. To that end, I won't be surprised if you think my choices are garbage and yours is much better. So I want to hear from you — what mouse do you like the most? Let me know in the comments.

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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There are 44 comments. Add yours.

qquigley says:

No Magic Trackpad? I am disappoint.

LandRovers says:

This list is for mice only, as the article does mention the Magic Trackpad.

WGTN says:

Like others have said, the article was about mice. With that said, I only use mice these days with non-Mac machines. My primary computer for the past several years has been a MacBook Air or Pro, so I switched to Apple's Trackpad for use on iMacs when it was introduced. And FWIW, it's very popular with the majority of my iMac users at work. Bottom line, there's no perfect device for everyone. Use what works best for you.

Tricorius says:

Agreed, I've even purchased Logitech trackpads for my Windows machines when I'm forced to use them (such as my dev machine at work). And then I get angry that I can't do some things in windows (like three-finger drag windows from their title bars). :: sigh ::

I only use a mouse for gaming nowdays...and for that that wonderful Razer gaming mouse featured above will probably soon become my go-to device. :: drool ::

hippiemanx says:

Logitech Mx518 best mouse there ever was or will be. It's the mouse on Elon Musk's desk.

Peter Cohen says:

We all have our favorite Logitechs. Mine was the MX700, which I wore into the table.

Mayson Lancaster says:

Back in the '80s/'90s I had a Logitech 3button mouse which I loved. It had little plastic pins under the buttons, which when depressed activated microswitches. One of those little pins got so worn down, even after a few shims, that it no longer was able to activate. I still mourn the death of that mouse, and crave a replacement [ three finger activated buttons, none of which is a scroll wheel ]. If anyone knows of such, I would be grateful for as long as it lasts.(or maybe longer)

guitarman85 says:

+1 for the Magic Trackpad. It's my mouse of choice on my Mac mini

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Peter Cohen says:

Magic Trackpad doesn't belong in a mouse roundup. You'll notice there are no trackballs mentioned too. I've used trackballs on and off for years.

Bob Amos says:

It's always been a Kensington trackball for me, going back to the beige PowerPC days. I'm on my third one now. A wide selection of wired trackballs is getting harder to find. Wireless mice usually take up a USB port for the transmitter and require batteries, so I don't like them. Some of those MS Explorer trackballs are still around but start at well over a hundred bucks!

iSRS says:

I've used the Logitech m705 on my work PC. A decent mouse. I do like how these mice go MONTHS on AAA batteries. Meanwhile, using the Apple Rechargeables, I change my Mac's Magic Trackpad at least every 3 weeks...

But for a Mac Mouse (and he specified mouse, why would you use a Magic Trackpad with an MacBook Pro when it has one built in?), the Magic Mouse is the way to go. Full gesture support being the main reason

tool022611 says:

Because some prop their macbook up on a stand or fold it up in a stand. I thought about getting a separate trackpad since I use my
Macbook most as my desktop tied to an external monitor. I use the Magic Mouse now but getting sick of it registering me moving the mouse around as wanting to scroll. My hands are bigger so I'm always hitting the sides of the mouse.

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crwoo says:

magic trackpad is the best "mouse" i have used. in windows the mad catz rat series are awesome rats. i would use on mac too, but pinch and stuff like that are more important to me.

Disturbed_Angel says:

Pretty impressed that Razer Mice were included, being a gamer they are my go to choice, though I have the Naga. I do really like them and have never had an issue. As for the Mx 518 being the best mouse ever according to the commenter above, remember, that is an opinion, and one I do not share, I bought one based off the recommendation of many friends, and hated it, it didn't fit the way I held and used my mouse.

Peter Cohen says:

Big fan of the Razer line. I've been using them since 1998, when they introduced the Boomslang.

Illustrator Joe says:

Using the magic mouse for an entire work day was very uncomfortable for me. The low profile looks nice but after even an hour my hand is killing. I switched to logitech. Never looked back.

ಠ益ಠ

GeniusUnleashed says:

Logitech M570 Trackball. Been using a variation of it for ten years with all my laptops.

dfine1966 says:

Ever since I switched from Apple Magic Mouse to the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 for Mac, I haven't had any problems. Magic Mouse would always lose bluetooth connection for no reason. The Logitech is sleek, easy on the hands, rechargeable, and programmable. It even looks nice. Best of all, it never looses bluetooth connections.

Iocane Powder says:

The Magic Mouse is a love/hate relationship. I love the esthetics and how the touch top integrates with the Mac, especially Safari. The swipe/tap options for navigating with Safari is what really got me hooked. The relationship goes sour with the lack of precision, unpredictable right click (firing as a left click) and its hatred for of batteries. There is absolutely nothing green about the way this thing chews through batteries. Rechargeables are a must.

I had an issue with it loosing connection constantly. I finally found a solution that worked: a folded piece of paper between the batteries and the cover. Seems that the batteries don't sit tight enough and can occasionally disconnect you from the mothership.

I would love to try the Ouroborous, but I'll have to wait until I'm independently wealthy like Peter before that happens.

terfos says:

Love the Magic Mouse. For my needs it can't be beat.

wamadden4 says:

Magic Mouse is great... Wouldn't trade it for anything... Never have had a problem with it. Bought one the first day it came out and have been pleased ever since.

Derrick4Real says:

I've NEVER like those thin mac magic mice. It's not ergonomic or comfortable. I never get how people feel comfortable using that.

MikhailT says:

Hi Peter, are you planning to do best trackballs for OS X?

I hate having a third-party system extension (Steermouse) to handle my trackball properly on OS X.

Right now, I'm using Logitech M570. Is there a better one that's natively supported on OS X?

nottooloud says:

In what way is the M570 unsupported? Even has its own preference panel.

MikhailT says:

When I first bought it a year ago, its tracking speed was insane. I had to install Steermouse to modify it properly since the perf panel didn't have it.

Did they update it to fix that?

nottooloud says:

Never had any problem with it. Interacts with the normal tracking speed, you have to set both.

msgkit says:

You are not the only one but sadly there is any reply from logitech engineering team. I have written them an email from early March till now nothing solidly come to me.

Kalpesh Surlakar says:

Am already using Razer DeathAdder with my mac book pro .

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LandRovers says:

Magic Trackpad my first controller of choice. But as far as mouse go, the Magic Mouse and the Microsoft mouse that folds (can't remember the name) are my favs.

ThisBrian says:

Has anyone had the Magic Mouse get stuck over application windows, it's like it get super slow over windows that are doing task. I even went and traded it in thinking it was the mouse. It also does it on multiple macs I have connected it to.

fzwo says:

Is there any non-Apple mouse that has touch scrolling that works as well as that from Apple? I get hand cramps using the Magic Mouse… (FWIW, using a Logitech Anywhere MX, which is great, except for non-touch scrolling and no Bluetooth)

rdstryr says:

Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse MX

This by far one of the best mice that I have EVER used. Works on any surface you can think of. I had to use it on my own palm once because I had no space anywhere at the time and it was just as if I was using it on a tabletop surface.

ohohkhimee says:

Im a razer fan. Im using the deathadder plus the goliathus speed control mouse pad. For gaming purposes.

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Peter Savas says:

Pete, I like the Microsoft Arc Touch mouse. To power it on, you bend it into an arch which provides ergonomic support. It has left and right buttons with the same sensor as on the Sculpt Touch mouse in place of the scroll wheel, and it uses the blue LED technology for superior tracking on surfaces. And the funnest part about this mouse is, to turn it off, you just smash it flat, which makes it thinner than even the Apple Magic Mouse! At $69, it's priced the same as the Magic Mouse, but it's definitely worth it.

Polyphonie says:

I was using IntelliMouse and Logitech MX mice most of my life until I decided one day (after another Logitech mouse failure) to try the Magic Mouse. Yes, it was a decision based purely on looks but two years later I'm quite happy using MM. I find it no less precise than the MX-750 that I was using prior to the switch but with the added benefit of multitouch.

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streamlined says:

I recently switched from the Magic Mouse to a Microsoft Mouse. I loved the glass touch surface on the Apple mouse but it just never seemed very precise compared to Microsoft Mice.

rjholmes123 says:

Shouldn't touch screens be replacing old tech like the mouse?, or should we go back to floppy discs and cords obsolete technology? Just saying.

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Derrick4Real says:

a mouse is much easier than leaning forward and tapping on a screen to do everything. Touchsreen is more advanced but not better. The same as plenty of things that could have digital button have an analog dial.

Peter Savas says:

Touch screens are great for gross movement, but when you need precision, nothing beats a mouse.

jrod986 says:

Razer Deathadder user here. It's just so dang comfy.

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Janet_X_X_X says:

Hey, what about Logitech Trackman? I found it very, very good. Nice ergonomics and trackball. Never used one before but really liked it! I mean this one:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005NIMJ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=17...