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What is a Cordless Mouse?

By Ken Black
Updated May 17, 2024
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A cordless mouse is an input device in a computer that allows the user to interact without having the inconvenience of cords. In some cases, it liberates the mouse to be closer to the computer and can provide a myriad of options for computer and CPU placement that were not available beforehand. The technology behind the cordless mouse has been improved over the years to the point where the accuracy and dependability is comparable to traditional computer mice.

The transmission technology behind the cordless mouse is actually the same technology that people have been making use of for decades. Radio waves are used to transmit information back and forth between the computer and cordless mouse. Most traditional mice do so over wires.

One of the latest products introduced in cordless mouse transmission technology is the Bluetooth® mouse. This uses principles very similar to the radio wave technology, but the frequencies may be slightly different. The Bluetooth® mouse is an ideal choice for those who have computers set up to accept Bluetooth® technology. While most cordless mice require a receiver to be connected to the computer, a Bluetooth® mouse connected to a computer which supports the technology does not need this additional hardware.

The advantages of going wireless are numerous. First, as long as there is power going to the system and mouse, there is always going to be a connection between the devices. Second, the wireless capabilities of a cordless mouse allow for some flexibility in case a person still needs to operate the computer from a distance, such as when giving a slide presentation.

However, there are some disadvantages to a cordless mouse as well. It will either need recharging or a new supply of batteries once the power supply is exhausted. A traditional mouse always has enough power running to it through the computer cord. Also, some still believe that the pointing technology used is not as accurate as it is with wireless mice.

The type of tracking technology generally used with a cordless mouse is either LED optical technology or laser technology. The laser technology is considered the superior product because of its accuracy. While it is possible to find cordless technology in a ball mouse, this is becoming more rare. Still, for those who want the option of a cordless mouse with the time-tested tracking ball, that option is available and can be found, if not in local electronics stores, then through online retailers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By SkittisH — On May 16, 2011

@TheGraham - I think I know the one you're talking about! Is it a Logitech mouse? The one I have in mind is the Logitech G7 Wireless Gaming Mouse, which uses a lithium-ion battery pack instead of disposable batteries. As you were saying, it can last days -- around two and a half days between charges, on average, and that's in regular gaming mode, not skimping down to save power and get a bigger number.

In response to yntern's question about getting stuck without replacements, you might be pleased to hear that the Logitech G7 mouse has extra batteries available for order on Amazon for under ten bucks. You could buy a spare to keep in the charger and just switch whenever they died!

By TheGraham — On May 14, 2011

@yntern - I'm no stranger to the cordless computer mouse that uses AA or AAA batteries, and the cost of replacing them isn't a lot, but it's just enough to be irritating. Luckily for us cordless mouse fans, some mice are getting more advanced and doing away with the disposable batteries, switching to lithium-ion ones instead. Lithium-ion battery packs in a cordless mouse can last for days before they need to be recharged -- the rechargeable part instead of disposable is incentive enough for me, though!

By seHiro — On May 11, 2011

@yntern - Aren't cordless laser mice neat? My first cordless mouse was one that used my Wacom Graphire art tablet for a mousepad. It was a Wacom mouse that came with the tablet.

By yntern — On Mar 19, 2010

I just bought my first cordless laser mouse and it's amazing! I was fine with the corded optical mouse I had for years and years, but I'm stunned at how much more accurate the laser mouse seems to be. And it's so much easier to use without the cord getting tangled everywhere! I am worried about how long the batteries will last - and of getting stuck without replacements, but so far I'm loving it.

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