In the fifty-odd years since its invention we've seen the humble mouse improve considerably, with the addition of weight systems, laser sensors and masses of buttons and flashing lights.
The best mice combine all these elements in sleek, ergonomic shells or have a unique selling point that justifies their consideration.
Choosing which is the best mouse for you comes down to a number of factors, and all the mice in our round-up come with various features, from rechargeable wireless functionality to Wii-like gesture controls.
Read on to find out what mouse will suit your click-happy digits.
1. Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX - £44
Logitech's Anywhere mouse is aimed at laptop and netbook users who want a little more comfort and control over their machines. It's tiny, fast, smooth and responsive, and its Darkfield technology means it can be used on any surface.
2. CM Storm Sentinel Z3RO-G - £46
128kb might not sound like a lot of memory, but on Cooler Master's mouse it plays host to your profiles, as well as a tiny low-res bitmap file you can stick on the OLED screen. On top of that it's a smooth mouse, and the provided software will please those who love to tweak.
3. Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse - £62
Logitech's latest venture into gaming mice packs a lot of tech into its unassuming housing, such as a gaming grade 5,700DPI sensor, polytetrafluoroethylene feet and wireless connectivity. In fact, the only niggle we had with the mouse was with its battery indicator. Other than that, it's a fantastic deal, and a must-have for furious fraggers.
4. Genius Wireless Pen Mouse - £19
Genius' pen-shaped mouse didn't exactly wow us, and it's certainly not going to usurp Wacom-style tablets any time soon. But it's still a fully-featured rodent in a familiar form factor, and it's ideally suited to multi-monitor displays where the cursor can be swiped from one end to the other quickly.
5. Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 5 - £50
Mad Catz's exoskeletal stylings certainly make its mice stand out, but they're as functional as they are funky. Infinitesimal adjustments mean they suit any gaming hand, and they're smooth and responsive, too. At £50, the R.A.T. 5 is the cheapest in the range, but it's still a cracking little rodent.
6. Roccat Kone [+] - £58
That [+] in Roccat Kone [+] refers to the EasyShift [+] button, which acts like the shift key on a keyboard, and allows access to secondary functions such as volume control and muting. It's easy to program, and a 6,000dpi maximum resolution and surface calibration make it a pleasure to use. Our biggest bugbear is its price, which isn't much less than Mad Catz's R.A.T. 7.
7. Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 9 - £95
Mad Catz' Cyborg R.A.T. 9 is the most expensive mouse in our round up, and it packs all the adjustments and features of the R.A.T. 7, as well as wireless connectivity. It's incredibly responsive, and the obligatory precision button makes those crucial headshots nice and easy. It is expensive, but we reckon the sheer number of features justify the price tag.
8. Gyration Air Mouse Elite - £91
Gyration's Air Mice function like normal rodents on desktops, and they can also be lifted up and used in mid-air, Wii-mote style. They're designed primarily for presentations and media centre PCs, but you can also just about use them for gaming. The Air Mouse Elite is the best we've seen so far, but we'd still recommend that you try one before buying.
9. Kensington Orbit Trackball - £15
A mouse round-up wouldn't be complete without a trackball device, which will take up far less room than a conventional mouse and mousemat combo. At under £20 Kensington's Orbit is rather cheap, and does the job adequately - we even managed a five kill streak in Modern Warfare 2 with it.
10. Microsoft Sidewinder X8 - £47
Microsoft's original Sidewinder divided audiences, but there's no denying that it's well-made and utterly functional. The X8 adds wireless capabilities, but a unique magnetic system means it can be plugged in to charge as well. At the time of our review we complained that it was a tad too expensive, but the price has dropped considerably since.
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