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Best budget mouse 2021: point-and-click on the savings

Included in this guide:

Best Budget Mouse
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Look no further if you’re in the market for the best budget mouse. With exception of those sticking with an old school trackball or are a wizard with a trackpad, you will need a good mouse to use with your computer.

It’s true that you probably got one with whatever system you own, but they rarely come with the types of features you’ll find in the best budget mouse. There’s a reason that this is many people’s first purchase after investing in a new laptop or desktop.

Considering that the mouse is probably what we interact with the most beside the keyboard, it’s really no wonder why you want to get a quality mouse. And, they come with a slew of different features from LED backlights and customizable buttons to ergonomic designs.

No matter if you want to remap your entire mouse with macros for your favorite esports game or are just looking for something that’s comfortable in your palm after hours of use, you’ll find that the best budget mouse can rival the best mouse you’ll find.

So, if you're looking to upgrade your mouse, but not looking to spend a fortune, these are some of the best mice for office use, creative tasks, and everything in between that won't break the bank. We've even got a few of the best wireless mouse for a more clutter-free experience and some of the best gaming mouse so you can squeeze in a bit of fun for cheap.

Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse

(Image credit: Microsoft)

1. Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse

This budget mouse is all business

Specifications
DPI: 3200
Interface: Wired
Buttons: 5
Ergonomic: Right-handed
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Responsive+Programmable buttons
Reasons to avoid
-Not wireless-Not great for gaming

When the Microsoft IntelliMouse was introduced in 1996, it has a groundbreaking peripheral for its ergonomics, its then-high DPI, and the introduction of the ubiquitous mousewheel. With 2019's Classic IntelliMouse, Microsoft kept it simple with a classy five-button design that still fits comfortably in your hand—assuming you are right-handed, of course. 

Microsoft's Classic IntelliMouse features a five-button design with 3200 DPI and a soft white lighting effect that gives it a modern feel while still sticking to its core brand identity as a modern enterprise peripheral. 

Unlike its earlier predecessors, the wire-bound Classic IntelliMouse is hardly the best budget mouse for gaming or portability, but for everyday home or office use, its form factor and relatively high DPI will make it feel far superior to many standard mice out there. And for the price, it knows what it is and it does it very, very well.

Read the full review here: Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse review

Logitech G203 Prodigy

(Image credit: Logitech)

2. Logitech G203 Prodigy

The best budget mouse for gaming

Specifications
DPI: 8000
Interface: Wired
Buttons: 6
Ergonomic: Right-handed
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable design+Semi-Ambidextrous+Very affordable for a gaming mouse
Reasons to avoid
-Not wireless-Slightly older sensors-underwhelming design

Logitech is synonymous with computer peripherals and they've been putting out quality products at affordable prices for almost 40 years. While not as robust as some high-end gaming mice from Razer, Corsair, or HyperX, the Logitech G203 Prodigy is a quality gaming mouse directed at the more cost-conscious PC gamer. 

That doesn't mean that the G203 Prodigy scrimps on the kind of features gamers expect from their mice. It has 8000 DPI and six programmable buttons which is more than enough for all but the semi-pro esports gamer contingent. The ergonomic design of the mouse is ambidextrous, though lefties will not be able to easily access the mouse's two side buttons.

Its sensors aren't the newest in Logitech's arsenal, either, but they are more than capable of providing the average gamer with the responsiveness they need, putting it in contention for the best budget mouse for gaming that you're likely to find. It is wired, so portability is an issue, but if you've got a gaming rig at home and you're looking for an affordable gaming mouse that will get the job done, the Logitech G203 Prodigy just might be it.

Read the full review here: Logitech G203 Prodigy

Razer DeathAdder Elite

(Image credit: Razer)

3. Razer DeathAdder Elite

Scoring headshots on the cheap

Specifications
DPI: 16000
Interface: Wired
Buttons: 9
Ergonomic: Right-handed
Reasons to buy
+High polling rate+Highly responsive+Comfortable design
Reasons to avoid
-Fewer buttons than similar models-Not Wireless

Razer has been the go-to maker of dedicated gaming peripherals for many years, and it's easy to see why. Their gaming mice have sleek, ergonomic designs, customizable LED backlighting, and nearly as many buttons as their keyboards. For a budget gaming mouse, the Razer DeathAdder Elite is well within this tradition and is aimed squarely at the FPS crowd.

With 16000 DPI and an exceptionally-high polling rate—the mouse state and position is updated at 1000 Hz, or 1000 times a second—this is a gaming mouse that is designed for precision control. That makes it perfect for FPS gamers where the slightest delay in responsiveness could mean the difference between a match-ending headshot and a potentially disasterous near-miss.

Its seven programmable buttons will likely be plenty for most gamers, but for the truly hardcore, this might seem rather limited, especially for a Razer gaming mouse. But considering that the Razer DeathAdder Elite packs some seriously high-end specs into a comfortable and affordable package, it is in contention for the best budget mouse for gamers who need precision control at a reasonable price point. 

Logitech M330 Silent Plus

(Image credit: Logitech)

4. Logitech M330 Silent Plus

Small, portable, and right to the point

Specifications
DPI: 1000
Interface: 2.4GHz wireless
Buttons: 3
Ergonomic: Right-handed
Reasons to buy
+Super quiet operation+Compact+Wireless
Reasons to avoid
-No Bluetooth connectivity-Very few buttons

Logitech has been in the vanguard of the wireless mouse revolution over the last numbers of years and the Logitech M330 Silent Plus is a ideal distillation of the core design. With a focus on portability and a quiet mouseprint, the M330 Silent Plus is a great laptop mouse for when silent operation is desired.

Its specs are rather standard for an everyday general use mouse: it has 1000 DPI, three buttons, and ergonomic design. Its major selling point is that it is wireless and that it makes next to no noise while you're using it. No one wants to be that person making the distracting zush-zush, clickity-click, and clack-clap noises in a school library or local coffee shop and this mouse is made specifically to save you from the irritated scorn of the person one table over.

It most certainly wasn't made for gamers, however, and while the compact size and silent operation possibly make it the best budget mouse for students and the mobile workforce, even a freelancer will recognize the lack of features that comparable mice offer. For the price though, it's hard to beat if you just need something that points, clicks, and stays as quiet as a mouse while you work.

Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600

Compact and cheap

Specifications
DPI: 1000
Interface: Bluetooth
Buttons: 2
Ergonomic: Ambidextrous
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable+Comfortable for Lefties+Perfect for laptops
Reasons to avoid
-Smaller than you're probably used to-No frills, basic functionality

While most mice nowadays slap extra buttons on the every practical side of the mouse, at the end of the day the left and right mouse buttons end up doing about 95% of the work even on the most elite gaming mice. 

If you're just looking for a wireless mouse that you can throw in your bag with a laptop for years to come, the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 can't be beat. It has 1000 DPI, only two mouse buttons and a mousewheel, and an ergonomic, ambidextrous design that everyone will find comfortable to use. 

The biggest selling point for the Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 is right in its name: it uses built-in Bluetooth technology rather than your standard wireless radio connection. This frees the mouse from the tyranny of the tiny USB dongle, making it a top contender for the best budget mouse for anyone who needs portability, durability, and simplicity.

John Loeffler

John (He / Him / His) is TechRadar's Computing Staff Writer and is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: Back 4 Blood, Metroid Dread, EVE Online