need 5-button mouse to replace MS Intellimouse Optical

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by theorist9, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. theorist9 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I've gone through three MS Intellimouse Opticals in the past 10 years. The last one, purchased new well after they'd stopped producing them, only lasted a couple of years, so I've decided to explore alternatives.

    What I really like about my current mouse is that its size (121 mm long x 61 mm waist [narrowest point] x 40 mm height [highest point]) perfectly fits my hand. Plus the side buttons are in just the right place.

    Any suggestions on a currently-produced 5-button replacement that works with Yosemite, and that would most closely match my mouse's profile?

    BTW, I'd also be willing to consider a track pad if it had three programmable buttons across the top, since that would replace buttons 3, 4, and 5 on my mouse.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Celerondon, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #2
    Which tasks would you assign to those three buttons? I prefer Apple's Magic Trackpad but it has only one button that many of us use seldom if ever. Though somewhat pricey, the Magic Trackpad is quite versatile.

    Have you used these MS Intellimouse Opticals for general computing tasks or is there some "mouse preferred" work that you do like gaming or whatever. The typical Magic Trackpad user works in an expanded more intuitive GUI environment. I wonder if you would miss the extra 4 buttons? :apple:


    Edit:

    I just checked the MS Intellimouse Optical that I have here in front of my keyboard. It functions as my conventional "spare" alternative to the Magic Trackpad. If you prefer the standard tasks for those three top buttons then you should really try the Apple pointing device. The Magic Trackpad can equal or best a 5-button mouse for control features as long as you have at least 4 digits on your control hand.
     
  3. AndyK macrumors 65816

    AndyK

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  4. theorist9, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Celerondon:
    When I'm on the road I don't take the mouse, which means I'm limited to using the laptop's trackpad, and yes, in those cases, I definitely miss those buttons! These are the tasks I've assigned them (it's for general computing):
    LEFT & RIGHT BUTTONS:
    --in Safari/Chrome/Firefox: back/forward
    --everywhere else: resize window to half screen, move to left or right of screen (i.e., easily allows me to do split screen).
    CENTER BUTTON: brings up application switcher.

    AndyK:
    Thanks, but when I've tried Logitech mice in the store, they seem too tall to me, and this one seems like it might have the same issue: the MX master is 48 mm tall, compared to 40 mm for mine.
     
  5. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #5
    Okay theorist9, I might have an experiment for you. I suggest that you should try the full set of OS X trackpad gestures out (again?). If you can adjust to the interface on the smaller laptop trackpad then the Magic Trackpad will be even better at your home or office.

    With apologies to Doc Brown:
    Buttons? Where we're going, we don't need buttons!
     
  6. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #6
    Taller than what you want but I love it works great with the BetterTouchTool which allows you to program all the buttons and seems to work better than the LCC I used to use. I have it programmed for forward/back in all applications for the left/right scrolling, forward/back buttons are copy/paste, thumb button for Application Switcher, one touch search for Google search on highlighted text and middle wheel click for delete. Too bad it did not have more buttons I am sure I could find use for them.

    https://secure.logitech.com/en-ca/product/performance-mouse-mx
     
  7. theorist9, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Well, Celeronodon, since you're advocating I give up on my preferred work flow and switch to what you're suggesting, I have two questions for you ;):

    First, please explain how, with trackpad gestures, you can replicate the functionality I've assigned to the three additional buttons on my 5-button mouse. [I'm not being coy here -- I really don't know how to do this, and would be interested to hear if it can be done; if it can, that would be very useful to me when I'm mobile, since I usually don't take a mouse with me, and thus need to rely on the MP's trackpad.]

    Second, please do a timed experiment in which you do the following using a 5-button mouse only (with buttons programmed as I've explained above), vs. a trackpad only, and report the difference in speed:
    1) click on a window and move it to take up the left half of the screen
    2) switch that window to a different application
    3) click on another and move it to take up the right half
    4) switch that window to a different application

    I look forward to hearing your results!

    I'm actually thinking of moving in the opposite direction that you suggest, and will be evaluating the Logitech G600 (http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g600-mmo-gaming-mouse). Hope that doesn't make your head explode! :D:D:D
     
  8. theorist9, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Thanks MacUser2525. In playing with a couple of mice in the stores, what I've come to realize is that what's as important as height is the slope in the front of the mouse. Many mice are too flat for me, so activating the L/R click requires pushing straight down with the extended fingers, which is fatiguing because of the mechanical disadvantage (they're more designed for people that use a claw grip, in which the fingers are pointed straight down instead of straight forward). I, by contrast, like a steeper slope, so that I can click less in the straight down direction, and more in the down-and-back direction, which is mechanically easier with extended fingers.

    I'll actually be evaluating several mice in the following days. The most promising in terms of shape seems to be the Logitech M500 (41.5 mm tall, steep slope in front). But the G600 (41 mm tall) also looks promising, because of its extraordinary potential functionality.
     
  9. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #9
    Your welcome the MX has a reasonable slope on it but it is your preference that matters not mine, I know what you mean by them flat mice not a fan myself, the MX fits my hand perfectly I do whole finger click with them as they just lay on the slope. The thumb takes care of the four button by it the fingers the middle wheel perfection in a mouse for me I have four two in use and two spares if I ever need to break them out of the package. Check out the BTT I mentioned it works better than the LCC you may have to use for the buttons with them mice you can program just about anything with it.
     
  10. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #10
    Oh no theorist9, I don’t want you to give up (or even alter) your work flow. I am simply suggesting that additional experience with the enhanced capabilities of the Mac trackpads might cause you to consider a different interface device.

    I pushed the issue again because those first button preferences that you described fell within the realm of routine trackpad gestures. As a Macbook user you are probably familiar with the multi-touch gestures that cover back/forward in web browsers and the application switcher.

    Sorry pal, I cheated on the homework assignment. ;)When I looked across to MacUser2525’s desk, I saw the answer to your 5-button mouse challenge on his answer sheet (post). The expanded action palette offered through BetterTouch Tool might enable the Apple trackpads to suit your purpose. If it doesn’t, good luck in your search for a solid replacement for the MS Intellimouse.

    Oh no! Pressure is building between my ears! :eek:
     
  11. theorist9, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    USBoverdrive used to allow you to assign different sections of the periphery of the trackpad to activate different functions with a single tap, so you didn't have to bother with complex gestures, which are more time consuming than simply tapping (or a button push on a mouse). But it no longer works with the Magic Trackpad. Does BTT (Better Touch Tool) allow this, or are you restricted to gestures?

    More specifically, do you yourself have direct experience using BTT to program the Magic Trackpad in the way you suggest?

    Regardless, a couple of months ago I evaluated both BTT and USBoverdrive, and found both lacking for cursor tracking, BTT especially so (see below). Perhaps I'll investigate Steer Mouse, which is the only other software of this type that I know of.

    I do prefer a trackpad for slow scrolling (reading website and documents), but everywhere else I find a mouse superior, and don't want to give up the productivity aspects of the extra buttons. Indeed, perhaps I should be urging you to consider switching from a trackpad to a multi-button mouse (assuming you care about productivity) ;).


    *******************************

    Here's my review of UO and BTT, which I sent to both companies as feedback:

    BTT is superior to UO in assigning functions to mouse buttons, for two reasons:

    1) BTT allows me to make the assignments application-dependent. E.g., I can assign button 4 to command-[ ("back") in Safari and Chrome, but assign it to activate some other hotkey combination in all other programs.

    2) In both UO and BTT, I tried doing a global assignment of the left and right side buttons to "command [" and "command ]", respectively. In BTT, they work exactly as they're supposed to in both Safari and Chrome ("back" and "forward"). But in UO, while these work fine in Safari, in Chrome they instead activate "command <—" and "command —>", respectively (which I have assigned to other functions).

    UO is superior to BTT in that gives me much better cursor tracking, because it enables me to adjust acceleration. BTT, by contrast, does not allow one to adjust that and, for me, is too non-linear, slowing the cursor far too much when I slow the mouse movement. However, UO's cursor tracking started to get a bit flaky after two days -- it started to feel more like BTT's. I thus returned to the Microsoft mouse driver, which gives me stable cursor tracking.
     
  12. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #12
    Yesterday I downloaded BTT and configured a couple of your preferred actions in a few minutes. Because the utility has a sensible layout with intuitive controls, I was able to accomplish this feat without research or hassle.

    Of course, your experience with configuration and usage of these tools is what ultimately matters. Interface control choices are highly subjective. Take a look at the attached “Single Finger Gestures” palette to compare the array of choices available with a typical simple motion. Even if you exclude the Triangle Swipes as “complex gestures” the Magic Trackpad can easily compete with a 5-button mouse before resorting to multi-finger gestures or modifier keys. If a user does choose an expanded gesture set, the trackpad options increase dramatically.

    Yes, maybe we are just evolving in different directions! :cool:
    BTT-single finger.jpg
    View attachment 569692
     
  13. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #13
    The Intellimouse was/is so amazing. I used to use it for gaming when I was super young. I recently found one with the stock Microsoft branded PS/2 adapter but the cable was slightly cut. I took it anyway because it was in good condition otherwise. I'm pretty nostalgic about it - it's a great mouse.

    Depending on your budget, check out Razer. I recently have began the hunt for a new wired mouse myself and have been using my old Razer mice for the time being. They are marketed for gamers but they offer right-handed mice that are similar to the size of the Intellimouse, and most are at least 5 buttons. The one I am using now is overkill and has 17 buttons lol - which I really did perceive as overkill at first but it's so nice for key mapping things like tools within programs like Photoshop.
     
  14. theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2015
    #14
    Thanks for taking the time to do this. I also found this article about configuring the trackpad as you describe: http://www.macworld.com/article/1157058/trackpadtricks.html

    How is cursor tracking with BTT? Did you notice any of the acceleration I got when using it with my mouse? What I found is that it would track normally when I was moving the cursor rapidly, but would slow terribly when when I slowed to click on a button, making it laborious (if it had an acceleration option, I had it switched off).
     
  15. theorist9, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Sounds like you're using the Razer Naga. I tried that out at Best Buy and found it was hard to know which button I was hitting. I'll be getting the G600 soon and will let you know what I think -- it's supposed to be better than the Naga for blind button pushing because they're dished into two groups of six. I also tried out the G602 and the G502, both of which have several extra buttons, but not as many as the Naga or G600. I liked the placement of those on the G602 (two rows of three buttons each on the side), and the overall comfort of the mouse. The G502 also seemed to have a good overall shape (maybe not quite as nice as the G602), but I didn't care for the sharp edges on its side buttons. OTOH, the G502 has what felt like an amazing weighted scroll wheel, for which you can select both detented and free-spinning modes -- I wonder if the free-spinning mode is fast enough to rapidly scroll to the end of a long (say, 100-page) document (i.e., with one spin), or if it's still much faster to just grab the scroll bar slider and move it down to the bottom (it wasn't connected to a computer so I couldn't test it on an actual document).

    Finally, the MX master felt surprisingly comfortable, in spite of its height (maybe the most comfortable of them all). But its two side buttons are awkwardly placed (and one is so tiny and squeezed-in that it's hard to hit without hitting the other one).

    Alas, all of these had some sort of theft protection under them, so I couldn't compare how easily they slid around, which is a function of both the mouse's mass and its slide pads.
     
  16. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #16
    I agree with you on the Naga - at first it may seem ridiculous or difficult to take advantage of. The one I am using is the 2012 edition, and I purchased the most recent one for a relative not that long ago and they differ quite a bit. The newest version has a lot of improvements, and the side buttons are much more defined. I really like my 2012 though and I am so used to it after using it for years when gaming. It fits well in my hand, and it has a nice high quality USB cable. It's probably the mouse that I have used the most for the longest period of time straight and it still works well and doesn't show that much wear.
     
  17. theorist9, Jul 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Got the G600 in yesterday. Probably will return it. Really love the multiple buttons on the side, and the "dished" way they are arranged (and also the braided cable), but found the mouse's shape awkward -- too wide, with not enough slope in front. Also, it really feels heavy, which surprised me, since the specs show it's actually about average (133 g); the reason it feels heavy is because my MS Intellimouse is quite light by comparison (85 g) (both weights w/o cable). Consequently, the G600 takes more effort to slide around. Maybe a low-friction mouse pad would help...

    Also, it seems to have non-deflatable built-in acceleration, which drives me crazy. Posted about this on the Logitech support site at http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Logitech-G-Mice/Can-t-defeat-acceleration-of-G600-on-Mac/td-p/1423490 , but haven't yet gotten a response.

    EDIT: I found a solution to the acceleration problem. Apparently OS X has built-in acceleration, which Logitech's software does not defeat. But, for $0.99, you can buy a program called "Decelerator" on the App Store, which completely eliminates the acceleration. IMO, if the Logitech software were better written, it would have this capability built-in -- i.e., it would enable OS X users to have full control over the behavior of the Logitech mouse without the need to find and buy additional software. That's how Microsoft's Intellimouse software for OS X works.
     
  18. theorist9, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015

    theorist9 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    My final report: After testing eight different mice, I became quite enamored with the multi-button functionality of the Logitech G502 for office productivity work. Plus, as a gaming mouse, it has a great sensor. I also like the light click forces of the L and R buttons. My only complaints are that it's a bit flatter in front than the MS mouse (making clicking the L and R buttons more fatiguing when using a fingertip grip) and, while lighter than many other mice, still weighs 30% more than the Intellimouse (it falls in the middle among the eight I tried). The attached photo shows how I programmed it for use with OS X. [ "Left Screen" and "Right Screen" mean resize the active window so that it takes up exactly half the screen, and put in on the left or right side, respectively. Very useful when you wish to have two windows displayed side-by-side.]

    I also really liked the G502's scroll wheel -- it's unlike any mouse scroll wheel I've ever used before, and the best I've ever tried. It's metal, and has a nice weight to it, so when you switch it to free-spinning mode and flick it, it can fly up and down a long document extremely quickly. And in click mode it gives excellent control, with a really nice tactile feel. [Some don't like the metal, preferring a rubberized scroll wheel surface; I might prefer that as well, but the metal doesn't bother me; it's deeply notched to give good grip.] In addition, I really like that one can push the scroll wheel left or right in addition to down; I've programmed left and right to back and forward, respectively, which is great for surfing the web. [At least for me personally, flicking the scroll wheel back and forth is easier than hitting programmable side buttons on the mouse; this is an advantage of the G502 over, for instance, the G602 -- i.e., the G602 has the same number of programmable buttons, but doesn't have L and R functionality in the scroll wheel.]

    I found Logitech's OS X-specific gaming software fully-compatible with 10.10.5, since it has allowed me to adjust the DPI and program all 11 buttons. Even the surface tuning works. Note: Based on a suggestion I read elsewhere, I store the profiles on the computer rather than the mouse ("Automatic Game Detection" rather than "On-Board Memory"); I've been told this works better with a Mac (On-Board Memory may work just as well, but I've not tried it).

    Logitech G502 Button Assignments.png


    MICE I TRIED; ALL ARE WIRED EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED. WEIGHTS DON'T INCLUDE THE WIRE:

    MICROSOFT INTELLMOUSE OPTICAL (BASELINE), 91 g

    LOGITECH G602 (SEE ABOVE), 121 g.

    LOGITECH MX MASTER (WIRELESS), 145 g: I tried the MX Master in the store and didn't really like it -- it's fairly heavy, and doesn't have better functionality than a standard five-button mouse (same 5 programmable buttons, except one of the side buttons is so small as to be unusable; compensating for this, it has a side scroll wheel; call it a wash). If you want a wireless mouse of that size and shape, I'd instead recommend the Logitech G602.

    LOGITECH G602 (WIRELESS), 130 g w/ one AA battery (153 g with two): The G602 is a good mouse, with the same number of programmable buttons as the G502 (11); and it works fine with just one battery, which leaves it 14 grams lighter than the MX Master (yes, you can feel the difference). And it does have a better slope on the L/R buttons than the 502 (at least for me). OTOH, they require more click force.

    Overall, though, I prefer the 502 to the 602. I found the other buttons on the G502 more comfortable and easier to access. I also preferred the G502's scroll wheel. Another issue with 602 is that its transmitter needs to be plugged directly into the computer to avoid losing contact with the mouse, which I can't do (I need to plug it into a USB hub), since my computer only has two USB ports, and one goes to my hub, while the other goes to my backup hard drive (which also has to be plugged in directly to the computer). This is not a deal-breaker for me, it just means you need to program a shortcut into your keyboard for a macro that quits and restarts the Logitech software as needed (about once every day or two). I believe this would also be an issue with the MX Master. Finally, the G502's a bit lighter. [Also, the feet started coming off the G600, but I doubt that's a general problem -- likely just an issue with the particular unit I had.]

    LOGITECH G600, 133 g: I'll add (to my previous post) that, after more time with the G600, I decided it just wasn't comfortable for me, because (in addition to the issues mentioned earlier), there is no good place to rest my thumb (basically, I need to rest it on top of the button panel, which isn't comfortable for me -- there's no stable resting place, so my thumb is never relaxed). Also, even though it weighs about the same as the G602 (with one battery), it feels decidedly heavier (maybe because of the cord, maybe because I can't grab it as well, or maybe because its slide pads aren't as good). I also had software issues with it that I didn't experience with the other LG mice, involving spontaneous profile switching. IIRC it has an on-the-fly profile switching option (which the other LG mice lack); and while I never used that (at least knowingly), I found it would sometimes switch to a new profile on its own. I suppose I could have figured out how to fix that, but I never put in the effort. My point is that the G600 offers a complication I didn't need.

    LOGITECH M500, 121 g: I tried the 5-button Logitech M500 because it looked like it might be a nice shape, was light, and was quite inexpensive. However, by comparison with these other higher-end mice, the scroll wheel and click action felt nowhere near as nice, and (in spite of its light weight) felt a bit heavy (maybe it has lower-quality feet than the other mice). Plus, as mentioned above, I was strongly gravitating towards the additional functionality of the G602.

    RAZER DEATH ADDER CHROMA, 105 g: Nice mouse, lightweight, good tracking. Also liked the very low forces required to click the L and R buttons. But its shape didn't suit me -- too wide and flat. Also, it didn't have the multi-button functionality of the G502. And, while Razer's software works with OS X, it's not well-designed -- I had to do some tricky stuff (with help from Razer tech support) to reprogram the buttons. [With Logitech, by contrast, this was straightforward.]

    STEELSERIES SENSEI RAW (90 g) AND KANA (82 g): These are closest to the MS mouse in shape and weight, though not quite as comfortable (and they require a bit too much force to click). Their main problem is that I couldn't get the SteelSeries software to work, even though it was (and still is) listed on their website (Steelseries.com/Downloads) as compatible with OS X 10.7 and later. [In particular, Engine 2 (required for the Kana) couldn't recognize it; and Engine 3, required for theSensei, kept crashing.] After wasting a lot of time going back and forth by email with SteelSeries' QA, I was told that neither of these is currently compatible with 10.10 (indeed, according to SteelSeries, Engine 3 doesn't even work with 10.9 -- so this is not the case of a company getting caught off-guard by a recent OS update breaking their software). Needless to say, I didn't appreciate wasting all that time because SteelSeries knowingly puts false information on their site. I complained about this to them but, not surprisingly, the misinformation is still there (see second pic).

    Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.20.44 PM.png
     

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