Rotten Rodents: The 10 Worst and Weirdest Laptop Mice

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Developing more intuitive and natural interfaces to technology is an important part of computing, and one of the biggest breakthroughs came at Xero’s PARC facility in the 1960s with the innovation of the computer mouse. Designed to rest on a table and be moved with one hand, the humble mouse quickly became the analog pointing tool of choice. As technology advanced, rollers were replaced by balls and then lasers. But sometimes innovation goes sideways, not forward, and we’re left with bizarre and useless gadgets like these 10 Weird Computer Mice.

Monster Gecko gun mouse

The sense of immersion in first-person shooters is always a little ruined by mouse controls – it’s hard to feel badass when you’re blowing people away with the same thing you use for spreadsheets. Enter the MonsterGecko Pistol Mouse, a wired USB mouse with 800 DPI optical resolution and a large plastic pistol screwed on top. The trigger of the pistol naturally serves as a left click. Ergonomically, this won’t make you better at your favorite games, but it sure will make you look like a bigger creep when you play them.

Skype mouse phone

These days, making phone calls through your computer is a pretty common thing, but back then hardware manufacturers were still trying to figure out how it was supposed to work. One of the strangest attempts came in 2007 with the Jela Skype Mouse Phone. With a 1.3″ LCD and a numeric keypad, you can connect it to your PC and use it as a handset with your Skype account, then flip it down like a transformer to use as a mouse. But if you had to use your computer during that call, good luck because it couldn’t do both at the same time. We’ll stick with the headset.

Apple USB mouse

People praise Apple for its product design – the company has a reputation for some of the most stylish and iconic hardware in the computing and gadget world. But every now and then it really pops. The release of the Bondi Blue iMac in 1998 brought with it an infamous example: the Apple USB mouse. Known derisively as the “Hockeypuck,” it eschewed the traditional rounded rectangular design for a fully circular form factor with a single button on top. It was uncomfortable to use, especially with the oddly short cable connecting it to the computer. Some companies even released an attachable sleeve that users could attach to make the mouse feel more conventional.

Logitech Cyberman

The late 1990s was the boom time for first-person shooters, a genre that developed in response to the ability to combine digital input from the keyboard and analog input from the mouse. But what if you could improve on this mouse by adding a joystick to it too? That was the theory from major peripherals maker Logitech when they came up with the incredible ’90s name “CyberMan,” a mouse that added a pitch and yaw controller on top. The end result was a bizarre, non-ergonomic gimmick that was virtually impossible to use accurately. The base would move and it was easy to misclick buttons while manipulating the Z axis. It also had force feedback that would vibrate in response to your gameplay, which is exactly what you want in a mouse.

Muscle Mouse (Amazon.com)

Kinniku muscle mouse

When you buy a mouse you have a pretty short list of things you want to do: point and click, ideally, and maybe a few extra buttons or a scroll wheel for convenience. But it’s just fascinating to add new and wacky features to this humble piece of hardware, and that’s how we got the Kinniku Muscle Mouse, made by Japanese company Thanko. A jack connected to the mouse’s USB cable connects to four electrostimulation pads that can be placed anywhere on your body. By pressing special buttons on the side of the mouse, you can deliver muscle-boosting electric shocks while you work on your TPS reports.

Bugha gaming mouse 2

Retailers like Wish and Amazon are overflowing with computer hardware that is even lower in price and quality. One mouse that’s become a meme in gaming circles for being downright sloppy is the Bugha Gaming Mouse, named after the Fortnite pro and made by a company called “Five Below.” With a honeycomb pattern and adjustable LED lights, it doesn’t seem all that terrible at first glance. But there has to be a reason it’s only $10, and that reason is the quality. The tracking is jerky, the mouse wheel rattles constantly and the whole thing hardly works. It’s important to note that Bugha doesn’t actually play with the mouse that bears his name, and there’s a reason for that.

OpenOffice mouse

OpenOffice mouse (WarMouse)

OpenOffice mouse

The beauty of the mouse is how simple and intuitive it is – you move your hand, the pointer on the screen moves, and when you press your finger down, you interact with what it’s pointing at. So why do people keep trying to complicate it? One of the most egregious examples is the OpenOffice mouse, developed by notorious weirdo Vox Day for the popular open-source productivity suite. With eighteen individual buttons and a scroll wheel, it seems impossible to accurately operate this thing unless you have fingers on top of each other.

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Roller mouse 3

We’re all for people trying to turn the dominant paradigm on its head, but that take on the mouse is… a little far-fetched. Instead of a lightweight, moving point-and-click tool or a spinning ball, RollerMouse 3 attaches to the underside of your keyboard. The general idea is that you can access cursor movement without taking your hands off the typing area. Instead of a two-dimensional plane, mouse movement is controlled by a cylindrical bar that you slide from left to right for horizontal movement and rotate in place for vertical movement. Some people swear by it, but some people do a lot of weird things.

Zalman FG-1000

Gamers are always looking for a way to gain an edge over their opponents, and mouse design has long been one of those vectors. Many notable esports players boast of quirky grips and keyboard positions as they rotate the hardware to suit their needs. But can a complete redesign of a mouse really help you play better? Not if it’s the Zalman FG-1000, a bizarre vertical mouse released in 2008. Dubbed the “FPSGun,” it features a vertical grip that uses your thumb and two fingers for the scroll wheel and buttons. Due to its design, it scrolls horizontally much easier than vertically – so great for circle strafing, not really functional for… much else.

Hanwang T&Mouse

Hanwang T&Mouse (Hanwang)

Hanwang T&Mouse

Touchpad technology is ubiquitous these days because it’s good at certain things that mice aren’t. But what if you could pull a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and have both? Well, hopefully the end result won’t be as silly as the T&Mouse that launched in China in 2010. The form factor is similar to a traditional mouse of the era, but there’s a large recessed spot where your hand would normally rest. This divot houses a flat touchscreen and a stylus in a recessed area on the side of the mouse. If you want, you can pull it out and use the mouse as a touchscreen, drawing or writing on it while desperately trying to stop the mouse itself from moving at the same time.

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