Ultralight mice are relatively new computer peripherals but are taking off in a big way. So what exactly qualifies as an ultralight mouse, why might you want one, and are there any drawbacks?
What Is an Ultralight Mouse?
An ultralight mouse is a computer mouse that has shed as much additional weight as possible. There’s no “official” definition for what qualifies as an ultralight, but our sister site Review Geek and gaming enthusiasts over at Digital Foundry classify any mouse that weighs less than 80g (2.82 oz) as ultralight.
Some mice come in at considerably less than this, and it isn’t uncommon for an ultralight to weigh 50g (1.76oz) or less.
One of the more common ultralight mouse design tricks is to use a “honeycomb” chassis. By cutting holes in the outer shell of the mouse, it’s possible to remove weight without compromising the integrity of the mouse. This has led some to call ultralights “honeycomb mice,” but that isn’t the only technique that manufacturers use.
Some ultralight mice don’t use a honeycomb shell. Instead, they’re very small. These mice might not include as many features as their heavier counterparts, such as shortcut buttons and additional scroll wheels. Many ultralight mice are wired since a battery can add unwanted weight, but wireless products do exist.
Ultralight mice tend to use a highly flexible and light cable that won’t slow down mouse movement. Cabling is commonly made from low-friction material to aid movement. A good ultralight mouse should have that “wireless feel” regardless of whether it’s wired or not.
Getting used to an ultralight mouse can take some time. But after a short adjustment period, it should feel perfectly normal. Many users report that mouse accuracy is improved after they’ve adjusted, which brings us to the question of what you might use an ultralight mouse for.
What Is an Ultralight Mouse Good for?
Ultralight mice are the work of enthusiast gamers who decided that their existing pointing devices were too heavy. It started with DIY mods and 3D-printed enclosures for existing mice and ended up with companies like Finalmouse and Glorious making purpose-built peripherals.
Fast-paced, competitive online shooters arguably benefit the most from an ultralight mouse. Twitchy shooters like Counter-Strike and Valorant demand fast reaction times, and an ultralight mouse can help. These mice can give you an edge in any competitive shooter, which requires you to react quickly (including battle royale titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, and Fortnite).
It’s a simple case of allowing you to move your hand a bit faster, which translates to faster onscreen responses. You might also find an ultralight mouse less fatiguing over long play sessions.
While competitive online shooter fans are the target audience, an ultralight mouse is still a mouse at the end of the day. Some users love the lightweight feel and use their ultralights for everything from offline strategy games to office tasks and photo editing.
If you have mobility issues, an ergonomic mouse is likely your best option, but some might find that an ultralight mouse is easier to move than the bulkier ergonomic trackballs and vertical mice that they’re used to. The best thing to do is to try one out in a showroom before you buy to see how it feels.
Are There Any Downsides to an Ultralight Mouse?
There’s a tendency to conflate build quality with heft in the computer peripheral world, so ultralight mice can feel a bit “cheap” even if you’re spending a lot of money. Fortunately, there are many quality ultralights out there that will last you for years.
Honeycomb shell designs tend to let a lot of dust in, but you can combat this with a squirt of compressed air now and then. It should go without saying that if you’re trypophobic, a honeycomb design is best avoided.
Like any peripheral, personal preference is important. Some users simply won’t like the feel of an ultralight, even if it confers benefits in their favorite online games. If you don’t play a lot of competitive shooters, you might be better suited with another gaming mouse that incorporates additional features or a higher polling rate.
If you use a computer all day long, your money might be better spent on an ergonomic mouse that focuses on providing comfort and preventing wrist-related ailments rather than improving reaction times in first-person shooters. If you have the cash to spare, consider getting both.
Some Popular Ultralight Mouse Options
It took a while for mainstream peripheral manufacturers like Razer and Logitech to cotton on to the trend of ultralight mice, and in that time, a few companies established a name for themselves with their innovative products.
Chief among them is Glorious with their original Model O. The mouse is available in two size configurations, with a slightly heavier wireless version on the way. Glorious also produces the ergonomic Model D, which adds a little bit of weight in favor of comfort.
Glorious Model O Gaming Mouse, Matte White (GO-White)
At only 67g (2.36oz) with a DPI of 12,000, the Model O is one of the most popular ultralight mice on the market.
Finalmouse is another sought-after brand that operates on a “drop” basis, where products are only available until they sell out. The Ultralight 2 Cape Town is one of the company’s most recognizable offerings, with a weight of just 47g (1.66oz) and an outer shell that Finalmouse claims “can never be damaged.”
FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town
At just 47g, the Finalmouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town uses ultra-durable materials and is backed by a 4-year warranty.
Logitech’s G Pro Wireless is an 80g ultralight that eschews the honeycomb outer shell in favor of a smooth finish. The sensor can reach up to 25,600 DPI, and the Logitech rates the battery for 48 hours on a single charge.
Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse with Esports Grade Performance
With a huge DPI of 25,600 and a weight of just 80g, this wireless ultralight mouse treads the line between performance and utility while remaining competitive.
Our favorite wired mouse is an ultralight, too.
Consider a Mechanical Keyboard, Too
An ultralight mouse might give you an edge in online shooters, but a mechanical keyboard will give you an edge in all typing applications. It’s a simple case of deciding which switches are right for you, and then buying or building the keyboard itself.
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