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Matt Gahrns
Matt Gahrns

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Why Using A Mouse On A Laptop Makes You More Productive

Let's face it, laptops are a great tool for developers and on the go productivity. Their compact size and ability to last hours on end on a single charge makes them a wonderful tool to work anywhere. To my knowledge every laptop on the market (besides maybe some high-end gaming ones) comes standard with a trackpad. The trackpad is great and embodies the whole concept of having a fully functioning computer in your lap, but it can slow you down a whole lot if you work on a desk. In my opinion investing in even just a $20 mouse can increase your productivity by ten times.

If you ask just about anyone who has gone from using one monitor to two, or just a laptop to laptop with a monitor they will tell you that they cannot go back. I have the same opinion about using a mouse with a laptop.

Firstly I have to admit that I don't use my mouse 100% of the time. For instance if I am typing and have to move my cursor just a bit to edit a misspelled word I will sometimes use the trackpad because it is there and using the mouse for the action wouldn't save much time if at all. The trackpad is also faster for some things like scrolling the page down a little. The mouse really comes into play when doing multiple actions. This is especially noticeable while coding.

Working with tons of lines of code you will most likely be jumping between lines and words constantly. Sometimes using IDE features to use multiple cursors at once. It becomes very slow and tedious to jump between lots of precision points anywhere on your computer screen with a trackpad. Things become even tricker when you take left and right clicks into consideration.

With a mouse it is really easy to switch between left and right clicks and have a lot more speed and control over your cursor. With a trackpad I find myself constantly running out of "pad" and needing to readjust my fingers which takes a lot of time. This really adds up when you are trying to click multiple targets in a row that are on opposite ends on whatever you are working on. With a mouse you can hit all the targets so much more quickly and accurately once you find the right sensitivity and DPI. A mouse is also way easier to adjust if you over or under shoot your target.

Obviously trackpads are a great tool and these days can have their sensitivity adjusted as well, but the mouse is just far superior in my eyes. Even with a comfortable sensitivity on my trackpad, I find I am much more accurate and have to readjust my finger/hand position way less and way less often than when using the trackpad. The trackpad can be great for scrolling down a tiny bit, like when I have been writing this blog as Dev.to doesn't automatically scroll for you when you run out of typing space. It's also good for small movements like going back in the sentence you are currently typing to add a letter you might have missed. For doing anything else though the mouse will make life so much easier for you and you wont be able to go back.

Top comments (1)

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Adrian Widerski

If you have MacBook, touchpad have a more friendly experience than any mouse in my opinion.

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