computer mouse alternatives

Computer Mouse Alternatives : Which is the Best?

XPPen 2024-02-19 17:42:55 4 min read

When you invest your hard-earned cash in a quality drawing tablet, you do so because you want to enjoy the benefits of being able to create amazingly detailed digital art wherever you go. The thing is, you don't want your experience to be hindered by the technology you use to interact with it.

All the great features on offer can take your artwork to the next level, however, when you use a regular mouse, it can hinder the creative process. In this article, we look at the computer mouse alternatives  to see which comes out on top.

The Reasons Why Standard Mouse Alternatives Are Needed

The first computer mouse as we know it today was invented back in 1963 by Douglas Engelbart, and it used a rolling ball to track movement across a surface. Fast forward to the modern day, and while contemporary optical products now use a laser to track movement, they're essentially the same device, and their limitations when used for digital artwork necessitate the use of mouse alternatives.

The problems people encounter when using standard optical mice with drawing tablets are many, including the following:

  • Lack of precision - when you're drawing your next masterpiece, you need fine control for those detailed areas, and a regular computer mouse just can't offer it. That's why you often end up with jagged lines instead of what you intended.

  • Limited pressure sensitivity this is a crucial aspect when talking about digital art, as pressure sensitivity affects your ability to vary line thickness and add texture and detail to your work. Artistic expression can be majorly curtailed with a regular mouse.

  • Discomfort over time if you spend hours drawing with a computer mouse, it's likely to end up being uncomfortable, leading to strain and issues like carpal tunnel syndrome - which is no fun at all! This is basically because these devices are designed for the nuanced movements required when drawing.

  • Limited Tilt & Rotation Sensitivity unlike options like styluses (which we'll get to a little later), a computer mouse can't detect either rotation or tilt. When attempting to create dynamic strokes on artwork, it just doesn't cut it.

The same can be said for laptop computer mousepads which can be even more restrictive in terms of the control you get. Again, there's no pressure, tilt or rotation sensitivity and prolonged use can lead to discomfort and frustration. So, what are the main computer mouse and mouse pad alternatives ? Stay with us as we explore the options.

The Regular Computer Mouse Alternatives  to Consider

Thankfully, there are several regular mouse alternatives  for you to think about using with your drawing tablet. So, let's dive in and see what's available.

The Roller Bar Mouse

The first alternative is the roller bar mouse, which features a rolling bar that controls cursor movement. It's positioned between the user and the keyboard/tablet, and you operate it by sliding or rolling the bar. It does reduce wrist strain and overcomes the issue of limited desk space, but…and this is a big one - there's a distinct lack of precise control.

Roller bar mice are designed for basic navigation and scrolling, meaning you won’t be able to create intricate designs or make smooth, consistent lines.

Verdict: Hit or Miss? Miss

The Optical Pen Mouse

The next of our computer mouse alternatives  is the optical pen mouse, which, at first glance, looks like the a good choice. It looks like a pen, so you'd assume that aspect would make it a better fit for digital art. The problem is that while an optical pen mouse might look like a pen, it's still just an optical mouse.

As such, it's going to suffer from the same issues in terms of pressure sensitivity, accuracy and precision. Detailed work and line quality are going to be hard to achieve.

Verdict: Hit or Miss? Miss

Your Finger!

You'll sometimes see people using their fingers on a drawing tablet, which you can do. You can use your finger to create broad sweeping lines here and there, but what you'll be able to create with something that wide is going to be pretty basic. The reason is obvious, as you can't hope to do any kind of detailed work in this way.

It might seem like a more natural computer or mousepad alternative , but the total lack of pressure sensitivity will hold you back from adding any kind of intricate detail to your work. Not forgetting, of course, that fingers can leave smudges on the screen (everyone's hands have a natural oil on them), and they make it difficult to see what you're working on.

Verdict: Hit or Miss? Miss

The X3 Pro Roller Stylus

Now we get to see why the only serious computer mouse alternative  to consider for any discerning artist is a stylus pen, and we recommend one in particular - the X3 Pro Roller Stylus. Weighing in at just 16 grams (less than your average lightweight fountain pen) and measuring 147.17 mm in length, this is a stylus that's redefining how digital art is created.

X3 Pro Roller stylus

Giving you the ability to access all the common functions you get with a mouse, this cutting-edge stylus gives you the same levels of precision you get when putting pencil to paper. It's also programmable to your preferences.

Mouse Control From the Stylus

Raising the bar in terms of what a stylus pen can do, and with an innovative scroll wheel and dual short keys, you can carry out clicks, right-clicks and double-clicks from right there on the pen. It even delivers 100% higher pressure levels (16K) and 20% more accuracy compared to the X3 Smart Chip Stylus.

You'll experience virtually no lag, and it allows you to add mind-blowing levels of detail up to a 60-degree tilt for super-precise control. Also, thanks to its Electro-magnetic resonance (EMR) technology, it means that every stroke you make appears where you expect it to.

EMR technology

Hours of Comfortable Creation

It doesn't need to be charged and features a comfortable cone-shaped design at the tip with a skin-friendly silicone grip, so you can work for hours without stopping. The X3 Pro Roller Stylus works with:

Furthermore, the X3 Pro Smart Chip inside XP Pen tablets allows it to recognise the X3 Pro Roller's stylus intelligently, including all of your pre-selected settings. Compared to all the other computer mouse and mousepad alternatives , it's in another stratosphere!

Verdict: Hit or Miss? Hit! Hit! Hit!

Easily the Best of the Computer Mouse Alternatives

If you're serious about the art you create with your drawing tablet, then there's really only one viable option from the computer mouse alternatives  we've spoken about here today. The X3 Pro Roller Stylus gives you the control and nuance you're looking for in a way that nothing else can - freeing you to express your creativity unhindered.

So, don't make do with second best when it comes to what you create. Invest in something that will help your artwork convey what you have in your mind's eye in the most detailed and nuanced way possible.

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Originated from 2005, XPPen is now one of the top brands under HANVON UGEE, integrated with digital drawing products, content and service as a globally notable digital brand of digital art innovation.

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  • X3 Pro Roller Stylus

        It features:

        • Customizable scroll wheel and shortcut keys for easy access to common functions

        • World's first 16K pressure levels for unmatched fine detail and precision

        • Smart ID recognition integrated

        Experience a new level of creativity and productivity!


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