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I'm looking to buy a relatively cheap, but decent USB mouse for my Mac laptop. If I just buy a random one, what are the chances that it'll "just work" on the Mac. I guess I'm trying to work out whether I'll have to do heaps of research into what will and will not work, or whether I can just assume it'll be fine.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can pretty much assume it'll be fine. Most cheap USB mice implement the HID (human interface device) protocol that's defined along with the USB standard itself, so unless you're getting some kind of super-intense twenty-button mouse with context-sensitive options and its own special drivers, you should be OK.

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I like Logitech mice for compatibility with Apple machines. Other then that, most everything will work. – Josh K Oct 13 '09 at 4:09
I use a Microsoft mouse and really like it. The drivers for Mac OS X are nearly identical to the ones for Windows. – alex Oct 13 '09 at 11:59
I've not found any mouse that doesn't work. Same for keyboards. – Rich Bradshaw Oct 13 '09 at 13:13

99.9% for basic mice. Ones with multiple buttons and special features may need special drivers but ordinary mice are very standard.

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Any usb mouse will work, but some of the advanced features, may require drivers for the advanced functionality.

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As everyone else said: Any mouse will work.

That being said: If you don't mind splurging a little, the Apple "Magic Mouse" is really really nice. I have bad, stiff, sore hands and it's wonderful to use. Clicking takes very little effort and the scrolling is great.

The little stupid wheels on other mice takes way too much fine motor control; but on the magic mouse I can just scroll in whatever way my hand feels like it today.

If you are a more sophisticated mouse-user than me you'll also appreciate the various pinch effects, multi-finger tools etc etc.

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