May 22, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Computer Mice – Products – Review 2020

Many PC users go about their day-to-day digital business without thinking twice about their mice, while others swear by their device of choice. The Microsoft Precision Mouse ($99.99) is aimed at sophisticated users looking for more from their pointer, by way of both comfort and customization. The ergonomic design and customizable buttons allow you to flow through your most-used programs with ease and comfort compared to the average mouse. It’s absolutely a step above a basic mouse in terms of build quality, support, and options, as you’d hope given the steeper price. We like it, but some small issues and less overall enthusiasm for the design keep us from recommending the Precision over our top pick, the Logitech MX Master 3.

A Comfy, Premium Design

Many general-use mice are simple and prioritize affordability, but the Microsoft Precision Mouse has loftier aims. It wants to be your daily driver without concessions, offering some customization and a nice, sculpted look. The belief with more expensive mice like this and the abovementioned Logitech is that the added cost is well worth the comfort and special features for a device you’re going to use for hours each day. This is a follow-up to the similarly named Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse, which shared a lot in common with the updated model.

Microsoft Precision Mouse thumb rest

The Precision Mouse is very clearly above-average quality, as you can tell from the moment you first hold it. If you’re used to a generic plastic mouse, the sculpted, palm-shaped curve feels like a blessing. The painted finish feels nice in your palm, and the aluminum scroll wheel and side buttons provide a premium feel that many mice are lacking. We’ve most often seen the Precision in black in promotional material, but we have it here in Surface gray.

In terms of shape and design, the left-side thumb rest is especially comfortable for long work sessions, and you’ll begin to wonder how you ever went without it. Such a feature isn’t new by any stretch, but it’s part of why you’re paying extra; it’s a popular inclusion in gaming mice, but less common among general-use mice like this one. Of course, the thumb rest being on the left means this mouse is designed for right-handed users.

The entire mouse, not just the thumb rest, was designed ergonomically; from the palm-rest shape to its height, it’s meant to cradle your hand to reduce fatigue. It’s definitely comfortable—like the build quality, certainly better than an average mouse. I didn’t review Logitech’s MX Master 3 myself, so I can’t speak directly to comparative comfort, plus everyone’s hand is different. That said, our reviewer of that mouse sounded a bit more enthusiastic about it than I am about the Precision Mouse’s comfort, for what that’s worth.

Microsoft Precision Mouse front view

In addition to the left and right clicks and the clickable scroll wheel, there are five buttons on the Precision Mouse. One is just behind the scroll wheel on the top of the mouse, and by default switches between normal detent scrolling and a smooth scroll. It will scroll as long as the mouse wheel is turning, but doesn’t spin too long as some other mice do. The other solitary button is the Bluetooth pairing button on the bottom of the mouse.

Microsoft Precision Mouse underside

The other three buttons are located along the side, next to the thumb rest. By default, the front- and rearmost buttons go forward and back in browsers and other apps, while the middle button switches to windowed task view. Aside from the dedicated Bluetooth connection button, all buttons can be customized in Microsoft’s software, so let’s take a look at that.

Setup and Use

The utility you’ll need is called Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center, and can be downloaded for free from Microsoft’s site. You must first connect the Precision Mouse to your computer via Bluetooth (there is no USB receiver dongle, but there is a micro-USB cable) before it will show up in the software. This is done as you’d add any device to a Windows machine with the Bluetooth menu. 

To make the Precision Mouse findable by Windows, you hold the bottom pairing button for five to seven seconds, and it should show up as an option in the device list. You can pair the mouse with up to three devices by pressing the pairing button to switch between the profiles and repeating the process with a different computer. This is one of the major new features in this mouse compared to the previous version.

Microsoft Precision Mouse side view

The mouse connected fairly easily for me, but I was disappointed with the consistency of the connection. For starters, the software occasionally seemed to lose track of whether I had a compatible device connected when I first opened it, before registering and moving on to the customization screen. It didn’t always default to the latter, even though the mouse was still connected, so it didn’t feel quite as seamless as it should.

In addition, overall connection consistency was hit-and-miss. There were long stretches where it worked fine, but my cursor would occasionally go through periods of stuttering and skipping. Bluetooth always has its issues, as any frequent user knows, but this is not what you want from a mouse. Additionally, even after a long charging period, my PC notified me that the battery was at 0 percent. (The battery did have a charge, though.)

Software and Customization

Once paired, you can choose what each customizable button should do in the software. The interface is straightforward, if very basic-looking. You don’t need frills with a daily-use mouse, but it’s a very spartan menu. Add the fact that it wasn’t the most responsive software, and it comes off as a bit underwhelming considering it is powering a $100 mouse.

Microsoft Precision Mouse button customization

On the main tab is a vertical list of all inputs, and you can select any of them to change its functionality. Left- and right-click can only be customized to swap with one another, while the others can do virtually anything else. The general list includes turning a button into a dedicated DPI switcher, a magnify button, and an array of Windows shortcuts.

Microsoft Precision Mouse app customization

The more complex offerings allow you to record a macro, while another tab at the top of the window lets you define commands on a per-program basis. If you want to get very specific with your inputs, and spend a lot of time in certain apps where hotkeys are king, this unassuming software can help you out. It also includes a useful option to apply your settings to any machine you pair the mouse with, so you don’t have to repeat your customization.

Our Conclusion? The MX Master Is Still the…Master

The Microsoft Precision Mouse is a good premium mouse that will no doubt be an upgrade over the average mice you’re used to. If you’re coming from a favorite high-end daily driver, I won’t recommend it unequivocally, as I find it good but not great—it’s comfortable and customizable, but the connectivity issue gives me pause. The Logitech MX Master 3 edges it on both the hardware and software fronts, remaining our top pick among premium productivity mice.

Microsoft Precision Mouse


  • High-quality construction

  • Comfortable design

  • Smooth scrolling option

  • Customizable buttons, including three thumb inputs

  • Can pair to multiple devices at once

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  • Pricey

  • Designed for right-handed users only

  • Occasionally spotty connectivity

  • So-so customization software

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The Bottom Line

The Microsoft Precision Mouse is a comfortable, high-quality mouse for power users, but it has some shortcomings that keep us from an unequivocal recommendation.

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