wireless vs corded : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary
©1997-2017 2014-10-24 Roedy Green of Canadian Mind Products
- wireless or corded
Nowadays you can attach your keyboard and mouse either with a cord,
if you buy a different model and connect wirelessly with radio waves.
Which should you pick?
Advantages of Wireless
- If you are constantly packing your laptop for travel, you
won’t put any wear on the connectors because there is nothing
to connect and reconnect. The USB (Universal Serial Bus) connectors are fairly
delicate. It is easy to try to connect them upside down with a
- There are no clumsy cords cluttering your desk.
Disadvantages of Wireless
- With wireless, the mouse and keyboard each need a battery. This
battery can die at an inconvenient time and it adds weight. Happily
electronics have extended battery life to a year or more. Batteries
used to die every week or so.
- Configuring the wireless radio transmission frequencies can be
somewhat complicated. Sometimes is it fully automatic. Other times,
especially when there are other mice or keyboards nearby, it can
have you pulling your hair.
- If you take your laptop into a roomful of people also using
wireless mice and keyboards, their radio transmissions can interfere
with each other. The radio trasmissions are remarkably powerful.
They can inferere from other rooms. When you have that problem, you
must reconfigure to find a frequency nobody else is using. Mice are
not smart like cellphones, automatically reconfiguring themselves
not to interfere.
- Some people don’t like exposing themselves to radio waves,
no matter how low the dose.
Advantages of Corded
- With wireless, the speed of the communication is limited by the
radio link. With wired, it is limited by the speed of the USB-2
port. This means a wired mouse can respond more quickly and
accurately than a wireless mouse.
- A wired mouse or keyboard does not need a battery. It has lots of
power for lights and other fancy features.
- This may sound like a joke, but you can find a corded mouse by
chasing the cord. A wireless mouse can hide under papers or go
wandering off your desk.
Disadvantages of Corded
- Most wired mice are premium gaming mice, so you pay extra for the
gaming features, even if all you wanted was the cord.