Let's face it: buying a new mouse for your computer is something even less than an impulse purchase. You want to spend as little time as possible doing research for this purchase, so I'll give it to you straight. The only three reasons to buy the HP X4500 are if (1) you just need a basic three-button wireless mouse; (2) you're right-handed; and (3) you have an aversion to the many better Logitech and Microsoft mice available.
The allure of the x4500 isn't its contoured platform or the razor-sharp laser sensor. It's actually the bargain price tag. You can get it online right now for less than $25 in the US, £21 in the UK and AU$40 in Australia.
The x4500 keeps it simple with standard left and right clickers on top and a notched scroll wheel in the middle that also works as a third button. If you're looking for a faster way to access application shortcuts, the Logitech M510 is a tinkerer's dream with seven buttons and a budget price tag.
Without any complicated drivers for your computer, installation is as easy as plugging the small wireless receiver into any available USB port. Of course, that means this mouse doesn't work with tablets. If you prefer Bluetooth for dongle-free compatibility, go with Logitech's MX Anywhere 2 or M535 instead.
The product page says it's compatible with all modern Microsoft Windows systems, but I tested it on a Mac and a Google Chromebook and it worked just as well.
I've used the mouse eight hours a day for a week straight now and really appreciate the sculpted shape. If you're used to the monolithic plastic mice bundled with PCs these days, you'll love the sloping surface and the large thumb rest that holds your hand in a natural position.
The top panel easily pops off to reveal the battery compartment, and there's space for the USB receiver inside so it won't get lost in transit. I wasn't able to test this claim, but HP says two AA batteries can power the mouse for 30 months before you have to swap them out.
In my experience, the laser sensor underneath tested smooth and precise across most surfaces, including an office desk, a wood table and a kitchen counter. It skipped around on a marble island and didn't track at all on glass, but that's not surprising for a mouse at this price.
If you need a mouse that can track on anything, you'll have to pay a lot more for the flagship Logitech MX Master. For everyone else -- and especially shoppers on a budget with simplicity at the top of their list, the HP x4500 is a reliable mouse that cradles your hand with all-day comfort.