Hardware

Review: The Evoluent VerticalMouse 3

The Evoluent VerticalMouse takes a high quality, full featured mouse, and flips it on its side to a neutral position that reduces the stress on a user's wrist and hand.

The Evoluent VerticalMouse 3 takes a high quality, full featured mouse, and flips it on its side. By keeping the arm in a more natural position, strain on the wrist is lessened, repetitive stress injuries may be less severe or less likely to occur, and the user does not experience as much fatigue from using the computer.

Specifications

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Mac OSX 10.4.5 and higher, Linux (limited usage)
  • Interface: USB only (will not work with PS2 adapters)
  • DPI: 2,600, 1,800, 1,300, 800
  • Buttons: Five buttons (left click, right click, middle click, clickable scroll wheel, thumb button)
  • Price: $80
  • Additional vendor supplied information

Who's it for?

If you are having wrist, elbow, or other arm problems, or are concerned about the potential damage caused by using a mouse, this device is for you.

What problems does it solve?

Using standard mice keeps the user's arm rotated 90 degrees out of its natural position. The Evoluent VerticalMouse keeps the user's hand in a "neutral" position. This may reduce or eliminate many of the ergonomic problems that are experienced with a traditional mouse.

Standout features

  • Does what it says it does: After months or personal usage, I can confirm that that this mouse truly does feel better to use over the course of the day, and the pain I used to feel in my wrists is completely gone.
  • High quality: This mouse is well constructed, without feeling heavy.
  • Adjustable resolution: Like many gaming mice, the VerticalMouse allows the user to select from a range of resolutions.
  • Bevy of buttons: There are enough buttons on this mouse to meet anyone's needs.
  • Easily repositioned: Unlike many pointing devices, the VerticalMouse, by tilting it slightly, can be moved around on the mouse pad without moving the pointer on the display. This is a huge improvement over standard mice, which need to be picked up entirely to accomplish the same behavior.
  • Short learning curve: Unlike many ergonomically designed devices, the learning curve is relatively short. I was using it like a pro within a day of usage.

What's wrong?

  • Limited support on non-Microsoft platforms: Not all buttons work on Linux. Programming the buttons is only supported in Windows XP and Vista (and presumably Server 2003, 2008, and Windows 7, although this is not tested).
  • Learning curve: While the learning curve may be short, there is still a learning curve. A day of less than productive usage is fine for someone looking to use the device long term, but expect "visitors" to your workstation to complain.
  • Some buttons are too easy to click: I found that the thumb button and the bottom-most button were too easy to accidentally click, especially when grasping the mouse to use it. As a consequence, I disabled those buttons.
  • Cost: The Evoluent VerticalMouse is a bit pricier than an equalivent standard mouse.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Ergonomic keyboards entered the mainstream consciousness a long time ago, and many businesses are happy to provide them to employees who ask for them. However, few people are aware that there are ergonomic mouse choices as well. When people think of ergonomic mice, they usually think of trackballs. Trackballs do reduce wrist strain, but often at the expense of being tiresome for the fingers to use.

The Evoluent VerticleMouse is an outstanding complement to an ergonomic keyboard. Heavy computer users will appreciate the fact that they may dramatically reduce or eliminate the wear and tear on their wrist, elbow, arm, and shoulders by using this device. Businesses that are concerned about the well being of their employees should investigate this device.

While the cost is a bit higher than a traditional mouse, the benefits of the mouse should pay for itself fairly quickly, especially for employees who are already experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and other computer-usage related problems. Using the Evoluent VerticalMouse and reducing the strain associated with a traditional mouse has increased my productivity during months of usage, which has more than justified the cost.

User Rating

Have you used a vertical mouse? If so, what were your thoughts on it?

Have you encountered the Evoluent VerticalMouse 3? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the VerticalMouse in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

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