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.

20 comments
langr
langr

I'd recommend trying a trackball - there are a number of different styles out there and the big difference is your hand/wrist stays stationary, you just roll the ball to move the mouse. I find it easier and much more comfortable to use than a mouse or trackpad.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I actually find it almost uncomfortable. I still need to use my wrist brace to mouse for long periods of time. And I don't actually require an ergonomic keyboard, but my first keyboard ever was the 1997 Microsoft natural keyboard, so I learned to type on that. I am glad MS finally reproduced it, I just wish it wasn't wireless...

monika_newman
monika_newman

I think the Handshoe Mouse is the best mouse ever. Completely corrected my carpal tunnel syndrome after only one weeks use. http://www.handshoemouse.com/ Like anything new takes a little getting used to but once you relax into it it's great.

tws
tws

A touchpad is a more natural pointing device than a mouse or trackball. The latter two still leads to many stress on the hand, arm and shoulder. Let your fingers do the pointing. I do not find a head pointing device the answer either for a non physical challenged person.

gwd3
gwd3

Been using the Evoluent for a couple of years now. It's the most ergonomic mouse I've used and still get people coming by my desk threatening to steal it from me (hahaha). They have a companion keyboard that isn't as ergo as the mouse, but it has a small footprint. Needless to say, I've grown to love this mouse and have never experienced the tired wrist syndrome I get with other "ergo" mice. It allows my wrist and hand to rest in a natural or neutral position which drastically reduces strain. I highly recommend this mouse as a part of an overall ergonomic solution, especially for companies or individuals looking to reduce workplace RMI or other repetitive strain injuries.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ergonomics/home/products/ergonomicmouse/ Resting the 'pinky' side of my hand on the base quickly became uncomfortable. All of the weight of my hand was being supported by the outer side. Also, my thumb tired of clicking the 'right / left click' toggle on the top. I abandoned the device after a couple of days. The Evoluent looks significantly different from the 3M, enough to make me consider it the next time I need to replace my Contour Perfit mouse: http://ergo.contourdesign.com/products/product-detail.aspx?id=36

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What do you think of the vertical mouse? What about other alternative pointing devices? Do you have repetitive motion pain?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm too ham-fingered to use a touchpad, especially at higher screen resolutions, and I refuse to do so while I have comfortable alternatives. If I know the device I'm going to be using had only a touchpad (laptop, etc.), I pack a USB mouse. A full-sized mouse, not one of those useless dinky, two-finger 'travel' rodents.

d_baron
d_baron

That is sure what it looks like. Is there a lefty version Most other mice are ambi, at least to some extent. I am righty but use the mouse with the left hand for some reason. This one?

klh456
klh456

I have been using the Evoluent mouse for well over a year and would not part with it. The switch has made a definite difference in the way my hand feels at the end of the day. I have tried numerous other devices including several trackballs and nothing has provided the comfort that the Evoluent mouse does. I would (and have) recommend it to anyone who is having any signs of RSI in the hand or wrist area. It is well worth the extra $$$ to avoid a work related injury and the cost associated with it.

mmoran
mmoran

Current incarnation, the LogiTech Trackman Wheel. Tried their very first 'ball when it came out, and never looked back. Even dropped a Franklin for one to use at work when my employer wouldn't pop for it. Only complaint is that the bearings on which the ball rides tend to collect dust and make the ball movement "sticky." I just remove and leave out the assembly screws so I can pry it apart and clean whenever needed. Don't have to worry about picking it up to re-position either... no mousepad needed. And just enough desktop space for your hand is all you need.

Justin James
Justin James

I love my Evoluent VerticalMouse! That being said, I'm willing to experiment with some of the others as well, particularly the 3M model and the Microsoft offering (I've always really liked their mice, but in general I dislike wireless mice). J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

Maybe I just never used them enough, but I find that my fingertip aches after a few minutes of usage. I clearly set my finger too hard on them. I also need to turn off the tap-clicking for the same reason. Maybe if they had a "shock absorber" under them I would find them more comfortable. I fare a bit better with a pointer stick. But like you, I just bring a real mouse with me if I know I'm going to be traveling and need it (ie: will I actually be working on the computer, or just giving a presentation?). I'm lucky in that I very rarely need to be "on the go" with my laptop... 5, 6 times a year at most. I don't even have a laptop bag. J.Ja

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Look again, I found a lefty model pretty quickly.

Justin James
Justin James

They always seemed to get my fingers tired, but I may have been using them incorrectly as well. J.Ja

blaqwolf
blaqwolf

I have to agree with mmoran; the Logitech Trackamn Marble wireless is what I use. Everyone in my house uses them (mine is the only wireless one)and I have converted quite a few people over the years to them. Small footprint, less wrist pain, and no dirty pad. I can even rest the wireless on the arm of my chair and lean back while reading TR! At work I move around too much to use my own trackball but as I get older I am starting to consider just carrying one with me.

pgit
pgit

An office manager I do IT for has a big, old school track ball pointer. I find it quite usable and it is more comfortable than a standard mouse, especially when standing over her shoulder trying to show her things. Funny thing, I saw this article right after cleaning off some shelves, on which I found a couple of these in the box: http://www.zerotensionmouse.com/ Plugged one in for giggles. Man, unlike the track ball, if you are not perfectly aligned with the surface you're running this mouse on, this thing is a killer. Scroll is difficult under the best circumstance.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

A thumb trackball gives me cramps in my thumb in about five minutes.

drumbeat
drumbeat

My wife will only use a trackball. She is ambidextrous and when one hand is sore, she just moves it to the other side. Of course, she still has to configure the buttons in Control Panel. Me, I'll stay with my tried and true mouse.

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