We’ve been reviewing quite a bit of gaming mice so far, with lots of ups and downs, some good, and some not so much. But today we’re taking a break from gaming, and instead, we’re focusing on the area the mouse and keyboard were originally created for; productivity. Back in the day, people were more focused on getting the job done, with no regard to the worker’s health or general wellbeing. This was mostly common in construction or other industries which relied on excessive physical labor, but also managed to seep into office environments, due to the disregard of the importance ergonomics in their chairs, desks, mice, and keyboards.
Office mice have always been especially problematic; since the advent of the first of these peripherals, the user has alway had to bend their arm and wrist into unnatural positions in order to operate them. These compromises in ergonomics have always lead to certain health issues that originate from the undue pressure put on the wrist, specifically on a small tunnel-like structure where the median nerve travels from the forearm to the hand, called the carpal tunnel. The most common ailment that originates from these conditions is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and features symptoms such as tenderness, tingling, burning sensations, weakness, and general pain in the hand and wrist.
As a society, we’ve grown accustomed to using the standard mouse to get the job done, without regarding the consequences that said peripherals have on our health. This is the train of thought Jack Lo was following when he invented and patented the Evoluent VerticalMouse, the first generation of a new line of ergonomic peripherals.
Normally, we follow a certain set of standard when reviewing the gaming mice that fall into our hands. However, considering that we’re not talking about a gaming mouse this time around, we have to make a few exceptions. In that sense, we won’t be grading the Evoluent considering the usual aspects such as sensor quality, additional buttons, etc. Instead, we’ll be judging it in terms of its true purpose; providing comfort while performing everyday tasks such as creating spreadsheets, performing research, writing up documents, or simply browsing the web.
The fact that the VerticalMouse’s strength stems from its design is as obvious as the nose on one’s face. At first, this peripheral can come across as odd or quirky. After all, we’re talking about a mouse that is 3 inches tall and that is meant to be held sideways. It is unlike every other mouse available on the market. And this uniqueness is precisely what gives it its strength. Thanks to the sideways grip, not unlike a handshake position, this mouse removes any sort of wrist strain that is produced by other regular mice. The result is a peripheral that can be used for hours on end with utmost comfort throughout the whole session.
This mouse is made completely of plastic, but its build quality is spot-on, featuring a sturdy structure that feels compact and strong. The body is coated with a rubbery texture which facilitates a better grip, without undue strain on the grasping fingers. Each section of this product is colored differently to make clear which part of the hand goes where; the thumb rest located on the left side is made of chromed plastic, while the front buttons on the right side feature a shiny purple tone.
I know we said we wouldn’t be considering the number of additional buttons since this is not a gaming mouse, but we feel it’s fair to mention that the VerticalMouse has 2 additional buttons located on the thumb rests. These clickers are accessed easily via the thumb and are mapped by default to the “back” and “forward” functions of your browser, but can be customized using the Evoluent Mouse Manager software included with your purchase.
As for tracking and precision, this mouse is equipped with an optical sensor, which means that it provides great tracking with high fidelity on most surfaces. The sensitivity of the sensor is adjustable in up to 4 levels, with a ceiling of 2,600 CPI, which is more than enough speed to perform any task. The currently selected CPI setting is shown on the thumb rest in the form of red LEDs that light up depending on which level is chosen.
The Evoluent VerticalMouse definitely shines for its different form factor which favors hand health without compromising on functionality. The possibility of adjusting CPI on the fly, coupled with 2 additional buttons, and a great software to customize the product’s performance make this peripheral a great choice for anyone that has hand, wrist or elbow lesions that complicate the use of regular mice. And even if you don’t have any type of injury, we recommend this mouse for those that are working on the computer for long periods at a time.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com
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