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Summary:

I don’t know how many different pointing devices I’ve gone through in the past 25 years, but it’s a lot. In part, this is because I find that one of the easiest ways to avoid RSI is to switch keyboards and pointing devices from time to […]

ScreenshotI don’t know how many different pointing devices I’ve gone through in the past 25 years, but it’s a lot. In part, this is because I find that one of the easiest ways to avoid RSI is to switch keyboards and pointing devices from time to time, giving new muscles a workout. Recently I switched to an Evoluent VerticalMouse, and after a couple of weeks of use, I give it a definite thumbs up.

The VerticalMouse is a rather large (the picture shows it next to an Apple mouse for comparison) device that communicates with the computer via a dedicated wireless USB receiver. It has to be large because of its one special feature: it’s designed to grip with your hand rotated 90 degrees from what you probably think of as normal mousing position. Your thumb goes on the left side of the mouse, and your fingers on the right side, as if you were reaching out to shake someone’s hand (sorry, lefties, they don’t have a model for you). Evoluent’s marketing talks about this being an arm-neutral position; I just know it’s a comfortable one.

The VerticalMouse has five buttons including a scroll wheel. Though its included drivers are for Windows only, I’m happily using it on a Mac Pro with USB Overdrive, which gives it plenty of programmability. The sensitivity is plenty high enough to use comfortably with a pair of high-resolution monitors as well.

At $120, the VerticalMouse is higher priced than much of its competition. But given how much time I spend moving the cursor around every day, I’m finding it a worthwhile investment.

Got a mouse of your own to recommend?

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By Mike Gunderloy

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  1. How was the adjustment? Just holding my hand on its side (yes, I just did that) felt comfortable but strange, so I would imagine you spent a while getting used to the new grip.

  2. Phillip McGregor Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    I use a Microsoft Trackball Explorer that holds my hand about 30° rotated. It has served me well for several years working with vector graphics. The 90° position seems to only be effective if your chair is adjusted so that the forearm is level and parallel with the table.

  3. logitech ballmouse

  4. Emily, it took two or three days – most of that was getting used to having mapped the buttons differently than on the Logitech trackball I was replacing.

    Phillip: Trackball Explorer is a great trackball; I’ve used several. If they hadn’t discontinued the model I liked the most I might still be buying them.

  5. Matt Hussein Platte Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Logitech Marble. It’s ambidextrous. It’s $20.

  6. I used the Apple one, but it’s definitely far from being comfortable. I just switched to a very comfortable and almost vertical Logitech one, way way better.

  7. My favorite mouse is the Bluetooth-connection Logitech MX1000 laser mouse. It has wonderfully useful PageUp and PageDown buttons above and below the scroll wheel.

  8. My favorite is the 3M Renaissance Mouse, where you grip it like a hammer, and use your thumb for clicking.
    It solved my arm pain a few years ago, and someone else’s as well.

    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ergonomics/home/products/ergonomicmouse/

  9. I’ve been using these mice for a couple of years, and they work great. My wrist pains have gone away, and it only took a couple of days to get used to them. I dont even think twice about it now.

  10. I use a Quill vertical mouse – this has a scooped out rest for the ‘down’ side of your hand, and they do both a right hand and a left hand model.

    I’ve used it for years, and I love it. I really notice the difference if I have to use a ‘normal’ mouse for a while.

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