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Review of Ergonomic Evoluent VerticalMouse 3

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the good-timing-my-wrist-is-throbbing-again dept.

190

JJJumper writes "CoolTechZone.com reviews Evoluent's VerticalMouse 3 mouse that's touted to be the world's most health conscious, ergonomics friendly mouse in the world. And it's vertical, too, instead of horizontal. The review states, "Unlike other mice, Evoluent's VerticalMouse 3 stands vertical to locate your hand in a handshake position, or where the arm is in 90-degrees form from the tabletop. It even has a small lip at the bottom to prevent your little finger from touching the desk. According to the company, this is the most natural position for the hand to be in and it reduces a magnitude of stress from your hand, wrist and arm. Apparently traditional mice with horizontal statures twist your lower arm and put unnecessary stress on its vital areas. We must admit that getting used to the mouse didn't take too long, even though it was slightly awkward to get used to in the beginning. After all, old habits die hard."

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Looks Nice (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635399)

You can pick it up at Amazon [amazon.com] for $60.23. About 20 bucks below retail - not a bad deal.
 
That is an affiliate link- if you consider that to be a problem, you don't want to click on it.

Re:Looks Nice (4, Informative)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635495)

There's a left-handed version too, for us southpaws, but Amazon's got it for eighty bucks, where the right-handed one is going for sixty. Discrimination, I say!

Re:Looks Nice (3, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635709)

Being a lefty is just hard - The Human Solution [thehumansolution.com] has it for less. I am not familiar with them, their level of service, etc. but it looks like they've got the left handed versions for about $70.
 
I'm fortunate - I write and eat left handed but do just about everything else right handed.

Re:Looks Nice (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636393)

Hurray for being a 'bastard' southpaw.

Left Handed:
Writing
Tennis
Soldering
Knives
Spoons

Right Handed:
Mice
Throwing
Kicking

Either:
Forks

The really weird exception to the rule is FPS... back in my FPS days I would always use my left hand. I think it's because I don't like moving my left hand as much as my left fingers, and FPS I only need minute control over the mouse as I do all movement with the keypad.

Who knows.

Re:Looks Nice (2, Funny)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637401)

You kick with your right hand? That's fucked.

Re:Looks Nice (2, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635753)

As another alternative, newegg has one for slightly cheaper ($1 cheaper), but some people might like to know that as well.

Looks Nice, but UK buyers get stiffed again (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636811)

> You can pick it up at Amazon for $60.23.

Whereas on amazon.co.uk, it's 76 *pounds*, or roughly $150.

Ye flippin' gods...

Re:Looks Nice, but UK buyers get stiffed again (2, Informative)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637047)

I haven't searched in detail, but this company from the USA seems to be shipping it to the UK at a sane price: http://store.ergocube.com/evsu.html [ergocube.com]

Re:Looks Nice, but UK buyers get stiffed again (1)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637193)

Well, ok, not that sane, seems to be just shy of $100, which is still over £50 for a mouse.

Re:Looks Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637631)

Still not as healthy and practical as a good trackball. (I didn't say thumball, which I absolutely detest as much as the mouse)

What about comfort? (2, Insightful)

gravos (912628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635441)

The review seems only to be touting the health benefits of using the mouse, but if it really reduced stress on key parts of your wrist and arm I expect it would be a lot more comfortable, too. The only problem I can forsee is that it wouldn't fit on those roll-out trays that a lot of desks have for your keyboard and mouse, and that's a pretty serious drawback.

Huge penis failure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635579)

In your pants! [goatse.cz]

The Lone Troller

Seat Position (4, Interesting)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636007)

I, like many office workers, sit in an non-OSHA approved seating position while at work. My chair is at it's lowest height, leaned back as far as it will go, and my arm is not near a 90 degree angle. But I'm damn comfortable. My mouse is pointed at "11:00" because that's how my wrist like it. My brain is trained to understand that forward towards the monitor will lead the mouse pointer diaganol towards the top right of the screen. Moving the mouse diagonaly left/forward, moves the pointer vertically on the screen.

To compensate for the fact that I don't have a "natural" or "ergonomic" keyboard I have changed my finger position from the standard "asd fjkl;" line up to "cdsa nkl;" my fingers make the "ergonomic" shape.

They make these things for people who sit "properly" the only problem is that most people don't sit "properly"

Re:Seat Position (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637247)

I hear ya. Low chair, leaned back, and my mouse sits more like 10:00, tho, and my comfortable finger placement is "a-w-e-f j-i-o-;". I also keep my keyboard far out in front of me, because it lets me rest nearly my entire forearm on the desk, and the mousepad is a little to the right, partway in front of the keyboard (it comes about as far in as the left side of the numpad), so my elbow sits on my chair's armrest and my hand is at the natural height and position it would sit at anyways when I use the mouse. It actually works quite well.

At home I actually have much better posture than at work, because I have a big gamer pad with a wrist rest, and you're not getting everything out of it if you're slouched back; it's designed for big arm movements instead of little wrist flicks. The biggest difference is that my work posture is keyboard-centric. I'm a keystroke addict even in windows, so I don't mouse much while I'm working. At home, my posture is mouse-centric, since my fingers basically sit on "shift-a-w-d" and don't move out of that general area, while my mouse hand is doing a lot of work.

Re:Seat Position (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637505)

yeah, thats it. Chair all the way back, ergonomic cushion round the neck to reduce neckstrain, soothing music on the headphones to relieve stress, .... someone wake me up when its 5:30 please.

Re:Seat Position (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637587)

I have changed my finger position from the standard "asd fjkl;" line up to "cdsa nkl;" my fingers make the "ergonomic" shape.
Interesting. Why C and N for the index fingers? I'd expect C and M, or V and N, to follow symmetry.

I wish split ergonomic keyboards would have redundant Y and B keys, one for each hand.

Anyway, I don't find palms facing each other as a restful position. Something has to support them otherwise I'm having to exert force to keep them that way. Relaxed with my arms in front of me, I'm palms-down, fingers slightly curled. When eating I don't rest an unused hand on my beverage.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635469)

I can use my pain meds on tennis elbow instead of carpal tunnel.

Useless (2, Insightful)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635499)

I have never experienced any pain or stress, even if I sit at my computer for extended ("unhealthy") periods. Why would you pay an extra buck to get a sketchy guarantee for a healthier wrist? The health effect on your wrist from a regular mouse is probably very minute.

Re:Useless (4, Insightful)

LullySing (164221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635611)

Wait till you get older. People tend to think they're invincible until they get injured ( a past self included) and then suddenly realise just how humanly frail we can be.

Re:Useless (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637291)

Fortunately, I'm young but I still know better. Any time I even think my wrist(s) might be getting vaguely kinda-sorta sore, I take it easy on the computer use for a few weeks, switch to mousing left-handed and / or using a trackball (actually easy except for games), change keyboard angle, etc. You don't need extreme solutions like a vertical mouse to keep healthy, you just need to pay attention to your body and take preventative measures as needed.

Re:Useless (1)

sewiv (171989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635649)

What a ridiculous comment. The effects of mouse use on the wrist is well-known. I can't use a standard mouse for more than about 10 minutes before my entire hand goes numb, but I can use my Evoluent 2 for hours on end.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636087)

You're in the minority my friend.

Re:Useless (3, Interesting)

louks (1075763) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636363)

IANA Ergonomics Expert, but from a computing standpoint, this is not the best idea for a mouse. With a standard mouse, finer motion control of the mouse is done with the fingertips and wrist, not the hand and arm. With a vertical mouse, you are controlling the cursor by moving the entire arm, including the shoulder. Sure, you eliminate finger arthritis pain, but muscles used for gross motor control are not optimal for pointing to the nearest pixel. I can forsee more shoulder problems and tennis elbow after long-term use of this device. They're just moving the repetitive motion onto a different ledger.

Re:Useless (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636541)

IANA Ergonomics Expert, but from a computing standpoint, this is not the best idea for a mouse. With a standard mouse, finer motion control of the mouse is done with the fingertips and wrist, not the hand and arm.
Then take the force sensor from a laptop "eraser" mouse, and attach one of these as a handle.

Re:Useless (1)

sewiv (171989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636681)

Try one. You'll see that you are incorrect. I find myself moving my Evoluent with my thumb and pinky more often than not.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637087)

I wish there was a way I could map my arrow keys to the mouse. Maybe ctrl-arrow key for movement and then enter to click on the icon. I could do that much better than a mouse.

Re:Useless (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636703)

Your argument sounds like "It's never affected me so therefore it's pointless".

Bullshit.

The problem with a normal mouse is that it encourages you to do a lot of sideways movement from your wrist, whereas the correct technique is supposed to be "move your entire forearm to move the mouse".

I had intense pain in the wrists, but a trackball solved that by changing the joints which do the moving to the fingers - which are designed to move around all day in many more directions than the wrist is. I'd expect that with a vertical mouse, the "sideways" movement becomes a "move wrist up and down" movement (albeit turned 90 degrees in the Z-axis), thus substantially reducing the sideways wrist movement.

like a fatguy eating butter before his heart attac (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636729)

He doesn't experience much pain or discomfort, but then it hits him. Your wrist/hand may not be complaining now, but may in time, eventually have some problems.
A mouse tends to keep a wrist at its full pronation (hand down) - which is not a normal thing. Anything that stresses a joint at its limit is morelikely to cause problems.

Re:Useless (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637269)

Wrong, but of course it depends on how much you use a computer. For those of us who sit in front of it day in, day out, doing our jobs, mouse pain is a huge issue (for me it's my elbow and the top of my forearm).

One solution is to master keyboard shortcuts and just avoid the mouse altogether.

Let's just say... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635521)

it isn't using the mouse that is causing most geeks wrist pain when using their PC. If you know what I mean.

Re:Let's just say... (1)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635653)

Interesting point. The hand spends most of its time in the handshake position during the activity you're implying...

Uhh... so I've heard...

Re:Let's just say... (1)

Gojaroo (987220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636039)

Gay guys spend double the time in the handshake position.

Re:Let's just say... (1)

iMac Were (911261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637223)

Does it work with a mac?

What a Deal !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635545)

RTA |...For $80, it's not the most affordable mouse in the market...|

Let's see my 3 computer's mice(which i guess needs to be replaced now) time $80 each = $240 plus tax. Hmmm, what a deal!!!

Re:What a Deal !!! (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635957)

what on earth are you doing using 3 mice?

yow (1)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635555)

Well, considering it's probably cheaper than a brain interface, sounds like a pretty good way to cut down RSI. Now to convince my boss that the IT department all need one. I tried the trigger mice, but they are too slow to pick up and use when you're mostly coding and only need to occasionally mouse. If you're gonna mouse for awhile, those work pretty well, although they aren't quite precise enough for gaming (or rather, I haven't become adept at using them for that purpose).

Perific (3, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635581)

The Evoluent looks good, but it's still only usable in one single position as far as I can tell from the write-up. Even though this is a better and more natural position than regular mice, I'd rather use a mouse that promotes changes in posture, like this one: http://www.perific.com/products/ [perific.com]

No sir, I don't like it. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637531)

I did some office ergonomics training after suffering a mousing injury, and I loathe Evoluent's mice. Unfortunately central H&S keep going over my head and bringing in outside consultants who keep selling us these pieces of cr*p (on a nice commission, too).

Why do I say pieces of cr*p? Well, you're supposed to grip stuff with your fingers. Everyone knows it -- doctors, physiotherapists, even ring-tailed lemurs. Unfortunately, when you're using one of these, your fingers are all sat on top of buttons. If you try to grip with your fingers, you end up clicking. So instead you grip with your palm. This introduces tension into the whole forearm and I reckon this is even worse than a standard mouse. After all, the palm has no muscles of its own and relies on the finger muscles to do everything. This means you're using the same muscles for gripping as clicking. That, my friends, is called "overuse", which leads to "overuse injuries"....

HAL.

ExtremeTech has a review as well... (4, Informative)

puppetman (131489) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635583)

right here. [extremetech.com]

They seemed to like it as well.

This Mouse is not good it made my problem worse (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635915)

This Mouse is not good it made my problem worse.

I have problems with my right hand and I have tried every ergonomic mouse that I could get my hands on. The best mouse I have found is the 3M Ergonomic Mouse
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ergono mics/home/products/ergonomicmouse/ [3m.com]

I do a lot of cad work and my wrist started hurting even though I was using a Logitech ergonomic mouse. I knew I needed to get a mouse that was vertical. I tried many mice and ended up using the Evoluent Vertical Mouse. My wrist stopped hurting but after two weeks the tendons on the back of my hand started hurting. I think it was because the scroll wheel on the Evoluent Vertical Mouse is too close and you end up bending your fingers a lot to use it. Before the Evoluent mouse my hand tendons were fine and after they started hurting. The tendon problem is worse then the original wrist problem and it still plagues me so I am pretty annoyed about that.
The mouse I use now is the 3M Ergonomic Mouse and it is really nice. The only problem is that it has no scroll wheel (that is why I didn't use it in the first place). I will gladly give up the scroll wheel for no pain in my hand.

Wish I didn't have this problem.

Re:This Mouse is not good it made my problem worse (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636625)

You can get a keyboard with a scroll wheel on the left side.

Re:This Mouse is not good it made my problem worse (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636969)

i had an easier solution - just switched to a digitizer. added bonus is that the colleagues stopped to use my workstation when i was away.

Link (4, Informative)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635623)

Link seems to be getting crushed at the moment. Here's an alternate.

http://www.evoluent.com/

no wireless = no VM (2, Informative)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635665)

I used to use the VM2, but their failure to produce a wireless model has kept my Logitech G7 firmly in hand. I've found that using the Kinesis keyboard has been sufficient to reduce all of my hand pain.

Old Habits Live Free or Die Hard (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635669)

yippee ki aye

why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635689)

it seems to me that a lot of the problem it the whole scoot scoot scoot scoot factor so a properly calibrated joystick would fix that (since everything turns to absolute positions)
but nobody has done a Joystick as a mouse driver (okay it would blow the pacman factor into hyperspace but...) heck your emacs fans could work the airplane pedals in.

Re:why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635801)

Gravis made a product called the Mouse Stick for years. From memory, it also doubled as a damned good joystick for the time too... Not sure if it works under modern OSs though...

Re:why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637491)

My department's secretary uses one on XP, I think. It's some kind of joystick thing.

Re:why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (1)

Double_Duo_Decimal (1104907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636047)

http://www.electracode.com/4/joy2key/JoyToKey%20En glish%20Version.htm/ [electracode.com] I found this simple little app a while ago. Joysticks and gamepads can function as mice easily, and it rocks when you're playing little flash games and you bind the arrow keys to the Dpad.

Re:why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636181)

The 3-M ergonomic mouse [amazon.com] looks like a joystick - but isn't. You still have to move it around like a regular mouse. I think the thing is, they are trying to keep the wrist as immobile as possible and have the motion come from the arm. A joystick doesn't accomplish that goal.

Here's a prototype, of a sort (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636315)

I was thinking about this during a spell of RSI years ago and came up with this (weegie) [sourceforge.net] . It's almost usable, at least to the kind of person who'd consider learning Dvorak or a Twiddler. I'd love it if someone could figure out something better than our current keyboard/mouse arrangement.

Re:Here's a prototype, of a sort (1)

wagemonkey (595840) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637061)

That's easy enough :-)
I'd go for a Cykey [demon.co.uk] for the left hand and a tablet [wacom.com] (with pen) for the right.

I have a graphire xl (and a MX1000) and I used to use a Microwiter AgendA so I can recommend this. I wish they did a wired version too for desktop use. I like some of the Logitech mice as the slope fits very well with a rest position for my hands - they naturally seem to fall at about 45 degress, not perpendicular to the desk. For me a VM would be as much of a twist as a normal, but in the opposite direction, which is probably why I like the tablet so much.

Re:why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (1)

OfficialReverendStev (988479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637147)

The Saitek X-45, which is already a high-quality joystick/throttle combo, has a hat-as-mouse function built in. Fantastic, intuitive product.

Re:why has nobody done a Joystick interface?? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637511)

Isn't that exactly what the xf86-joystick driver is for?

Handshake is natural position? (1)

diodeus (96408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635703)

I don't know about you, but when I place my hand on the desk, the palm of my hand is not 90 degrees to the desk surface. It's in the same shape and position that I'd have it if it were cupped over my mouse.

Chair/desk height and position have more to do with comfort and repetitive strain injuries than the shape or either your keyboard or mouse. Gimmick!

Re:Handshake is natural position? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635949)

so i guess when you walk your hands are already in position for the knuckles to be dragging on the ground?

Not the greatest description, but he's RIGHT (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637259)

Try this simple test: rest your arm on a desk in front of you, with your thumb pointing straight upward. Now how "ergonomic" does that feel? Can you feel the muscle stress in your arm? Now RELAX those muscles: to what position does your arm and hand naturally move?

That's right: it naturally wants to rotate approximately ninety degrees... just about the right position for a standard mouse.

The claims of this product are a lie, because the muscles in your forearm are actually MORE stressed in the required position, not less. Ergonomic, my ass.

Re:Not the greatest description, but he's RIGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637611)

Actually, you are wrong. I tried the actions you described myself and the 90deg rotated position does seem the most relaxed and natural. This is also easy to explain: to twist your arm, so your hand is palm down, you actually have to strain a muscle, making the two bones move in a crossed position, pushing the muscles in your arm aside. Put your hand palm down on the desk, like you would grab a mouse. Now put the thumb of your other hand on the tendon (may take a while to find, it's on the left of your elbow). Rotate your hand clockwise. Feel it relax. Rotate your hand anticlockwise. Feel it strain.
There is a very simple explanation for the parent posters apparent sensations: imagination. You're simple feeling what you want to feel. People are very good at that. People are also very good at being stubborn. "We've always done it that way", "A cigarette makes my breathing easier" *wheeze cough*, "Of course e-mail can't be intercepted. Everybody uses it.", etc. Very human. Also extremely stupid. And because a lot of these things have repercussions on your fellow people, often bordering on, or even right out, criminal negligence.

the finger is the best position (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637581)

I don't think its the posture of the hand (it has evolved to move around after all), but the grip you need on one tightening up the muscles and tendons whist doing so. Think how much RSI you'd get resting your hand on a table all day.

Still, this is an interesting alternative: for $25 you get an optical mouse that is attached to your finger [phoronix.com] so the laser is aligned with the finger, no grip required (though clicking the buttons with your thumb may not be as good as, say, tapping the end on the table).

I use the VM 2 (1)

UtilityFog (654576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635739)

I've used the verticalmouse 2 for at least a year and it's been extremely useful in preventing the arthritis attacks that I get from a normal mouse. Very much worth the premium I paid for it.

[ps -- works fine with Linux, just plug it in and start clicking]

Shouldn't be too hard... (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635749)

Shouldn't be too hard to convert a regular optical mouse to do this. I think all you'd need was a hammer and some duct tape. But you could say that about most things I suppose.

EM500 from 3M (2, Informative)

bmw (115903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635765)

I recently discovered this other ergonomic mouse from 3M that has really saved my wrists. It's not the greatest mouse in the world (wish Logitech would buy the design) but the benefit to my health has been amazing. I was beginning to have lots of wrist pain when using a normal mouse and switching to one of these permanently alleviated any pain I was having. I highly recommend either this or the mouse featured in the posted article. This "handshake position" is really how we should have been using mice all along.

http://www.airtech.net/3mermousnewv.html [airtech.net]

Re:EM500 from 3M (1)

masonbrown (208074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636343)

Yep, I mine saved me too, along with the 60-day transition to DVORAK key mapping.

The main benefit that I see is that all the motion comes from your upper arm and shoulder, not from your wrist.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ergono mics/home/products/ergonomicmouse/ [3m.com]

Re:EM500 from 3M (1)

bmw (115903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636709)

The main benefit that I see is that all the motion comes from your upper arm and shoulder, not from your wrist.

Yeah, that definitely helps. I also found that a large part of it (for me) was just the position of my wrist. Even without movement I found that if I held my hand/wrist in the position you would use for a normal mouse then I would feel quite a bit of tension in my wrist. If I turned my wrist to the handshake position I found that the tension would go away. For most people this is probably not something that is easily noticeable but when my wrist pain was at its worst it was very obvious how much of a difference my hand position made.

Nowadays I can use any mouse for long periods of time just because I used this ergonomic mouse exclusively for several months until the pain was completely gone. I actually switched back to a normal mouse at work and I use the EM500 at home whenever I'm gaming. This seems to be enough of a break to keep my wrists in fairly good shape.

The 9 word CmdrTaco review... (3, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635791)

"No wireless. Fewer buttons than a Logitech MX610. Lame."

Couldn't get use to it. (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635821)

About 6 months ago I purchased a track ball (part# 904369-0403) to try and reduce stress on my wrists. A co-worker purchased the device being reviewed. After several months, neither of us could get use to either device. In fact, we both felt worse trying to use the new devices. He let other co-workers try the device, but none of us really liked it.

I imagine if you have serious problems with your wrists, these type of devices could help as you are using different muscles. Our problems were just sore wrists. I have found that learning the keyboard shortcuts have helped me out much more. If I can do WIN-key E and not right click on START, then Explorer and other such things, my wrists are fine at the end of the day. WIN-key E and then c:\program files\.... versus navigating with the mouse.. It's more keystrokes, but those are much easier than using the mouse all day.

Re:Couldn't get use to it. (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635923)

I find it odd that after such a long time you could not get used to the devices. I have been using trackballs for the last 5 years. I remember when I got my first one, it took a few days, maybe a week to get used to, and then I was done. Since I've had a couple different trackballs, and don't have any problem using them. I find trackballs are the best, because you can put them in the right position, and they stay there. Also, I find it a lot easier to just move my thumb or fingers (depending on the trackball) and have the device do it's work. Really when you consider it, it's not much different than typing. I never had any wrist problems, but picked up a trackball because I didn't have a lot of desk space. I find it a lot easier to use a trackball. I really don't know why they aren't more popular.

Re:Couldn't get use to it. (1)

egghat (73643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636665)

Fully second this.

The Logitech TrackMan Wheel was single best thing I've bought in the last 5 years or so.

While the new vertical mouse looks like a good idea, it doesn't look that revolutionary if you compare it with a normal trackball. Two more buttons, a taller design and well the "two-handed mode", which I can't think of using too often. In most cases I hate to move one hand to the trackball and therefore away from the keyboard. So I can't think of too many situations where I will like to move *both* hands away from the keyboard.

Bye egghat.

Great but... (1)

pygmy_jesus (1071948) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635827)

I have no problems with mouse discomfort, but when I play games, my keyboard hand keeps going numb. Make me vertical keyboard!

Big Hands (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635873)

I have one. Chevron recommends them to their employees. Personally I like it; however I have to be very careful with it or the edge of my hand will rest on the table as I move the mouse around. I do not have very big hands and I suspect that people that do would have a problem. Basically it needs to be a little taller

alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635887)

In order to achieve the best possible posture I employ a small chinese boy to move my mouse as I command it.... as an experiment I have asked him to hold the mouse vertically and apparently it feels less accurate.

YANVM: Yet Another Vertical Mouse (3, Insightful)

Drogo007 (923906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635959)

Like these:

http://www.ergo-items.com/3m_ergonomic_mouse.htm [ergo-items.com]

http://www.ergo-items.com/quillMouse.htm [ergo-items.com]

http://www.ergo-items.com/zero_tension_mouse.htm [ergo-items.com]

Not to mention the mouse we used to call "Richard Mouse" back in the day (about 10 years ago) when I was just getting my start in the gaming industry and the place I worked bought an "ergonomic" mouse that operated on these principles so we could test it with our game.

Re: I use the Zero Tension Mouse (1)

duh P3rf3ss3r (967183) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636687)

After an acute bout of wrist pain a few years back, I tried just about every pointing device you can imagine. I went through two different trackballs, a pen and even a joystick. Finally, about 18 months ago, I started using the vertical Zero Tension Mouse (ZTM) [zerotensionmouse.com] . It's cured my troubles. I never tried the Evoluent mouse that's the subject of this review but I can tell you that one thing I really like about the ZTM is the platform to support the hand. It appears that's missing from Evoluent's product.

As for those posters who stated that using the fingers to finely control a horizontal mouse is a feature that's lost in a vertical mouse, well, that's true, in a sense. I admit that there was a transition required of a few days for me to get used to the ZTM but I now find it as finely controllable as any other mouse. You end up, it appears, using tiny jiggling motions of the arm and little turning actions of the hand.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

What about us? (1)

wikid_one (1056810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635967)

What are all of us left-handed people supposed to do with this?

Re:What about us? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636461)

There is a left handed version - costs a little more, but does exist.

Re:What about us? (1)

ShadowC_ar (1017138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637049)

This is insane for left handed people... Looks like a very bad joke...

Good, but not great (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636011)

I knew a guy who had a similar mouse called the "quill mouse" (I think). He found it comfortable, and I tried it a few times, but the problem I has was that the mouse would move to the left as you pressed the buttons. Hard to be really accurate when you're pushing the mouse to the left just to click a button.

Foot pedals (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636015)

I remember trying out a foot-pedal mouse a few years back at Comdex. IIRC, the left foot tilt forward and backwards was left and right click, and the right foot on a 360 rocker was the mouse control. It was extremely easy and accurate, although probably not fast enough for gaming. But paired with a regular handheld mouse, was highly useful. Without the handheld, it meant you could operate the interface without taking your hands off the keyboard. I don't remember who made it.

I've got Version 2 ... (1)

cnj (87028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636021)

... and I love the thing. I use (the left-hand model) with my Kinesis keyboard [kinesis-ergo.com] , and for the first time in my life i haven't had those annoying pains when at the computer for long time.

Kinesis (I think) will actually let you try the mouse for a while and then return it (money-back satisfaction guarantee) although there's a possibility that it's just for thei keyboards (although I thought it included the mouse also) -- might be worth paying the little extra than you can get it for elsewhere. J&R [jr.com] was the cheapest I've seen it (and I've got less qualms buying from them than some place like Amazon [wikipedia.org] as someone else had suggested).

I just tested it! (4, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636037)

Well, ok, it was only in my mind, but that counts, right?

Actually, I just turned my normal mouse on its side and started moving it around seeing how it would feel if it actually worked that way... To be honest, it was a bit more comfortable on my wrist, but I realized that I would lose an important function of the traditional orientation.

How many people use their fingers to move the mouse around? I know I do on occasion... When I'm making fine adjustments to my pointer, I don't move my whole wrist, I move my fingers only, and that reason alone keeps me from buying the vertical mouse. With your hand in the handshake position, you won't be able to move the mouse with your fingers, and won't get the same fine-grained control as you would with fingers.

Also, their "expert opinions" note on the article seems a bit flaky:

Some doctors who specialize in ergonomics consider the vertical position preferable.


Some doctors? It just seems like some doctor with a degree held one and said, "Yeah that feels a bit better." They made no mention of a medical reason to use one over any other mouse, they simply said, "It might feel a little better."

Re:I just tested it! (2, Informative)

sewiv (171989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636239)

I use my thumb and pinky to move my evoluent most of the time, actually. It's very easy to do, and very precise.

how about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636103)

A Trackball? I have a reasonable Logitech one that only cost me $40, being that the only thing you actually have to move is your fingers I can't imagine the strain on my wrist being too great.

What makes a vertical mouse that forces you to move your arm around better than a trackball where your arm/wrist remains relatively stationary?

Trackball all the way for me (1)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636111)

I get pains in the tendons in the back of my hand when using a regular mouse so I use a trackball: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/tr ackballs/devices/189&cl=gb,en [logitech.com]

It has the benefit of always being in the same place, just off to the right of my short (no num pad) keyboard. The short keyboard has stopped my shoulder blade clicking every time I reached out and over the num pad to get to the track ball. As a 10 finger typist I'm pretty handy with the numbers along the top of a keyboard but I've got a USB num pad for longer data entry type jobs. Been using this setup for three pain free years.

I'm using one right now; here's an X config file. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636207)

I'm using one right now. Good points:

- Certainly reduces stress on arm muscles. Now some other part of my body fails first e.g. eyes, back, typing-fingers.

Not-so-good points:

- Price. Especially if you're unfortunate enough to want to use your left hand. (I'm left handed for writing, but mouse with my right hand.)

- If you have small hands you'll find that you cannot reach right around the mouse, so you won't be pressing the optimal part of the button.

- Using the scroll wheel extensively will still cause RSI.

- You may find that you move the mouse a bit when you click a button. This can generally be overcome after a bit of practice, but even now I think I'm less precise as a result. This could matter if you use your mouse for something like a drawing program where pixel-accuracy matters.

- The edge of your hand will be on your desk / mouse mat. I find this makes my hand cold.

On balance I think it was a good purchase, but it's not perfect. If you do decide to get one, here is a n xorg.conf fragment for it. This maps the main three buttons and the scroll-wheel as you (probably) expect them, and makes the thumb button into a scroll button: hold it down and move the mouse up and down and the app gets scroll-wheel events.

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier "Evoluent Vertical Mouse"
        Driver "mouse"
        Option "CorePointer"
        Option "Device" "/dev/input/by-id/usb-Kingsis_Peripherals_Evoluent _VerticalMouse_2-mouse"
        # You might expect 'Protocol USB' to work, but it doesn't
        Option "Protocol" "Auto"
        Option "Emulate3Buttons" "false"
        # The physical buttons are:
        # 1: forefinger
        # 2: pressing the wheel
        # 3: middle finger
        # 4: right finger
        # 5: thumb
        # By default, these are assigned to the following logical buttons:
        # 1 -> 1: forefinger
        # 2 -> 2: pressing the wheel
        # 3 -> 3: middle finger
        # 4: wheel
        # 5: wheel
        # 4 -> 8: right finger
        # 5 -> 9: thumb
        # I want to remap these to:
        # 1 -> 1: forefinger
        # 2 & 3 -> 2: middle finger, OR pressing the wheel
        # 4 -> 3: right finger
        # 4: wheel
        # 5: wheel
        # 5 -> ?: thumb
        # This is achieved with the following:
        Option "ButtonMapping" "1 2 2 3 8"
        # The thumb button is now used to support synthetic mouse
        # movement drags:
        Option "EmulateWheel" "true"
        Option "EmulateWheelButton" "8"
EndSection

even more painful (1)

matthew.coulson (642617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636213)

I find these vertical mice even worse than a regular mouse - I don't know about the reviewers, but when my hand is resting on its side on a desk it's sitting on my wrist bones rather than the nice soft pad of my palm. This becomes quite excruciating after a while.

The only way I've found of alleviating mouse related pains is by changing hands regularly, and alternating with use of a trackball too.

And I've tried everything except touch screens - which just don't have the accuracy.

Drivers only for 32-bit XP, Vista (2, Informative)

morningstar8 (234758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636273)

Note that the only supported drivers for this mouse (and its predecessor) are for 32-bit XP and Vista. (See the driver download page at http://www.evoluent.com/download.htm [evoluent.com] .) The site links to a "freeware" driver provided by somebody else, but it had enough issues that I had to uninstall it.

I own an Evoluent VerticalMouse 2, which became an $80 paperweight after my work OS became WinXP x64. Evoluent's support told me that no 64-bit driver was forthcoming.

It lacks one very important detail... (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636283)

The VM3 is two-toned, with the palm side of the mouse coated with a rubber-like substance for a better grip, and the other half sporting a glossy, almost grainy surface.

Put a racing stripe on that baby and I'm sold!

Just a bad copy (1)

node159 (636992) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636403)

A work college of mine had a similar thing, was basically a broken joystick that slid around the table. It was infuriating to use, but whatever gets you off I guess... This thing looks like a poor rip off.

The final word on "repetitive stress disorder" (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636421)

No matter what you do, there is no part of the human body that doesn't suffer when repetitive activity occurs for any amount of time. It mystifies me that people believe that changing positions or movements will change anything over the long term. Even if we could "think" at our computers to operate them, we'd still end up with some form of stress disorder. It has been shown that people who use voice recognition systems ALSO suffer from "RSD." How ridiculous is that? And I don't think it would be a stretch of the imagination to consider how difficult it would become to use your mind alone to control a computer... with our culture of "ADD" and all?

Make a thousand different mice and you will still never come up with one that won't result in a RSD eventually. Best answer is just not to do the same thing from the same position day after day... mix things up the way humans are meant to be! We're not robots... and if we are, we're not particularly good robots.

Re:The final word on "repetitive stress disorder" (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636805)

A few years ago, I had exactly this problem.

This is the UK, where we supposedly have strong health and safety legislation. My employer's compliance department looked carefully at their legal requirements, concluded that all they had to do was "recommend I see my doctor" and they were off the hook. Even if my doctor said "I can't help you, you'll have to speak to on a private basis" - tough.

Fortunately, my line manager (and his line manager) had rather more sense than that. They were nice enough to pay for me to speak to a few people who were rather more helpful - they put it through the books and decided to ignore the compliance manager. After a few hundred pounds and much messing around getting to see these people, that's essentially what they said. "Make changes to your environment until you're happy - different keyboards, mice, chairs, desks, screen height etc. can all have an impact and are all the kind of changes you should be considering. Even once happy, you should still move things around a bit occasionally so the parts of your body you've been using have a chance to recover".

Re:The final word on "repetitive stress disorder" (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637473)

It's amazing that it took you so long and so much money to eventually figure out what you should really do is "try a bunch of different stuff, and see what works for you". I remember when the "natural" keyboards came out and everybody and their brother had one. I didn't really like them too much myself. But people kept on saying you had to have one, because they were so much better. The point is to find something that works for you. There is no single right keyboard or mouse for everyone. It's good that there's a lot of different models so that people actually have a choice. Why do you think cars come with so many adjustments (seat position, steering wheel tilt)? Because not everybody is built the same, and what is comfortable for one person will be very uncomfortable for the next. Personally, I use a trackball and a standard keyboard. I find this very comfortable and have never had a problem. For other people, it's just not comfortable at all.

Re:The final word on "repetitive stress disorder" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636955)

We're not robots... and if we are, we're not particularly good robots.
Negative. I must be a robot. Why else would human women refuse to date me?

Re:The final word on "repetitive stress disorder" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637355)

So make a mouse or other interface that's adaptable to multiple methods. Something where, if it gets uncomfortable, you tap a button or move a switch and boom- works a different way. We've already done something like this with keyboards for gaming, allowing you to alter the location of keys to where you want them. Do something with a mouse.

If you have problems I recomend the 3m version (1)

plebeian (910665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637007)

About three years ago I had to switch to a 3M vertical mouse due to RSI problems with my clicker fingers. The advantage with the 3M modal is that right and left mouse clicks are performed with your thumb in a neutral position. It took about 2 days to get use to the new buttons. Since the change I have not had a single problem.

Encourages floating hand position (1)

drewm1980 (902779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637107)

I bought this product a couple weeks ago since I was starting to experience pain from mousing. The mouse cost a bundle and it doesn't even come with a Mac driver, but it has cleared up my discomfort. I find that since my hand is significantly larger than the body of the mouse, it keeps me from being tempted to rest my hand/arm on the desk while mousing. This is also the case with my kinesis keyboard (the real one, not their new cheapo rubber membrane keyboards). A hand-floating postition is supposedly better ergonomically since the freedom of wrist motion means you can offload some of the movement to larger tougher joints, preventing the smaller joints from having to reach as far as often. Buying quality input devices, using a break timer, and fixing your posture can save you a bunch of money and pain if you are a professional computer user.

Pain Issues (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637205)

One thing that I keep hearing about in my department is shoulder pain...sort of a constant ache around the right shoulder blade (if you're right-mouse-handed). This is due to you having your shoulder raised for hours a day working with the mouse. You don't notice it really -- your shoulder's probably raised only 1/2 and inch or so, but it's all day long so the muscle builds up a mighty knot and can leave people reaching over their shoulders rubbing their back each day. You have to have a great ergonomic chair/desk combo or the ability to focus on relaxing your shoulder all day long (and thereby getting your body into the habit of having it relaxed).

A chair mouse is the way to go. The "pad" sits perpendicular to the floor and hangs off the side of your chair. That way, your arm and shoulder are down all day long. How to keep the mouse on the side of the chair the whole day? Maybe make a normal mouse with a flat bottom edge (that doesn't interfere with your grip). When you're done for the moment with the mouse, you can just set it down into a tray at the bottom of your pad.

Boring -- when do we get the gloves? (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637213)

Only partly joking: this vertical mouse is at best marginally different from many other mice out there. I'm a long-time trackball lover, but here's the question I want to ask: how long until we get a track/point/click glove? We've all seen those MediaLab demos of one open-air motion interpreting device or another, so how long until a reasonably affordable (presumably BlueTooth) glove-like device comes along?

Ergonomic, my ass. Evoluent is spinning a lie. (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637321)

Try this simple test: rest your arm on a desk in front of you, with your thumb pointing straight upward. Now how "ergonomic" does that feel? Can you feel the muscle stress in your arm? Now RELAX those muscles: to what position does your arm and hand naturally move?

That's right: it naturally wants to rotate approximately ninety degrees... just about the right position for a standard mouse.

The claims of this product are a lie, because the muscles in your forearm are actually MORE stressed in the required position, not less. Ergonomic, my ass.

Ergonomic? Its Not Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637593)

What we need is a Brain-Computer interface.
Mouses are limited,they require learning and specific motor skills(same with keyboards).
Its the end of input technology.Nothing would be
faster,more accurate or more intuitive then properly designed brain-computer interface.
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