Reviews » May 2005

VerticalMouse 2

Review Image Looks odd, but feels natural.

Your typical mouse is designed for horizontal use; the buttons and body are crafted based on the notion that you hold a mouse with your palm facing down. Evoluent says this is an unnatural, twisted, and tense position for your arm—sooner or later, you're bound to feel uncomfortable. Evoluent's VerticalMouse 2 puts your arm in a more natural position by using an unusual vertical design.

It takes some time to get used to the look and feel of the VerticalMouse, especially if you've been a Mac user for years. You grip the mouse like you're giving it a handshake, which feels comfortable if you're simply resting your hand on the mouse. When you start to move the mouse around, however, the motion seems foreign—it's not that it hurts or feels unpleasant, it's just that you're going against a learned behavior. It took us a day or two to adjust, but once we did, the VerticalMouse became second nature.

Button bummer. The VerticalMouse has five buttons: one for your thumb on the left side and four on the right side (including a clickable scroll wheel). Without driver software, however, you can only use two buttons in OS X and one in OS 9. To program the other buttons, you need to buy USB Overdrive ($20, www.usboverdrive.com).

We liked the precise tracking of the mouse, thanks to its 1,000-dpi optical sensor. The scroll wheel rolls smoothly and is easy to use in a vertical position. If you're a southpaw, however, you'll have to pay a premium: The left-handed version of the VerticalMouse costs $30 extra.

The bottom line. Thanks to the VerticalMouse 2, we no longer have to end our marathon gaming sessions because of tired wrists. That's a good thing … we think.

—Roman Loyola

VerticalMouse 2

4
Good News
Comfortable—once you get used to it.
Bad News
You have to pay an extra $20 for software to program all the buttons. Left-handed version costs $30 more.
Company
Evoluent
Contact
650-355-2467
www.evoluent.com
Price
$74.95, $104.95 (left-handed version)
Requirements
USB-equipped Mac, Mac OS 9.1.4 or 10.1 or later
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