I bought a vertical mouse to understand what it means to operate the computer with it: between ergonomics and versatility
I had been mulling over the idea of test a vertical mouse. I have been using an Apple Magic Mouse 2 for years, and although it has never given me problems in the form of wrist pain, it does not have a reputation for being ergonomically good. Anyway, I clicked the “Buy” button on Amazon and got a Logitech MX Vertical taking advantage of its price drop.
In theory, a vertical mouse is designed to reduce muscle tension in the hand (a 10% as Logitech says on its website) and provide a “natural holding position”. Its angle of inclination is 57º, the optimum according to the manufacturer after many tests. It came to me, I downloaded the Logitech application that allows you to configure its alternative buttons and some parameters such as its DPI, and I started my journey with it.
Vertical vs flat
For whatever reason, I have never experienced a problem using a mouse or trackpad, from any manufacturer. There are those who suffer from the beginning of tendonitis or recurrent muscle pain. Perhaps they are more grateful for going to a vertical mouse. In my case that did not translate into greater comfort, but neither did it translate into discomfort. It was just learning to use a mouse in a new way.
The first few minutes with him I felt that something was wrong, it did not take me long to realize what it was: I was holding it warm, used to an almost flat and tactile mouse. Here, with a much higher volume and a shape that conforms to the hand, and with physical buttons, the correct way to hold it is with some vigor, such as shaking someone’s hand.
With this way of holding it, I did feel that I was handling it as it should, and I began to perceive that it was really comfortable to work with the whole hand resting on the desk, and not just a part of the wrist.
It is at that point that I see the added value of this mouse most clearly: for someone annoyed with the muscular tension caused by using a traditional mouse, with a flatter orientation for many hours a day, moving to a vertical model may be the solution, although Each body is a world. It does seem reasonable to think that, in general and at the very least, these types of mice soften such a problem.
Paradoxically, what I liked the most about the MX Vertical in the first hours with it were something that is not exclusive to this model, but common in most of the brand’s mice: the versatility that its configurable buttons allow. This model has four: two joined like those of the volume of a smartphone, another on the upper edge, which is at the hand of the thumb, and the one for pressing the wheel. scroll.
For someone coming from a Magic Mouse 2, this versatility is heavenly music. For someone used to third-party mice, this must sound like discovering gunpowder in the middle of 2021. But that’s the way it happened to me: seeing them on Amazon did not let me intuit how very useful such a function is. After trying various settings for a few days, I left the buttons in the following arrangement:
- Left edge buttons: go back / show desktop.
- Upper edge button: play / pause.
- Wheel button scroll: combination of click + keystroke command on Mac (to open links in a new tab or make multiple file selection).
The versatility that these buttons added also detracted in another way compared to other mice or trackpads– Without a multi-touch surface, gestures are lost. Something that can complicate the use of scroll, for example, that it becomes slower when having to use a wheel, and not that touch surface, which makes the scroll inertial and that can be as fast as the movement of our fingers.
The scroll side is not possible either (it does not have that dedicated wheel as the fantastic MX Master 3 and its predecessors), although you can always use the scroll vertical modified via software so that a previous press changes the orientation, or simply make scroll with the key Shift pressed.
In the list of “this is just as it should be”, its USB-C connector to charge the mouse, in a place that is discreet enough but allows you to continue using it comfortably while it charges.
In my case, the story ended with a returnIt is a great mouse and the vertical concept is interesting, but without previous muscle aches it becomes more difficult to justify such an investment.
If you are spinning a vertical mouse, My advice is that you ask yourself if traditional mice really pose an ergonomic problem.. If that’s not the case, there are great, versatile, and comfortable mice that don’t require the relearning of the vertical leap.
If you are clear that you want to switch to a vertical mouse but the price of the MX Vertical —115 euros usually, 84 euros at its current reduced price in spring 2021—, there are cheaper alternatives. For example, an Amazon Basics vertical mouse for 15 euros, less showy and with batteries instead of battery, but at a good price to experiment before jumping to the more expensive option. And even another from the Havit brand with a peculiar ‘U’ shaped design for less 20 euros. It will be for options. Even for lefties, although there the options are much smaller. The MX Vertical itself is right-handed only.