Pros Instant relief for wrist pain.
Cons Small company w/limited retail presence.
Summary I've tried several different mice and trackballs and this is the best pointing device for anyone suffering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). While Microsoft offers several mice, they stop making the only decent trackball for repetitive stress sufferers, the Microsoft Trackball Explorer. When my MS trackball died, I was miserable. I tried all the usual suspects and then found something that turned out to be far superior to Microsoft Trackball Explorer sufferers for CTS sufferers - the Evoluent VerticalMouse 3. It is small company and they cannot get the distribution juice they need to edge in against MS and Logitech. However, their vertical mouse is a blessing for CTS sufferers. The relief you'll feel in your wrist will be immediate and most rewarding.
Pros Comfortable and Relaxing to the arm-easy to program-
Cons None that I am aware of so far.
Summary I purchased the wireless version and I love it. I have used it now for about a week, it was very easy to adapt to the use of it, I was working without having to think about it within an hour.
As I have to reach off to the right at a 45 degree angle or more to use a mouse because of my layout; this mouse has proved to relax my arm, sholder and wrist. It is very natural to reach to the right with my thumb up and rest my wrist on the wrist rest, and my hand on the mouse. My hand does not seem to need to touch the mouse pad at all. I use two monitors and the mouse pointer moves across both with very little wrist movement, I don't need to move my arm.
I have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo and a drawing pad that I need to keep, so I had a bit of a conflict after installing the E Mouse. I sent an e-mail to Evoluent and got a quick reply and the solution worked, I was impressed with the timely response. That is not always the case these days.
The mouse is better looking in use than you might suppose from just the picture, its unobtrusive but sharp looking. It fits my hand, which is female/medium, beautifully.
Supprisingly, it fits my husbands hand, which is XX Large and is easy for him to use. His hand is so large that his little finger does touch the mouse pad but does not drag or irritate him. I imagine that is because We are resting our thumb and fingers on the mouse and a good wrist rest supports our arm. I also have a short armrest on an ergonomic chair which just catches my elbow which is only slightly higher than the wrist rest, with a 1/2 inch drop to the mouse pad. It is a perfect setup for this mouse and I.
I very much recommend this mouse, especially the wireless version, to anyone who wants the most comfortable mouse setup possible. It's great to get a product like this from a Company that is easy to work with! I know this is a rare rating, but I do think this is the perfect mouse, at least for me.
Pros Reduced pronation, light clicking action, comfortable
Cons I would eliminate the 'thumb button' - but using this is optional
Summary By way of experience, I have assisted several thousand workers with mouse-related injuries over the past 13 years, working for 10 years as a rehabilitation ergonomist under contract to the UK's Department for Work and Pensions.
By way of qualification, my MSc (with distinction) is in Health Ergonomics, from the European Institute for Health and Medical Sciences, Surrey University, which is a World Health Organization designated 'Centre of Excellence' in the field of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. I am currently (2008) engaged in my PhD at Purdue University, USA. I am a full member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Let me say at the outset that I take mouse injuries very seriously; they are far more prevalent than keyboard injuries, and may be far more disabling. I am 'independent,' by which I mean I do not sell any products, neither am I paid to endorse any products. As a professional ergonomist, I strongly believe paid endorsements are unethical. I am paid by my clients to give impartial, effective advice, that's all.
However, I felt moved to lend my backing to the Evoluent Vertical Mouse, now shipping in its third incarnation.
Ever since Evoluent launched the first version of VM, I have had tremendous success with injured workers switching form standard mice and trackballs to this device.
Mouse design has changed little since Douglas Engelbart’s "X-Y Position Indicator For A Display System” was accepted by the US patent office in 1970. The mouse that ships with most computer systems is shaped to be cupped in the hand, palm facing downward (i.e., pronated) during mouse actuation.
This hand/forearm position is of concern to ergonomists; with the elbow flexed, as is generally the case when operating the mouse, hand pronation is achieved by the contraction of the pronator quadratus and pronator teres muscles, whose capacity for work is inversely proportional to the duration of contraction.
The ergonomist thus aims to reduce pronation.
The ‘neutral’ posture of the forearm (if the elbow is flexed) is illustrated by the ‘handshake’ posture, in which the thumb is uppermost and the palm is open, but relaxed.
This posture is readily achieved using ‘vertical’ mice, such as the Evoluent Vertical Mouse. Joystick mouse designs, like the Anir, reduce pronation, but require the operator to adopt a ‘closed hand’ posture in which the flexor tendons are constantly contracted. Joystick mice often require thumb use to click buttons, which is another risk factor, (De Quervain's tenosynovitis).
Touchpads, like the Cirque, SmartCat, generally operate by heat, not pressure, require no grip and COULD be operated vertically, but are generally used horizontally, with the hand pronated. A drawback of touchpads is that they are not optimized for tasks such as copying and pasting or dragging and dropping, being less efficient for such tasks, compared with the Evoluent, which works in exactly the way we are accustomed to mice working. An additional issue is that touchpads tend to have small screens, so that hand-centric movements are likely, which represents an additional risk factor for tendon injury, particularly tennis elbow or forearm extensor tendon injury.
The light clicking action on the Evoluent means that the thumb may be rested on the device, rather than being used to 'squeeze' or pinch when the buttons are clicked - this is important, because a relaxed thumb is essential to well-being in prolonged mouse use.
Getting the most benefit out of the Evoluent requires attention to other aspects of ergonomics.
1) I never advocate the use of wrist rests, particularly in front of a mouse, because wrist pads on mouse mats increase risk of lateral epicondylitis. If you have a mouse mat with a wrist pad built in, dump it, or turn it around so tha pad doesn't touch your wrist! Just use a plain, 90-cent mouse mat - these are the best solution by far (and also the cheapest).
2) Get your seat height correctly adjusted - when sitting relaxed in your chair, the underside of your elbows should be level with the mouse so that, as you take hold of the Evoluent, your forearm is horizontal. Make sure your feet arent't dangling - use a footrest or some telephone directories if your feet are dangling when your elbows are at the right working height!
3) Rest the weight of your arms on the correctly adjusted armrests of your task chair - the armrests should be close to your side, and padded, so that they support the fleshy part of your forearms just below the elbow. This relaxes your shoulders, reducing muscular tension and optimizing blood flow to and from the hands/wrists/arms.
4) Use arm-centric movements, not hand-centric movements! This is VERY important. Move the mouse using the muscles of your upper arm, not by bending your wrist - this is easy once your forearm is supported at the correct height; don't try to rest your wrist on anything, as this will reduce the benefits of using an Evoluent.
5) Even with a great mouse like the Evoluent, unless you are actually moving and clicking with the mouse, remember to let go of it...frequently relaxing your hand and arm is important. Research shows that if you are working under a lot of pressure, you will grip the mouse harder and click with unnecessarily high force - both of which increase risk of injury. The Evoluent requires only a gently, resting action to stabilize it against clicking actions, because the buttons operate using very low force.
6) I suggest 30-second breaks for the hand after at most 15 minutes of sustained mouse use. This will happen automatically if you are switching between keyboard and mouse constantly, but if you are doing intensive mouse work (like drawing or some forms of web browsing), you can easily end up fixing your hand postures for 30 minutes or more, which is not healthy.
7) Just because a new device feels comfortable at first, doesn't mean it will stay that way - it just uses different muscles and tendons compared with your old device. So be careful not to judge a device as a success after only a few days of use - after all, how long did it take before your standard mouse injured you?
The Evoluent is an excellent 'preventive' device, if properly used and if you take reasonable breaks as described above.
Hope this helps any injured users out there. As I say, the Evoluent is a great solution and in my professional opinion, it should become 'standard issue.' Robert Stuthridge B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.(Health Ergonomics).
Pros Hand position
Cons needs grip, too smooth
Summary I recently purchased the vertical mouse and so far am quite satisfied. I have tested it alongside the Microsoft ergonomic natural wireless 6000 mouse; I prefer the Evoluent mouse because my arm is still twisted when using the Microsoft mouse. I wrote to the manufacturer and made some minor suggestions. The places where the fingers touch are very smooth; especially the thumb area. I have purchased some mouse grip stickers from a provider who makes equipment for computer gaming. With the altered hand position there is less vertical force for dragging the mouse therefore there needs to be more for the fingers to grip lightly to to move it around.
Pros Good Design
Cons Easy to knock over
Summary Overall, this is a nice mouse and may well help a lot of people. It simply wasn't as comfortable as I expected. The "hand shake" position is right, but for some reason didn't quite relieve the ache in my wrist. I tried it for a couple of weeks. The only problem I had is that I nearly knocked it off the mouse pad several times, but I chalk that up to years of flat mouse use.
I have used three generations of Gyration mice prior to this, and will likely pick up their latest.