One of the topics starting to pop up more frequently as of late has been the idea of using a “vertical” mouse for computers, changing the angle of your wrist so that you supposedly feel better after long hours of use. The idea is mimic the natural position of the hand when it reaches out to grab something or shake someone else’s hand. They have actually been around for quite a long time, but only recently have they multiplied and become more noticeably available.
We have covered a few of these in the past, and now we get to take another approach with one, this time one with a twist. This round we have the Unimouse by Contour Design, and the twist is it allows you to twist your wrist at multiple angles in an attempt to customize your vertical position based on your own personal comfort (not everyone may find one static vertical position comfortable). In other wards, the mouse can be adjusted to control the degree of tilt.
The mouse easily unfolds back and forth to get the exact angle your wrist is looking for. This way you can adjust it to see what feels most comfortable and natural to you while using it. The thumb piece swivels in all directs and even slides in and out, allowing to you mold it to whatever shape your hand may be, allowing your thumb to find the best place to relax (it’s like finding a shoe store that offers everything they have in an extra wide option as well).
It features three buttons across the top, representing the normal three-button configuration. The wheel spins and presses down (no left to right movement), and there are two buttons above the thumb rest that act (by default) as your back and forward controls (ie, web browser control). The top side of the bottom have contains a small gray button inside that controls the cursor speed. You will more than likely be dialing down the speed as out of the box, it is all over the place (you can of course dial it down via your operating system’s settings as well).
To adjust the angle of the mouse, you simply grab the mouse with both hands (half of the mouse in each hand) and slowly pull or push until you get the angle you desire. The adjustment is stiff enough that the mouse won’t adjust in the middle of using it. The same thing goes with the thumb rest. You can adjust it with a swivel motion and can pull it in and out slightly to adjust width. Everything feels stiff enough that you won’t adjust anything unless you are trying to, allowing it to hold the shape properly.
Although we have the wireless one here to test, the mouse comes in both wired and wireless versions, so hardcore gamers also have the option of reduced latency by going wired. The wireless version comes with a USB cable that can be used to charge the mouse with (there are no removable batteries), or extend the position of the receiver if you feel you need to bring it closer to the mouse (it comes with an adapter to pull this off with the single cable). It comes in one color: black.
They do offer software that allows you to customize the mouse’s buttons, which can be found here, which is offered for both Windows and MacOS.
The price tag is a little high as the wired one starts at $89 and the wireless edition $109-$125 depending on where you buy it. The a price tag like that, we have been unable to determine how we feel about it since there are non-adjustable (wireless) vertical mice as low as $20 out there.
Of course, what really matters is does it work. We have already pointed out that the adjustment is stiff allowing you to adjust it and keep the shape during use just fine. So that covers the most important part. We didn’t find any troubles with adjusting it, outside of when you bring it to it widest (open) angle, it sometimes loses stability when sliding/gliding the mouse to the right, causing it to want to tip.
The buttons feel right, although it takes awhile for your hand to grow adjusted to them. You find that the wrong finger clicks down between the middle or the right buttons since the right click button rests under your ring finger and most are used to using their middle finger to accomplish this task. You seem to overcome this dilemma over time thankfully. We also don’t feel it is easy to make any accidental clicks (which was an issue we had with a vertical mouse in the past). The scroll wheel does its job fine, as you’d expect it to and seems to function properly with every application we have been in or out of during its use.
Outside of the tipping hazard while it is upright all the way, we found the only pains in using the mouse is adjusting to the change of angle. We seem to have mixed opinions about vertical mice as some of us find the mouse to feel a little more comfortable than a normal mouse angle, and some of us find it to be distracting and causes more strain than normal. Then again, this is the whole purpose for the mouse–to assist those who feel normal mouse angles don’t do well for them. So this comes down to user preference. The idea of being able to adjust the angle is a plus (and unique idea), so if you bring to grow tired at one angle, a simple adjustment will transfer that stress to different muscles.
The mouse is a bit large, so it would be great for medium to larger sized hands. If you have tiny hands, you might want to try a different route, else it most likely will not feel too natural to you.
Well, it functions like a mouse (and it is a mouse). So it has that going for it. The vertical position of the mouse takes getting used to and it all comes down to personal preference. Some people seem to like the vertical approach to a mouse, and some people not so much (so it may be different for each user). The buttons are sturdy and you don’t accidently click them when you don’t want to (and are customizable with their software). It gets a little tip happy at the highest angle, but functions well in all other positions. The only thing we couldn’t agree completely on was the price, when comparing it to some of the competition. We all felt that it seemed to fit more within a price range of $60-$70, but I am sure this is just R&D payoff stages we have to wait out before that happens.
|Buy from Amazon / Buy from Contour|
$109 – $125
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
|Dimensions||5.75 x 2.75 x 8.75 in|
|Wireless||2.4Ghz wireless technology|
|Battery Type||Lithium-ion Polymer (LIP) rechargeable battery, 470mAh|
|Charging Time||2 hour charge time|
|Battery Life||3 Months on a single charge*|
|Body Angle Adjustment||35 degrees to 70 degrees|
|Thumb Angle Adjustment||35 degrees in either direction|
|Cursor Speed||800, 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800, 2000, 2200, 2400, 2800|
|Sensor Type||Pixart PMW3330, IR|
|Operational Distance||Up to 25 feet|
|Operating System||PC, Mac|
|Driver||Plug and Play. Optional driver for button customization.|
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.