Taking a different approach to using a mouse at your computer, Evoluent is one of a few companies that decided that you have been using your mouse wrong all these years. Instead of the conventional mouse that everyone is quite familiar with, Evoluent flipped the mouse on it’s side and turned it vertical, allowing your hand to wrest at a more natural angle (as if you were reaching out slightly to shake someone’s hand).
Although this approach isn’t the first time a vertical mouse has made its way into the world, it still remains one of the less spoken about options you have to choose from. Most likely because the majority of the world likes to conform to ambiguity and brick and mortar stores sell to whatever identifies best to your eyes. Evoluent for example released their first VerticalMouse in 2002 (did you know that?).
With a vertical approach, your typical button are placed on your palm side with your scroll wheel between them. Your thumb also has two buttons to choose from on the other side. So when you compare, it is almost identical to the button layout of a normal mouse–just at a different angle to everything.
The one we have been using (mostly myself) this last week was Evoluent’s VerticalMouse C, a wireless option with a simple design and feel to it. The body of the mouse is a mixture of a two tone plastic approach. The right side is a flat black except for the scroll wheel that has a gold accent to it. The left side (thumb side) is mostly a chrome silver, except for the thumb area which is a flat black.
Surprisingly, there are no grip materials featured on this mouse, although it seems some of their models in the past have. The chrome section of the mouse can be quite slippery to the feel, but thankfully your hand rests completely on the flat black portion that doesn’t seem to suffer from this.
Button layout, as mentioned, is quite universal. The right side of the mouse features three typical buttons. You have your left and right click with a middle click between them. All of which can be customized using their software. By default (and without installing the software), the middle button opens links into a new window when clicked on, or enables an all direction scroll mode that allows you to scroll around the page by moving your mouse around. The scroll wheel feels natural, although it is a clicking one, which I am not a fan of (I prefer a smooth spin) and can be a little louder than I’d prefer it to be.
In line with the wheel and around a half inch closer to your palm is a small round button. This controls the sensitivity of the mouse. There are four LEDs at the top of the mouse that reflect which setting you are using. I found myself mostly using 2 or 3 (LEDs lit) modes, depending on what I am doing.
On the thumb side of the mouse, you have the two elongated buttons, one above and one below your thumb. Be default, these act as back and forward for the page you are on. This is typical for mice and of course can be changed using their optional software.
The mentioned software (available here) is mostly optional as every PC system (at least) I tested it on, installed the mouse automatically, allowing me to continue without using the software (you just don’t get full customization of the buttons unless you do install the software).
We all found that the mouse takes getting used to if you have been using a regular mouse style mostly in life. I do find however, that it is quite comfortable and more natural. It’s just that getting used to it that takes time. I myself am quite clumsy when it comes to accident mouse clicks, which I found to be even more the case with this mouse. I drove myself nuts a few times because my thumb kept hitting the back button, causing me to lose the page I was on while reading (website). I wound up disabling the button. Although I am a klutz by nature when it comes to this, I did feel the frequency was 10x fold with this mouse compared to a regular style mouse. You may find different results. Maybe it is the sensitivity of these buttons that make some of the difference. I also found the left-click button to be a little squeaky at times, which was a little distracting.
Accuracy is on par in both application use as well as gaming. I even played around with Photoshop to see if anything stood out that I didn’t like, and all was fine. The level of customization is perfect as well, between their software and your OS’ settings.
It is powered by a single AA battery (included) and has a power switch at the bottom of the mouse if you are putting it away for travel or storage. Wireless range is good for an entire desk area, without any drops in connectivity. The USB receiver is small and disappears from sight once you have plugged it in. It does feel a little cheap in design, but it hasn’t given us any trouble–despite placing and removing it between multiple computers many times. It could just be that there is nearly nothing inside.
The final thing I wanted to touch on is price. It runs for around $95-$110, which we felt was a bit high. It is a unique niche mouse, but the design and function is quite simple. Comparing it to the price of some of the higher-end gaming and enthusiast mice, it was just too high. You can find an incredible wireless mouse with tons of customizability, long battery life and specialty features for around the $40-$80 range.
It’s a great mouse with a lot of customizable buttons and feels comfortable in the hand after long hours of use. It does bring into question if we have been using our mice right. The only thing that doesn’t feel as natural is the left/right button clicks since you are pressing off to the side instead of down. It works quite well for a regular mouse with enough accuracy for most users. It does take a bit to get used to the new angle approach, but you do get there eventually. The left button can be a little squeaky and the wheel a bit noisy, and I feel accidental clicking is more common with this mouse–but, it does feel pretty nice once you get used to it. The only major con is the price tag as it just feels too high.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Battery: 1 AA battery (included).
- Windows compatibility: Windows XP, 7, 8, 10 (in order for customization software for programming the 5 buttons to function)
- Mac compatibility: Includes Mac driver for programming 5 buttons.
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