Everything at a glance:
- Thanks to their ergonomic shape, vertical mice are intended to relieve discomfort and pain for people who work a lot on screens.
- In my first two weeks, I was annoyed by the lower precision and accuracy compared to traditional mice.
- And are such mice really good for tackling physical problems like “mouse arm”?
The advantages of a vertical mouse in contrast to the conventional computer mouse are numerous. If you ask search engines like Google or your circle of friends, arguments like “reduces discomfort and pain” or “more precision at work” will be given.
Fellow humans with a vertical mouse under their palm were constantly preaching to me about the advantages of ergonomically shaped rodents. The reason given was one of the most common complaints: “mouse arm”, also known in technical jargon as “repetitive stress injury”. Repeated, similar movements with your hands, arms and shoulders cause damage to your musculoskeletal system.
Inconveniences that I have largely been spared from so far.
Personally, I’ve been using computer mice since I was about seven years old – first the ball mouse, then in 2001 I got my first optical mouse from Logitech. I remember this perfectly because I received this as a birthday present at the same time as the then new shooter “Red Faction”.
Since then, I’ve been pushing optical mice across tabletops. Sometimes wireless, sometimes wired, but always in the conventional design. I’m currently using the wired Logitech G203 gaming mouse, more concerned with practicality.
That’s why I was thrilled when HP kindly offered the test sample for a vertical mouse. I struck.
Now, after the first two weeks with my first vertical mouse, I am pleasantly surprised by the input device that was previously unfamiliar to me. At the same time, I’m slightly disappointed.
You can find out why this is the case in my experience report below.
My device: The vertical mouse 920 Ergonimic Vertical Mouse from HP
The test device provided to me is a “920 Ergonomic Vertical Mouse”. The packaging promises “12 percent less muscle activity.” Also pleasing: the mouse is made from 65 percent recycled plastic.
You can use the mouse to connect up to three devices in parallel, such as a desktop PC, tablet PC and laptop. The mouse’s built-in battery is charged via USB-C. A suitable cable is included in delivery.
Nice: There is an easily removable plate under the two mouse buttons where the dongle for the wireless connection to the PC is located in a holder. This means that the USB stick always has its usual storage space and is less likely to get lost.
In addition to the standard forward and back buttons that can be reached with the thumb, the “920 Ergonomic Vertical Mouse” also has another button. This can also be reached with your thumb. By default it performs the function of this shortcut for Windows:
Windows-Taste + [Tab]
So you can call up the display for all open desktops and windows by pressing a mouse button. A nice convenience feature.
Long preamble, short story: How did the vertically aligned rodent convince me – and to what extent was I disappointed?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the HP vertical mouse?
After my first two weeks with the vertical mouse, there were clear advantages and disadvantages for me. And I’m still undecided on one crucial point.
✅ General goods Haptics and navigation extremely pleasant. The only thing I initially found to be an unnecessary extra was the removable wrist support (see the comparison picture with the two mice at the top).
However, after navigating the desktop with the mouse and cursor for a few minutes without support, I noticed that I was resting my forearm uncomfortably on the edge of the table. So I attached the magnetic wrist rest to the mouse again – and lo and behold: after a short period of getting used to it, a maximum of an hour, I put most of my weight on the rest, and navigation was much smoother.
Before I had such a mouse in my hands, I always assumed – naively from my outside perspective – that navigation would be different. But a vertical mouse is ultimately just an, well, optical mouse that grips differently.
Therefore, the all-clear: Switching from a standard mouse to a vertical one should generally work without any problems.
⛔ When it comes to precision, I’m clear about the vertical mouse slower and less precise on the way. I managed quite well when navigating on the desktop or writing texts. Here the difference to the optical mouse is only marginal and may even disappear after a certain period of getting used to it.
But when it came to precisely cutting out image elements in Photoshop, I regularly cursed to myself. I constantly slip past the desired area of the image and have to undo my selection. A few times I resorted to using my optical mouse just to be able to work faster.
Based on my experience, I honestly can’t imagine a vertical mouse as the preferred input device for professional graphic designers, 3D artists or competitive e-athletes – even though there are certainly some out there.
As far as gaming goes, I only spent a few hours during my two weeks with the adventure game “Twin Mirror” from Dontnod Entertainment. However, the vertical mouse was completely fine for the leisurely gameplay of the narrative game – even if I had the mouse sensitivity set to full in the game.
❓ But what about the knockout criterion for vertical mice? The relief of physical complaints. First of all: Fortunately, despite many years of working at a computer, I don’t actually have any pain in my hand.
However, after the first week with the vertical mouse, I actually had a slight pain in my right hand. These weren’t unbearable and only lasted a few hours, but the fact that the mouse was causing me new pain where there was none before is initially unpleasant.
I guess either A) my hand needs to get used to the new shape under the palm, or B) there is no connection between vertical mouse and aches and pains. Fortunately, the pain hasn’t returned since then, although I continue to use the vertical mouse.
Will I continue to use the vertical mouse?
For now, I will continue to use the 920 Ergonomic Vertical Mouse in my home office, especially to get a longer-term perspective on the vertical mouse case. Even if I actually want to go back to my old mouse.
As far as the health factor of a vertical mouse is concerned, even the most cleverly shaped mouse probably cannot compensate for the two main deficits of screen people: poor posture in front of the screen and lack of exercise.
Since my interim conclusion is rather undecided, with a slight bias in favor of the conventional mouse, I would be curious to find out whether a vertical human has been able to alleviate actual hand complaints such as “repetitive stress injury”.
Finally, two general truisms about computer mice: Whether you find a mouse comfortable or uncomfortable always depends on A) the size of your own hand and B) which computer mouse you are used to. So the following applies: Not every device size is suitable for every hand, depending on whether you have a delicate hand or a coarse bear paw, to put it exaggeratedly.
By the way: Buying advice: We introduce you to the best vertical and ergonomic mice
Did you find my first review of the vertical mouse helpful, or have such a vertical mouse device been your choice for a long time – and you never want to go back to another design? Or are you perhaps even completely satisfied using a trackball mouse? Feel free to write us your experiences in the comments.