Gaming with RSI: Experiences with the Evoluent mouse long-term

Evoluent vertical mouse

I’ve been using the Evoluent mouse for more than 1.5 years now, so I figured I could give you all an update here. The mouse is so good and comfortable, I also bought it for my right hand! But since right-handers get more option as usual, I could get the smaller one for that one. The pictures below show the difference in size for the left-handed and the right-handed version. If they offered this size for the left hand as well, even if it cost twice as much, I would get it immediately! As it is, my one complaint about the Evoluent mouse for my left hand is that it’s too big for my hand. However, even with this caveat, it’s the best mouse I’ve found so far.

In case you are wondering: My right hand still has to help my left hand whenever I need to do something that requires a lot of clicking, so I’m using two mice (three if you count the trackball mouse built into my ergonomic keyboard). The PC isn’t confused about it at all, thankfully.

The Evoluent for the left hand has been acting a bit moody, though. Every now and then, when I turn on the PC it doesn’t work at all. I need to unplug the mouse and plug it back in for it to work again. It’s annoying, because I have no idea what it does that and I am not always in the mood to crawl under my desk. I’ve tried several USB slots, nothing made a difference. I also tried uninstalling and reinstalling the mouse driver. Now I am using one of the USB slots in the front of my PC, so there is at least no crawling anymore. Other than that, it’s still as good as new. Thankfully, the company doesn’t use any of this “soft grip” nonsense which usually results in a gluey sticky surface after a couple of months

The mouse even comes with a few extra keys which you can program in the software that comes with it. It has three buttons on the outside of the mouse instead of just two (one to left click and one to right click). The mouse wheel also works as a button. So this basically gives me four buttons there. I am using the same settings on both mice, by the way, which is probably why the computer doesn’t get confused. But I also assume that most of you would only be interested in using one mouse at the same time. Anyway, as you can see, I am lazy and use both lower buttons as a right click. I can hardly reach the lowest one with my left hand anyway.

Here’s a funny thing: I am seeing some settings for the buttons for the first time now. I am certain I’ve never seen the secondary functions before! But since I also always forget I’ve got a copy and a paste button, I guess it doesn’t matter much. It does help with lessening the strain on your hands and fingers, especially when you can just hit a simple button instead of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+P. But yeah, I’d first have to remember I have these buttons!

The “Break” tab in the driver settings lets you enter a time interval at which point it will remind you to take a break from PC work. You can set a visual and or an audio alert. And you can also enter a reminder to resume work. So you could stretch your body or close your eyes and still know when the break time is up.

The “Click” tab is probably also a great addition, but I don’t trust automated clicks. That is, it clicks when you pause the mouse for x seconds over something that’s clickable. But I don’t want that function! In general, at least. But for some work, it could be really good. There is also the function to click lock: It acts as if you’re still holding the click button and activates if you hold the button for x seconds.

Last, but not least: My personal experiences with the mouse/mice: When working with office products etc., this mouse is a great helper as it puts a lot less stress on both hands! Moving the mouse does need a little bit of time getting used to, but once you are used to it, you won’t want to miss it. The thumb rests comfortably on the mouse itself and the arm is in a much more natural angle than with regular PC mice. This is also the reason that even if my hand was healthy and painfree again, I would not switch back to another mouse. It’s fast, it even gives me some extra buttons, and customizable ones at that (even for different programs) and I can play all games with no issues whatsoever (if you’re reading here more regularly: mostly MMOs, simulation games and some strategy games, but not the kind where you need to click fast). On top of that, it helps prevent injuries – well, at least for my right hand. It is pricey (75 to 90 € depending on which version and size you want), but for me at least, it is very much worth it! Still, if you’re just interested in getting any vertical mouse to work with on your PC, there are cheaper alternatives. If you already do have pain (RSI, tenosynovitis etc.), then I’d suggest at least considering one that is closer to the Evoluent one in design as the thumb rest does make a difference!

(Please note: We bought both mice from our own money. There is no affiliation with Evoluent, we did not get anything from them to write this here and in fact, they don’t even know we exist! :p)

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