With all of us spending more and more time at our computers for work, school and leisure, the creeping pain of repetitive stress injuries and other problems become more of a reality.
To help alleviate that Logitech has started to produce some very unique mice in its MX line. The MX Ergo cut out arm and wrist movements almost entirely with its trackball, and now Logitech is trying it from a different angle in the MX Vertical.
Despite its name the MX Vertical isn’t perpendicular to your mousepad, but instead sits at what Logitech says is a 57 degree angle. They call this a “handshake position” and they make some bold claims about the apparent benefits it yields.
Popping it out of the box to test those claims and the first one we can confirm is that this mouse does look like a piece of art. The MX Vertical would look more at place if it was much larger and sitting in a university quad, instead of on your desk.
Aside from the unique form factor, there’s some other design elements here that both add to the great aesthetics while being functional too. The ridges which cover much of the mouse give you a superb surface to grip onto which is important here given the relatively low weight of the device compared to its size.
In the past we’ve complained about modern mice (mouses?) being far too small, but the MX Vertical goes in the opposite direction and may just be too large for some people to use comfortably.
Even those with large hands may find the mouse too big, but we personally loved it and we can see a few people picking it up purely for how well it fits into a hand.
When it comes to using it, it takes a surprising amount of time and effort to acclimatise too – even more so than the trackball MX Ergo. After a day or two you will be back up to speed, however.
Now for the big question: is it less taxing to use compared to an ordinary mouse? We’re going to provide a provisional “yes” with a few large caveats. The benefits of this mouse will probably only be apparent over the course of years, not the few weeks we had to test it.
Alternatively those who already have some kind of strain or other injury may find more immediate relief here, but that’s not something we could test due to the very personal nature of such things.
We go into more detail on the podcast dedicated to odd hardware, but the MX Vertical is supremely comfortable to use and it does feel like a more natural way to interact with your computer compared to the standard horizontal layout of most other devices.
The button placement and general usability are, thankfully, on pair with the form factor. The right and left mouse buttons were a worry for us here as they apply a horizontal force to the vertical mouse, which we thought may push your cursor around unintentionally.
This is not a problem as far as we can tell even when you’re clicking away a bit too hard when your programme freezes.
The two thumb buttons are an absolute joy here as using them amounts to squeezing the mouse more than simply clicking some buttons, and they have a great tactile feel.
There’s one final button on the top ridge here that acts as a sensitivity toggle for two profiles, but holding it down also lets you change these values on the fly. It’s also much easier to reach, which was a problem with a similar button on the MX Ergo.
Battery life is astounding here. At the time of writing we’ve been using the MX Vertical for 12+ hour days over the course of two weeks and it still hasn’t needed a charge outside of what came from the factory.
When you do need a charge there is a Type C port here so you can share cables with all your other modern tech.
The only real negative here is that it may not be suitable for every application. Gaming, for example, isn’t recommended due to the large nature of the mouse.
There’s also the price: a whopping RRP of R2 299. While we understand that this is a niche product and has been priced accordingly, we would have liked some extra features like adjustable weight and a travelling case to make up some of that money.
That being said, however, the MX Vertical is a fantastic mouse and it may be a godsend for those with injuries, or those wishing to avoid them.
It looks and feels great and is probably the best devices of its kind out there.