Updated on April 20, 2016
Evoluent Wireless VerticalMouse 4 Review
As part of my effort to branch out from my mouse of choice, the Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse, I’ve been trying out and reviewing other ergonomic mice on the market. I’ve been particularly intrigued by the new wireless vertical mice hitting the market and last week I took a stab at the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse, which is an absolutely fantastic option for those on a budget. This week, however, I’m going back to basics and reviewing the mouse that started it all, the Evoluent vertical mouse.
I’ve already written a bit about the advantages of a vertical mouse. In short, a more vertical wrist position tends to mitigate ulnar deviation, which in turn reduces the likelihood of developing tendinitis in the wrist. As far as I know, the Evoluent vertical mouse was the first ergonomic mouse to adopt such a design. In fact, it was my first ergonomically minded purchase ever.
I first discovered the Evoluent vertical mouse almost 5 years ago. Back then, I don’t believe a wireless version was available so I was stuck dragging a usb cable around my desk. Since then, it has gone through several iterations and, as I was very pleased to discover, is now available in a wireless variant. The new standard bearer is the Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4, which available in both regular and small sizes, and comes in a number of different colors to boot.
So how does the Evoluent stack up? Well, as I mentioned, the original Evoluent mouse was way ahead of its time. It took years for the competition to even catch on to the idea that, maybe, the wrist didn’t need to be awkwardly rotated when mousing. With that said, I’m sorry to say that the Evoluent has fallen behind.
The construction of the Evoluent mouse is just not up to par when compared with mice at a similar price point. In comparison to my Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse, the Evoluent just feels poorly made. It does have a nice rubberized grip, but the fit and finish is not up to par. Additionally, for an ergonomic mouse, the feel is actually not particularly ergonomic. Yes, the mouse enables you to position your wrist vertically, but it does not cup the palm and thumb as comfortably as other mice on the market.
In terms of technical features, the Evoluent also falls short. I found the tracking to be sub-optimal. On a mouse at this price point, I would have expected all the bells and whistles in terms of laser tracking, but the Evoluent just doesn’t deliver. It also uses 2 AAA batteries rather than lithium polymer or other usb rechargeable approaches found on high end mice.
Finally, the price point is surprisingly high: typically somewhere around $90. At that price point, it is more expensive than nearly any other ergonomic mouse on the market, including my mouse of choice, the Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse.
The Evoluent does have a number of fantastic features that made it the market leader several years ago. It has 3 primary programmable buttons versus the two typically found on most mice. It also has 2 thumb buttons and a well designed scroll wheel. In fact, unlike the scroll wheel on the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse, the scroll wheel on the Evoluent feels solid and well designed. I found the size to be perfect for my hand size, and I believe the regular version is an ideal for the average adult male. Women may prefer the try the smaller version, however.
With all that said, the Evoluent is still a great mouse. It just doesn’t stand out from the crowd the way it once did, and therefore I can’t go out of my way to recommend it.
Pros of the Evoluent VerticalMouse 4:
- 3 primary programmable buttons versus 2 – Allows for a dedicated button for some commonly used action not available on other mice.
- Well designed scroll wheel – A feature often overlooked by other mice on the market and a definite “nice to have”
- Size – Fit my hand well. All the buttons, including the thumb buttons, are easy to reach and easy to press.
Cons of the Evoluent VerticalMouse 4:
- Poor construction – Just does not have the fit and finish expected from a mouse at this price point.
- Poor ergonomics other than vertical position – Does not cup the fingers and palm the way that other comparable mice do.
- Poor laser tracking – Does not have features to particularly deal with glare and other non-optimal surfaces.
- AAA batteries rather than lithium polymer – Adds weight and feels like a cut corner at this price point.
- Price point – A high price for a mouse that has fallen behind the (lower priced) competition.
The Evoluent VerticalMouse is still a great mouse. If you prefer vertical mice, then it is worth a look, particularly since it has been on the market longer than virtually any other mouse out there. With that said, I would have expected it to progress along further by now. It lacks many of the features found on similarly priced mice, and just doesn’t feel all that special anymore, which is necessary in order to justify the high price point.