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Peripherals

Logitech's MX Vertical mouse aims for wrist comfort

The $99 mouse is designed with ergonomics in mind, but it's not a perfect solution for every desk.

The Logitech MX Vertical isn't the first or even most distinctive sideways-grip ergonomic pointing device we've seen, but it is the accessory giant's first vertically oriented mouse. You'll be able to buy the MX Vertical in September for $100 (directly converted, £78 and AU$140).

According to Logitech, it's "designed to promote a natural handshake position, which reduces muscular activities by 10 percent compared to a standard mouse." When using it your hand rotates to a 57-degree angle, which Logitech says "reduces the pressure on your wrist." 

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Logitech's MX Vertical on the left and the Evoluent VerticalMouse on the right.

Lori Grunin/CNET

For some operations -- dragging and dropping across two monitors, for example -- it does seem to significantly reduce the amount of movement necessary, and it feels really fluid. That may be attributable to its 4,000 dpi sensor, relatively high for a nongaming mouse, which helps for tracking between an HD and a 4K monitor. (The software also lets you adjust the tracking speed on the fly, with a thumb press on the top button.) Plus, because of the angle of the primary buttons, it feels more natural and like they don't require as much exertion to press them. 

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At a standing desk, your hand usually isn't at the right height to use it properly. It does seem to fit large and medium-size hands pretty well, though.

Lori Grunin/CNET

But for some work environments, it may be much tougher to use the mouse the way it seems to be intended. In Logitech's photos, you see people's forearms resting on the desk with their hands more or less straight in front of them. That position is only doable if your keyboard is narrower than your body -- perhaps the width of an Apple Magic Keyboard is OK, but not the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, for example --  you sit really close to your desk (rather than use a standing desk), and you have at least 12 inches of clear space directly in front of you.  

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Logitech (left), Lori Grunin/CNET (right)

If you meet those criteria, then you'll probably have a better experience with it than I did with my full-size keyboard and cluttered workspace. I ended up torquing my arm more than usual, obviating any theoretical advantage of MX Vertical's unique design. It's too bad, because the shape otherwise felt natural in my hand. The rubberized texture also feels quite good, though it's a dust magnet that never lets go.

If you're constantly moving your hand between the mouse and keyboard, it takes just a little bit more time and coordination to wrap your hand around the MX Vertical than plop it onto a standard mouse.

In addition to the primary buttons and scroll wheel on the right side, there are a couple more on the left. I found that I couldn't press them with my thumb without gripping down on the right-side buttons.

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The secondary buttons can be hard to press without pressing on the primary buttons.

Lori Grunin/CNET

One of the mouse's nonergonomic perks is the ability to switch among dpi settings to control speed and precision depending upon what you're doing, an addictive feature commonly found in gaming mice. But a gaming mouse usually changes illumination color so you can tell at a glance which setting you're on; the MX Vertical lacks that.

Otherwise, it's a typical Logitech mouse. You can use it wirelessly using the supplied USB dongle or via Bluetooth as well as wired via the supplied USB-C cable. The company says the rechargeable battery should last four months with one minute of charging supplying three hours of juice. It can also take advantage of Logitech's Options software to connect it two systems simultaneously and copy and paste between them.

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We'll be testing the MX Vertical mouse among more users and workspaces in the coming weeks. Check back soon for a full review. 

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