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Ergonomic mouse: Help with choice

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by pjladyfox, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    Long story short I've got RSI/Tendonitis and the Logitech G5 has to go due to being unable to comfortably use a palm grip without pain entering the picture after prolonged use. Right now, after doing a LOT of research both here on the forums and elsewhere, I've narrowed things down to the following:

    SteelSeries Ikari Laser
    Pros: Perfect shape and size, not Ergonomic in name only, good button layout
    Cons: Reliability, reported negative tracking issues, double-click syndrome, not available via Office Depot and would have to expense for work

    Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0
    Pros: Inexpensive, similar size to Ikari Laser, USB and PS/2 compatible, similar button layout to G5, available via Office Depot (for work)
    Cons: Extremely noisy buttons, difficult to find locally, uncertain if shape will be as perfect as the Ikari Laser is due to lack of hands-on experience

    Microsoft SideWinder (either the Standard, X5, or X8)
    Pros: Size and shape similar to Ikari Laser, positive reviews in press, available via Office Depot (for work)
    Cons: Somewhat expensive, uncertain if shape will be as perfect as the Ikari Laser is due to lack of hands-on experience

    Mionix Naos 5000
    Pros: Same shape as Ikari Laser (as far as I can tell), more options than Ikari Laser, better customization options, better warranty than other mice
    Cons: Highest cost of all mice listed, only available from Medusa, unable to return for full refund thru Medusa, unknown quality of support if problems arise, difficulty expensing one for use at work due to cost (would need 3 for different PC's)

    So, I'm hoping some of my fellow TPU users can give some insight and hands-on experience on these mice beyond the posted reviews elsewhere. Also, I'll be sure to do a mini-review comparing whatever mouse I decide on here so that others can benefit from the information and research.
     
  2. Arrakis+9

    Arrakis+9

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    cost is no excuse if pain is involved. i'd say go with the sidewinder as it is a microsoft mouse which are quite reliable.
     
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  3. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I've found the MS IE mice to have very short life spans.

    Also the company should be happy to foot the bill for ergonomic devices.
    I manage the IT department here, and if a user complains they get something better.
     
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  4. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    I'm looking around to see if there is a local store that has the Sidewinder and IntelliPoint 3.0 out of package to demo. I can tell within a few minutes of handling it if it will work or not I'm just hoping to do this without having to buy the blasted thing first. I tell you they REALLY should make their packaging so that you can properly put your hand on the mouse like the SteelSeries Ikari Laser does.

    Can you clarify a bit on this? The IntelliPoint is cheap enough that even if it did die in a year it's not a burden to replace. However, dealing with issues like random double-clicking like the Ikari Laser after 6 months would be unacceptable. -_-
     
  5. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    I agree. I've been running a sidewinder for over a year now and I miss my G5 logitech. Logitech just makes the best mice on the market. Far better built than MS mice. If I were to get one right now I would go G9 all the way IMO.
     
  6. Valenciente

    Valenciente

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    I laughed a little:laugh:

    I've used a Logitech MX1000 for a long time, and it has been, at least for me, the most comfortable mouse I've ever owned.
    I've recently gotten myself a new mouse, specifically a Razer Deathadder, which I also adore. It might not fall under the ergonomic class of mice, but I have a very unique way of sitting when I play, so it's really good for me. (I halfway lie down in my sofa when using my computer.)

    Despite my comment on MS, I've heard good things about the Sidewinder.
     
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  7. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    I'm curious but what about the G5 do you miss compared to the Sidewinder you are using? For me, the G5 is just a bit too small in order to get a long-term comfortable palm grip on it. And when things get hot and heavy during gaming I find my hand unconsciously going back to the claw method. :cry: :banghead: I'm hoping that by going to a bigger mouse it will "encourage" my hand to keep the proper hold and prevent me from reverting back to my current bad habits.

    I took a look at the G9 when I was looking at the other mice and it had about the same size as the G5 does which pretty much ruled that one out as well. That, and it looked like some kind of Russian torture device. :twitch: :p
     
  8. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    Wanted to put an update in here after spending last night and the first part of today dealing with this. I got lucky and found that the San Jose Fry's actually had a demo isle where they had every mouse they had in stock out to try hands-on so it was a must-stop location for today. The goal was to find a mouse that would work for my needs while I wait for a Mionix Naos 5000 to arrive before I make a final decision.


    Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0

    Pros: Shape and size is a big improvement over the MX518, G5, or G500. Much easier to achieve a palm grip due to the longer width and fingers were fully supported by both mouse buttons. Priced at $35 it's a pretty good deal and has the added bonus of being one of the last remaining mice that could be used with a PS/2 connector much like the MX518.

    Cons: After getting a chance to handle one I noticed that when you palm the mouse in order to hit the left side buttons you have to raise your hand up just a bit which leaves your wrist/arm unsupported or stretch my thumb a bit. This was totally counter to what the PT person said would be ideal but I think with the addition of a wrist rest this may still be a contender. But if you are thinking of using this unsupported, and use a palm grip, this may not be the best choice. Also, do note that this mouse is LOUD both when using the buttons and wheel compared to other mice.

    Notes: Never thought this would be the most difficult mouse to find but after hitting 4 different Fry's, one Office Depot, and calling around to other stores I was able to find two but they were returns. If anyone has ever dealt with Fry's before you NEVER buy returns no matter how desperate you are. And considering the condition of the packaging (read: held together with packing tape) I certainly was not going to risk it. So I'll have to try and order a couple of these thru Office Depot and see how the will work for a couple of systems I have at work.

    Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse

    Pros: Could not really find any after trying one at Fry's.

    Cons: Expensive compared to other options even at $69 versus the original $89 cost. The shape when taking a palm grip forces your hand up even higher than the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 and completely leaves your ring finger under supported. Unless you have a wrist rest or do not mind the hanging feeling you get this one is a pass.


    Microsoft SideWinder X5

    Pros: This may come as a surprise but the shape on this one is WAY different than the base Sidewinder. I had to get my husband to give them both a shot and he agreed as well that this one was slightly more wide which was just enough to properly support the ring finger. While you do lose out some of the bling and the weight system this would be a better option compared to the SideWinder or X8.

    Cons: However, the mouse still forces your hand into a higher hold position when palming the mouse so this one is also out if you plan on mousing without wrist support or use a different grip.

    Razer DeathAdder 3500

    Pros: This one was the surprise of the entire bunch especially compared to the Imperator and others. The size and dimensions were near perfect only missing the ring and pinky finger support that the Ikari Laser and Naos 5000. Using a palm grip I'm able to use the mouse either flat on my SteelSeries mousing surface or supported with a wrist rest. To make things even sweeter Fry's had the mouse on sale for $39 which was the same cost as the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 I was looking at originally.

    Cons: None so far but the real test will be when I take one to work and use it there at my desk. If things develop otherwise I'll post an update to this thread.
     
  9. Valenciente

    Valenciente

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    I'm not surprised that you like the DeathAdder. It might be classified as a gaming mouse, and Razer mice doesn't usually go together with being ergonomic, but it's actually an excellent mouse, which I'm really fond of.

    Good luck with it =)
     
  10. Bjorn_Of_Iceland

    Bjorn_Of_Iceland

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    Switched from G5 to DeathAdder. and from experience, this DeathAdder really is comfy vs the slim feel the G5 has on the bottom.
     
  11. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

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    What you should do, is go to a computer shop, actually hold each one. See which one fits the best, moves the best for you, and then get that one.

    No point in asking us what you should get because we all hold our mice differently.



    HOWEVER, i got myself a MS sidewinder, and am quite happy with it. In fact I might get the better model in a few months.
     
  12. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    I agree with you however there are three things that a lot of people can share some insight on:

    a. Reliability - Would not have known about the Ikari's problems, both with the sensor and drivers under Win7, had I not stumbled across it before I was just moments from buying one.

    b. Support - Had no idea that the Evoluent Vertical Mouse v.3 could not really be fully used until after the drivers were installed in addition to some buttons not being supported during gameplay by default.

    c. Usability - Some mice just are not available at the local Fry's so just hopping in the car to say get a hands-on with a Mionix mouse, that is only carried at one store in the USA, is not doable.

    And after reading thru multiple other threads I was aiming to avoid the "choose for me..." situation and just wanted input on their experience good or bad. I'd then take that info and use it to weigh against my own judgment while posting said thoughts here for everyone. :toast:
     
  13. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    I'd be interested to know which mouse you've decided on acquiring, since I'm also on the market for one, I've got a thread going bout that. I'm also undecided and I also share your view about the subject, its good to have some insight on the product you plan on buying.
     
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  14. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    Well, right now, here is how things stand:

    Mice purchased:

    Razer DeathAdder 3500

    Notes - After spending two days with this mouse, both at home and at work, the difference in long-term comfort has been dramatic. So much so that for the very first time I've been able to play or use a PC for an hour or more without pain. The only thing where this mouse falls short is in the support for the ring and pinky finger which is why I'm getting the Mionix Naos for home. Either way I'm thankful for this accidental discovery. ^_^

    Mice pending purchase:

    Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 - This was the ONLY mouse that I could find that gave good performance and would work both on a PS/2 and USB connector. The reason for this need is mainly due to one of my workstations uses a PS/2 4-port KVM and the Razer just would not work with this. I'm still working on getting a replacement USB KVM thru work but this at least will allow me to work in relative comfort 'tho it's not as well shaped as the DeathAdder it comes pretty close. :rockout:

    Mionix Naos 5000 - I really have high hopes for this mouse and I'm looking forward to giving it a try especially considering all of the positive reviews both professional and personal. However, if this mouse does not stand up then I'll be selling it here on TPU since Medusa USA does not allow returns for non-defective mice. :mad:

    Mice ruled out due to reliability and performance issues: SteelSeries Ikari Laser, SteelSeries Ikari Optical

    Mice that were borderline but would be good for those with small or medium sized hands: Microsoft Sidewinder X5

    Mice tried and found were not sufficiently ergonomic to allow for a proper and comfortable palm grip:

    Logitech MX518 - Too small in order to accommodate proper palm grip while accessing buttons

    Logitech G5 V2 - Too small in order to accommodate proper palm grip while accessing buttons

    Logitech G500 - Too small in order to accommodate proper palm grip while accessing buttons

    Logitech G9 & G9x - Too small in order to accommodate proper palm grip while accessing buttons

    Microsoft Sidewinder Gaming Mouse - "hump" too high forcing hand to grip mouse at a height higher than wrist rest or mousepad and also unable to easily reach thumb buttons

    Microsoft Sidewinder X8 - "hump" too high forcing hand to grip mouse at a height higher than wrist rest or mousepad and also unable to easily reach thumb buttons

    Razer Imperator - Too small in order to accommodate proper palm grip while accessing buttons

    Wolf King Trooper Gaming Mouse - Too small in order to accommodate proper palm grip while accessing buttons

    Mice unable to try due to being unable to locate a local source that had a demo available:

    Microsoft Habu, Razer Salmosa, Roccat Kone
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  15. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    Are your hands huge or is it just me? My palm does drag a tag on the mousepad, but really the mouses are built that way for a reason.
     
  16. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    My hands are not what I would consider big but my fingers are a bit longer than average. This makes finding gloves a challenge among other things.

    As far as the palm dragging on the pad as you point out that is quite normal. However, in my case due to the small width (or length depending up on how you view it) of the G5 makes that impossible; forcing my hand into a pseudo claw-like grip. You combine this with the fact that the ergonomics of most mice were designed by people with small hands and it caused me no end of pain, fustration, time, and money.

    In fact this was the biggest challenge I faced was finding a mouse that was not only wide enough but was not so high that it forced my wrist anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 inch above the mouse surface and 1/8 above the wrist rest. :( :cry: Either way I was going to share my findings after all this so that everyone could benefit from my troubles.
     
  17. Valenciente

    Valenciente

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    Always glad to be of some help, small or not. :)
     
  18. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Wait, what? You are a gal? BP, if you are reading this, I have found you a friend! :)

    Anyway, back on topic: I use the sidewinder X5 and I like it. At the beginning, it felt huuuge, but after a while (a week or so) it started to feel natural. I would vouch for it anyday, provided it is relatively cheap. As noted earlier, it is quite arched, so that might help and also the thumb buttons are quite far forward, so a bit of stretch may be necessary. I have to use palm grip if I want to reach all the buttons comfortably, so that might be a deciding factor. Regarding my hand size, I think it is pretty average (I'm 5' 10" and plays the piano).

    Edit: Have you looked at trackballs? A few people I know use them instead of mice for normal office use, and they are quite good.
     
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  19. jaydeee

    jaydeee New Member

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    selections are great but I am wondering why leading brands like Logitech and genius are not in the list... I actually like Logitech and genius mice. :)
     
  20. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    pjladyfox: your hands must be huge, i can use the G500 in a palm grip and access all buttons.
     
  21. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    The biggest mouse I have owned was an MX Revolution. That is a big mouse, you should have no issues with that!
     
  22. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    Not sure who BP is but if he's a nice guy I'm up to being a friend. :)

    As far as the X5 goes the observations, regarding the stretching to reach the buttons, was the one thing that made me choose the DeathAdder instead. But I did not wish to dismiss the mouse out of hand since it would work for someone else with a different hand shape than mine.

    I considered a trackball, even used one for a very brief period, but you try playing a game like BC2 or Star Trek Online with one and my fingers started to cramp something fierce. Great for programmers but not so much for gaming IMO.

    The reason being mainly due to the fact that I was having problems with the G5 V2 already which discounted out the MX518 and G500. The only other mouse that looked viable was wireless and past experience has shown to stay away from those. *shudder*

    Attached a couple of pics of my hand on a DeathAdder so you can see for yourself. ^_^ Pardon the condition of the mousepad it's at work and I've got my QCk+ thick pad at home which is a LOT cleaner. And before you ask, yes, there is a ring on my left hand which I've just attached. ;)
     

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  23. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    thems be big hands... and... girl hands?

    makes sense with the name as lady fox, i guess lol.
     
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  24. DriedFrogPills

    DriedFrogPills New Member

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  25. Frederik S Staff

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    The SteelSeries Xai laser is bigger than IME 3.0 so that might be interesting for you as well.
     

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