Roller Mouse Red Where Have You Been All My Life
Finally An Ergonomic Mouse for the Wrist Impaired That Actually Delivers on the Promise of Less Pain
For almost as long as I can remember I have struggled with wrist and arm pain associated with the use of the computer mouse, perhaps the most stupidly named, yet most undeniably useful and effective tools mankind has invented. Despite a succession of job roles and offices, desks, chairs, and ergonomic audit after ergonomic audit, it has never really gone away, though the intensity of the pain has varied by quite a lot. At its worst the pain forced a change to left handed mousing for what was without a doubt the least productive and most frustrating six months of my life. As I convalesced from serious surgery in 2015 and then got myself is seriously fit physical condition thanks to a bouldering habit (finally a habit that is good for me, lol!) the pain receded to more manageable levels. That however began to change very recently yet again and I was desperate for possible solutions. This needed to be headed off at the pass and quickly. Ergonomically my workspace was in pretty good shape. I pay very close attention to this because of my past issues. I had a nice ergo keyboard I liked but my mouse situation continued to frustrate and the pain always seemed the worst when my workload required high intensity mousing for extended periods. I made the decision to try and find a replacement. It had been a long while since I had needed to worry about so I was really not sure what was new/different in the ergonomic mouse world since I had looked a few years back. Turns out quite a lot has changed and a staggering variety of shapes, formats, sizes, etc. are availabe and over the the past 6 months or so I worked my way through five of them in my quest to find one that actually delivers on the promise of reduced wrist pain while remaining user friendly enough not to drive me insane with frustration.
My first four attempts ended quickly and badly. Either the mouse was simply too difficult to use (imprecise, slow, ungainly, etc.) or did nothing to improve my pain situation, usually both. For my fifth and last attempt I decided to go way outside the box and try the roller mouse red. It is a very pricey option at ~$265 but fortunately my work was willing to cover it as they take the ergonomic issue very seriously to their everlasting and great credit. It operates on a very different principle than your standard mouse. You use the roller bar to move the pointer in both the up/down direction by rotation away from you and back toward you, and you move left/right by sliding the same bar in that respective direction. All four axes of motion are controlled by the slider bar. Importantly from an ergonomic perspective you can use one or both hands to control the slide bar. You can also use the slider to double click but I had to disable that function immediately as I found myself accidentally double clicking things on a regular basis even when I set the tension to highest force required. The clicks are controlled by buttons in the center of the device with some additional buttons for copy/paste and double click. These extra buttons are my main complain with the roller mouse red. Because the keyboard sits directly in front of the mouse my wrists tend to accidentally hit these extra keys as I type. Unfortunately these cannot be disabled or at least I cannot figure out how to disable them. I still accidentally copy/paste things unintentionally from time to time but with practice have gotten much better. The speed of the mouse pointer movement is variable over a very wide range which is nice because it definitely takes some getting used to and the ability to start more slowly was a big help at first. I had to replace my ergonomic keyboard with a more traditional keyboard but because of the setup of the mouse it is still a net positive from a pain perspective.
I find that even for click heavy and precision intensive applications like graphic design in photoshop for instance the roller mouse red meets or exceeds the competition in terms of usability and overall likability. Most of all it has eliminated my wrist pain issues allowing me to publish even more articles that no one will ever read on this very website. lol!