There was a time when the Evoluent mouse was just about the only, very expensive, vertical mouse available. However, that monopoly is long gone and you now have a healthy selection of vertical and other ergonomical mouse products and pointing devices to choose from. Some of those can even be bought for under 20usd, such as this mouse.
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My first thought when I received the package from Amazon was whether I was being had. The box was so light that I was certain that the box couldn´t possibly contain a quality computer mouse. However, I was relieved to find the incredibly sleek looking vertical Sharkk mouse.
I wasn´t sure what to expect from a 20 dollar mouse because ergonomical computer peripherals usually come at a high price. But so far I am truly impressed with the quality of this vertical mouse.
What´s in the box
- The Sharkk mouse
- Wi-Fi dongle
- small user manual
- Optical sensor (Laser technology)
- 6 buttons including the mouse wheel.
- DPI switch (800/1200/1600)
- Low battery indicator
- Auto sleep battery saving feature
- On/off button
- Dongle storage in the mouse itself
Working with the Sharkk mouse
The grip and angle of the mouse feel natural and is extremely comfortable to work with.
The point of a vertical mouse is to eliminate the twisting of your lower arm that you get with a traditional mouse. Underarm twisting increases the risk of repetitive stress injury (RSI) or carpal tunnel syndrome. This mouse does a great job of eliminating that problem.
Keeping in mind that any kind of repetitive task can cause RSI and other health problems, a vertical mouse is one way of reducing this risk.
Actually, the term vertical mouse does not quite fit the Sharkk mouse. It is, in fact, tilted more towards a 60 degree angle. This actually feels much more natural than certain other products where your hand is forced into an almost 90 degree angle which, to me, feels almost as strenuous as a standard flat mouse.
The 60 degree design of this mouse is more or less perfect. The position of your lower arm and hand feels perfectly natural and relaxed without the slightest sensation of lower arm twisting.
The mouse is light and the weight feels good, but only just. Without the batteries it feels borderline too light, so I am curious about the feel of the cabled Sharkk mouse.
The mouse is easy to move around and it slides smoothly on my trusty hard surface Razer mouse pad.
The height of the mouse takes a little getting used to. I am used to a standard mouse and the first couple of days I kept hitting the Sharkk mouse when I moved my hand from the keyboard to the mouse, sending it spinning across my desk.
The Sharkk mouse offers 6 buttons (Wheel click included). The button layout is simple and intuitive.
Left/right mouse click
The left/right click buttons work well and the contacts feel like high quality. The clicks are a bit loud but you quickly get used to that. When you grab the mouse your fingers land where they are supposed to and you never need to search for the buttons.
The left and right click buttons feel and sound slightly different. The left button is a fraction harder to click than the right one. The left buttons is also louder than the right one.
Combined with the relatively low weight of the mouse, clicking the left button does occasionally move the mouse slightly sideways. But unless you frequently need to double-click small targets this is not an issue.
The mouse wheel is made of perforated rubber and offers perfect friction and effortless page scrolling. Unlike other cheaper mice, the stepped roll action is almost soundless.
The wheel is a bit hard to press when using the wheel as a button. It is a little harder to press than my old Evoluent mouse, but equal to my standard Logitech mouse.
Personally I never use mouse wheels for clicking. They are mostly too hard to click and rarely offer an acceptable level of precision.
Above the thumb position you have a forward and a back button. They work pretty well in your web-browser. They are easy to find without looking down and they are easy to click.
At the top of the mouse you have the DPI switch button where you can choose between:
- 800 DPI
- 1200 DPI
- 1600 DPI
The button is placed well out of the way on the top/left edge of the mouse. When you switch between the settings the battery indicator is used to tell you which setting is active by blinking one to three times. One blink is 800 DPI and so forth.
You can use the OS mouse settings on top of the DPI options to find a perfect speed setting.
The main audience for a vertical mouse such as the Sharkk mouse is most likely someone who already has RSI or carpal tunnel problems or someone who wants to prevent carpal tunnel issues.
The mouse is perfect for general office tasks and even light graphical work. Whether it is suitable for gaming I can´t say.
The surface of the Sharkk mouse is made of a kind of plastic that is a little hard to describe. Even though it is hard plastic it has a mat look and a pleasant silky feel.
I assume the intention is to emulate a rubbery surface. But due to the conical shape of the mouse your fingers still tend to glide on the surface when you lift the mouse. This is often the case with vertical mice, especially if you have a tendency to dry hands.
However, the concave thumb area enables you to lift the mouse more easily than some competing products.
Even though I like and recommend the Sharkk mouse, I always recommend to add variation to the way you work in the office. A couple of good tips are:
- Try to include your secondary hand in your workflow
- Try using a Wacom Pen Tablet which also includes touch capability
- Check out the Contour Rollermouse Red which is a whole other breed of pointing device
In other words, use any means that helps you to staying healthy by mixing things up while still being fast and productive at work.
Plug and play. No driver needed
Apple OS X,Linux and all versions of Windows
At 20 USD the Sharkk mouse is a bargain really. As mentioned, ergonomically correct office peripherals usually come with a hefty price tag and trying to find a mouse that you like can be an expensive undertaking.
But 20 dollar is a relatively small investment in your search for a mouse that can help you avoid or alleviate RSI or carpal tunnel problems.
I am truly impressed with the Sharkk mouse and I recommend it to anyone who is struggling with Carpal Tunnel issues or anyone who wants to prevent such health problems. I quickly got used to the new angle of my hand and I immediately experienced the sensation of a healthier hand and underarm posture.
- Perfect hand angle
- Good quality build
- Low price
- Plug and play
- Looks great
- Left click button could be fraction easier to click.
- Mouse clicks are louder than your average mouse
- Apparently the mouse is not available in a left handed version