Can a mouse ever be worth £100? Yes. Let’s get that out of the way. If you spend all day working with your hands, you owe it to yourself to give them the best possible equipment to protect them. For me, that’s a vertical mouse with re-mappable buttons to help prevent RSI.
Over the last few years, I’ve purchased several Evoluent mice. They’ve kindly sent me their latest model so I can write a Linux guide for it.
It’s a Daft Punk Helmet of a mouse. Chrome and matt black plastic and blinkenlights. My photos are crap, so here are the press shots:
This is a much needed upgrade over their previous models, where the sweat of human hands tended to discolour and degrade the surface. The new version should be a lot sturdier.
A wireless version is available – it’s gold!
Sadly, the wireless version isn’t Bluetooth, so you’ll need to use their proprietary USB dongle.
There’s still no way to disable the glowing Evoluent logo on the back. Use of masking tape may be required.
There are five buttons – two thumb, three fingers – and a scrollwheel.
There’s been a change for the worse with the buttons. The mouse wheel is not clickable. This is either a minor inconvenience or a grave sin depending on how quickly you can retrain your muscle memory.
No idea why they’ve made that change, seems a bit odd.
There’s a “jewel” button which controls the four levels of speed. On the slowest, moving your mouse the whole span of your arm’s reach will move it along half the screen. On the quickest, the merest flick of your fingers will send it spanging onto the edge of the monitor.
There’s a set of Mac and Windows drivers – I don’t use Windows (for religious reasons) but the Mac configuration is pretty handy. It allows you to change the function of all the buttons in a handy GUI. Here are all the button settings available.
By default, this works as a multi-button mouse on Linux. If you want to change the button order, you can follow my guide to configuring Evoluent with Ubuntu.
I’ve used cheap vertical mice and, frankly, they’re not as good. They don’t have the weight, sturdiness, configurability, or ergonomic comfort as the Evoluent line.
The Evoluent looks like a million dollars, and performs flawlessly. My only quibble is the lack of a clickable scrollwheel.