Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saving My Wrists (Part 2)

For the past seven weeks I have been using a RollerMouse Pro2 at work, and while I am not convinced that such a device is good for everybody I can say that it has been a nice benefit for me--particularly with respect to my wrists.  If you haven't read my initial impressions, you might want to go ahead and do that as that blog post also contains some information as to why I wanted this pointing device in the first place.

• I mentioned in my original impressions that it did not take long for me to get used to the device, and after using it for six weeks I don't even think about how different it is anymore. Using the bar to move the pointer around onscreen is second nature, and I really like that I don't have to move my right hand over to the side of my desk and grab the mouse like I used to. However, when other people are at my computer to view demonstrations or look up information, they often get confused and I have to do the navigation for them.  This could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view, but it's not really an issue for me.  I thought I would mention it anyway though.

• It is comfortable...for the most part.  I am still using my old wrist rest (basically a super oblong bean bag) because the wrist rests on the RollseMouse Pro2 don't extend very far down.  I think the manufacturer knows about this too, because they sell an extended wrist rest for about $40. That's a tad expensive if you ask me, and I think the device itself should probably just come with more padding for people's wrists.  Don't get me wrong, though--it is not an uncomfortable setup at all, but when paying $200 for what is basically a glorified mouse, I would have hoped it would come with the extended wrist rest too.  At the end of the day my hands feel much better than they used to, and I guess that's what really matters.

I'm still not sure why this thing extends so far to the right, but maybe it's to accommodate gigantic keyboards.

• It works great for 95% of the tasks I do on a daily basis.  Navigating the internet, answering email, working in Excel, even simple video editing tasks are just fine on this device.  In some ways it is a marked improvement over a regular mouse, since the copy/paste functions are mapped to specific buttons and the double-click button really comes in handy far more than I would have initially thought.  What it does not work well for is anything involving photo editing, which admittedly is not a large portion of my day, but any time I fire up Photoshop or Fireworks I start to long for my trusty ol' Logitech mouse.  I would, however, venture to say that for most people it would be a great addition to their workspace.

• The seven buttons work just fine, but I think there is a bit of form-over-function going on.  The concave layout of the right/double/left click buttons, with the scroll wheel in the middle, looks great on paper and in a catalog but in practice the buttons are a bit awkward and my hands even start to cramp a little.  I'm not sure what would mitigate this, and most of the time it's not really an issue but I thought it would be prudent to mention this here anyway.

So was it worth $200? I dunno.  My first instinct is to say "Probably," but it depends on your situation. I would recommend getting their 30-day trial to judge for yourself, but I suppose only several years of using this kind of device would be the only way to really judge its effectiveness.  If you are a graphic designer or video editor, this is almost certainly not the right pointing device for you.  But if your job involves pretty much anything else, it's worth a shot.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Sorry to hear about your wrists... I've dealt with some finger problems from typing/clicking too much. I found a wacom tablet helped me (as did putting the keyboard on my lap because the angle i typed at was different -- but I have no idea if that's good ergonomics or not). Hope this mouse continues to help.