Why the Natural Wireless Mouse didn’t do it for me

When I bought the Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop 7000, the reasoning was that my work involved substantial use of a keyboard, so it would be a good idea to invest in an ergonomic one – wireless would be nice too. One year in, I can safely say that they keyboard was a worthwhile investment; but this post isn’t about the keyboard – it’s about the mouse that came with it.

The Natural Wireless Laser Mouse came as part of the Desktop bundle. Being a sucker for trying out new things, I gave myself a period of time to “break in” to the slightly foreign posture that your arm assumes when using one such mouse.

These pictures doesn’t really do justice to how weird it feels using such a contraption. If you can imagine gripping an upright soda can tightly and sliding it around on the table, that’s how it feels like.

The upright-ier posture did take the strain off my wrist as advertised. Rather than twisting my palm downwards to reach for a flat mouse – the mouse came to me.

After many months of attempting to get used to the mouse though, I still found it frustrating/slow to use but couldn’t understand why – until now.

Firstly, this mouse is heavy. The wireless mouse weighs in at more than twice that of a standard issue Dell mouse (179g vs 71g), making it very tiring to push around all day. The heft comes mainly from the twin double-A batteries that power it.

Secondly, the ergonomic posture of the mouse actually immobilizes your wrist and forces you to operate it by moving your arms. You may not have notice this before, but chances are, you actually flick your mouse around using your fingers and wrist rather than your arm. This gives you more control when you’re performing fine movements like editing graphics or selecting a phrase of letters.

Finally, because of its “natural” organic shape, it’s hard to tell which way is “up”. The very first Apple USB Mouse suffered from a similar problem.

After a year, I given up learning to use this and swapped back to the unergonomic standard-issue Dell mouse. The keyboard is great though.

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