Using a mouse and keyboard is totally a learned activity, whether you started that journey (as many kids do these days) in kindergarten, or if home computing came along later in your personal life journey.
It’s also not particularly good for your arms and wrists, especially if you need to be at a computer keyboard for any length of time. Most laptop keyboards are flat, pushing your wrists into an unnatural position, and the default keyboards that ship with most desktop computers aren’t much better.
Over the years I’ve tested quite a few “ergonomic” mice and keyboards. There’s no one set of “ergonomic rules” that they all comply to, because the ergonomic needs of individuals can vary quite a lot. They can be great for folks with very specific motion related injuries or disabilities, and I’ve seen some wonderful designs to meet specific needs like that.
They’re more of a mid-range approach to ergonomics, meant to apply more for general users looking to offset the discomfort that can come from continuous and repetitive computer use.
Of the two, the MX Vertical Mouse is the more unusual looking. It’s rather like Logitech took a standard mouse base made from cake fondant and stretched it vertically up like a volcano. The idea is that you’re meant to grip it like a handshake, with mouse buttons and scroll wheel on the right-hand side, and thin macro command buttons on the left. It connects to your PC or Mac via either a supplied USB receiver, or Bluetooth, which means it’s also suitable for hooking up to tablets as well.
The K860 keyboard has a split design with a gap in the middle, which is very common in ergonomic keyboards. The keys towards the centre are slightly bigger, and there’s definitely a learning curve if you’re a touch typist when you first start to use it. I’ve been using split keyboards for years – mostly the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic – so I’m quite used to it, but I can totally recall the confronting first few days of usage where my typing speeds plummeted into the gutter.
The K860 has a delightfully soft touch and an adjustable fixed front wrist rest that can sit at two different heights, depending on your comfort level. Like the mouse, it’ll connect over Bluetooth or USB. You can also configure it with three different connection profiles, so you could switch from using it on one computer to another – or to other Bluetooth compatible devices like smartphones or tablets – with a simple keypress.
The MX Vertical has taken me a bit longer to get to grips with if you’ll pardon the pun. That’s because aside from the odd grip, and the fact that it wouldn’t be suitable at all if you are left-handed, it’s also a somewhat slower way to use a mouse on a computer. I find I simply sweep my hand and arm across a desk at a different rate when holding a mouse this way, even if I adjust the DPI – that’s the rate at which the mouse “reads” movement across the desk – upwards.
The K860 keyboard uses a pair of AA batteries to keep it going, but the MX Vertical relies entirely on fixed rechargeable batteries within its mouse body. You don’t get a charger in the box, but you do get a USB C cable that should easily enough connect to most phone chargers, or the USB port on your computer. You could also use this cable to use the MX Vertical as a fully cabled mouse if you prefer that style.
I can’t see too many gamers flocking to the Ergo K860 or especially the MX Vertical, although they could be just the ticket if you do want to keep gaming and find regular keyboards and mice problematic quickly. It’s also worth keeping in mind that getting any ergonomic tech product isn’t going to magically fix motor or muscle issues you may have.
The single best thing you can do ergonomically for your arms and wrists is to take regular rests away from your computer and maintain good posture when you are at your PC. A solution like the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse and Logitech Ergo K860 keyboard can go a long way to making the rest of your computing time a lot more comfortable, but you do still need to remember to take regular breaks.
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