First impressions of the AirO2bic Vertical Mouse
there seems to some confusion about the name - it's AirO2
bic mouse with the dropped "2" but also called the Aerobic mouse
[First major update/edit will be in maroon colour font
|App Name||AirO2bic Mouse|
|App Version Reviewed||Left-handed mouse, Black (available in black or white). Dont know if this the first version or if the "2" in the name has any significance that way|
|Test System Specs|
Specs of the test system here done in a quote block - Do you mean like this: (?) dual-core, WinXP SP2 up-to-date
|Supported OSes||Win 95/98/ME/XP/2000 + PRO, Apple, Mac OX (Re Vista? -I dont know- I got this info from a sellers website - couldnt find relevant info on the product homepage )|
|Support Methods||Call Toll Free (US) 1866 WE-MOUSE (1 866 936 6873). Outside the U.S. (+1) 516 747 5665. At their website you have to register/login to get support - havent tried yet|
|Trial Version Available?||Not sure of their return policies ..|
|Pricing Scheme||$87 here, £79 here, 86 euros+tax(20% in germany)+delivery=118euros|
|Reviewer Donation Link|| Donate to tomos, the Author|
|Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product|| I've given them loads of money for this mouse |
and Who is this app designed for:
It's a "vertical" mouse aimed mainly at people who are having trouble with wrist/arm/shoulder related to using regular mouseAirObic/ Aerobic Vertical mouse - first impressions
outlined some in this foto cause it wasnt so clear with the dark background (click fotos to enlarge)
each of those squares on the green cutting mat are one centimetre (2.5 cm = 1 inch)AirObic/ Aerobic Vertical mouse - first impressions
I dont think anyone, excluding gamers(!), would pay this much (118 euros I mean) for a mouse unless they're having trouble in some way related to the use of regular mouse. I should probably state at this stage that I do have problems with my left shoulder (I'm left handed). In the past I've had problems with my wrist, arm, elbow as well but not at the moment.
With this mouse, the hand actually rests completely on the mouse, thumb to top. You can move the mouse and leave the hand completely relaxed. I personally at this stage cant really say how good this is - I like it a lot but it reminds me of the first time I drove a car with 5 gears (as opposed to just 4) - I found it so incredibly difficult to do this little extra movement that I wasnt used to doing. Likewise now, I'm aware of muscles in my shoulder & down my back that probably have never made these specific movements ..
This unfortunately means that I still have relatively little control over the mouse ..
When I get used to using this I'll post an updateThe Good The hand can rest completely relaxed on the mouse in the "upright" position
(thumb to top)Dont know can I emphasise how good this feels!
So far it balances out all the cons
Doesnt discriminate against left-handed people - both left and right mouses are same price
Looks very good AirObic/ Aerobic Vertical mouse - first impressionsDiscussion
including The needs improvement section
the weight of my hand/arm causes the mouse to drag a bit heavily and catch on the mousepad on the keyboard side of the mouse (weight comes down more on that side) - A possible solution to this catching/dragging would be if they added a third pad to the underside of the mouse on this side.
The scroll button is almost unusable - especially considering the mouse is aimed at people with, ehh .. problems. It's stiff to scroll and awkward to use. They suggest rolling it by "using the inside of the middle finger" - sounds like an after thought to me..
IMO it should be placed more towards the front of mouse where you're fingertips would be - or maybe under the thumb but I guess this could be a problem for some people.
In the manual they say you shouldnt need "to use the tip of the fingers to press the mouse buttons causing the fingers to claw". They then say: "a small movement of the finger easily presses the buttons" - I personally (so far) find this "small movement of the finger" incredibly difficult and tiring - but maybe again that's like getting used to the fifth gear.
Add to that:-
The top button is difficult to click - it's simply too short - click photo to enlarge to see buttons & mouse outline clearlyAirObic/ Aerobic Vertical mouse - first impressions
as you can see even my middle finger extends beyond the button, but it's the top one I have problems with -
They say there's three crease-lines on your wrist. They recommend aligning the middle crease with the edge of the mouse. That's very specific advice.
 if I push the back of my hand against the outside of the mouse & then line up my wrist properly I can then better reach the buttons. Unfortunately this doesnt feel very comfortable for the bone on the underside of my wrist but I'll try it for a while [/edit]
Problem there is, as said above my fingers extend beyond the buttons (for the record: my hand, held upright, measures 7.8"/20cm from the first/top wrist crease to the tip of my middle finger - I know a lot of people with a lot bigger hands ...)
If I pull my hand back in order to better reach the buttons with fingertips my hand keels over a bit & therefore is no longer vertical
It's very difficult to find stuff at their website. No search box - that I could find at any rate. No FAQ's either but they do have a What to Expect
page (The website I find the most frustrating thing in all this
They offer a mousepad at their site, they say to avoid older style cloth or hard plastic pads.
I have "new style" cloth gamer mousepad so not sure how that fits in - they talk somewhere (cant find now) about polishing or shining up the mousepad so I'm not sure what type of surface it is. In their online shop they dont say how big the mousepad is. It's not available in Europe that I could find
This is an important topic because when you move the mouse you are also moving the dead weight of the relaxed arm & hand. I can imagine a "polished" surface might be easier to work on than my cloth surfaced mouse pads.
They offer a software "Nib" or "McNib" (info in this pdf: http://aerobicmouse..../NibInstructions.pdf
) which saves you from clicking. There's also links to videos on the What to Expect
page. This costs $75 (ouch) I didnt bother checking out other currencies - if you pause moving the mouse it clicks - this reminds me of a laptop I was using for a while with a touchpad that was setup to click like that - drove me mad but might be helpful 1) if you're desperate; 2) because of the difficulty clicking top button because of (IMO) poor design.Why I think you should use this product
Jury is out here
As said above, it's just incredibly comfortable to rest your hand in there ..
From their website:How does it compare to similar apps
unfortunately I can't say from experience. My sister has recently bought the Evolution vertical mouse & she's still not happy with it after two weeks. (she lives a good few thousand miles away so I cant drop by & check!)
I read a review in c't magazine (#4/2008 - deutsch) which reviewed a bunch of vertical mice and I chose this one in spite of a warning about the scroll wheel. I thought it sounded the best but it was a realistic article which basically concluded that all mice reviewed had drawbacks.
|WACOM Graphire4 (CTE640), Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, WACOM Bamboo (MTE-450/KO-B), Designer AirObic 2, Ullman PenClic Maus, Animax Anir Vertikale Maus, EVOLUTION VerticalMouse 3, [Apparently the Evolution mouse = the Evoluent mouse (maybe European/American naming)] Contour Design Perfit Mouse Optical, Contour Design Rollermouse Pro, Humanscale Whale Mouse, HELA Grip Maus, Sun-Flex Nomus, Cirque Smart Cat Pro, Logitech TrackMan Wheel|
Download article (German language) for money (90 euro-cents) hereConclusions
Links to other reviews of this application
- from reply #12 below:
|The best thing about this mouse is the comfort of the hand support that allows complete relaxation of your hand. The wrist soreness has completely disappeared since using this mouse|
Unfortunately, because all motion is with the arm and wrist and not with the fingers, this mouse design does not allow for fine control of the cursor on the screen. Also, as you point out, the position and action of the buttons is awkward.
- so, helpful if you have wrist problems (as Cranioscopical says, well worth it if it helps) with the drawback that it's not suitable for fine work and see next point -
- if you have shoulder pain/problems DON'T buy this mouse - your shoulder has to do the movements that you probably previously did with your wrist/lower arm
- I havent sent it back (too late soon)
- I dont want to send it back
- I dont know will it work out
- I hope they take all my criticism in a constructive vein - I'm really only writing all this cause I like this mouse (& see also post #2)
- Price is
too high in my opinion. Price of software is far too high I think (I shouldnt be saying that here at dc should I )
- Mouse AND software cost $150 - I think they should offer an even larger reduction to anyone wanting to get both at one time - otherwise only desperate or rich people will go for the double package at that price
|I read a review in c't magazine (#4/2008 - deutsch) which reviewed a bunch of vertical mice and I chose this one in spite of a warning about the scroll wheel (Reviewed were: |
WACOM Graphire4 (CTE640), Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, WACOM Bamboo (MTE-450/KO-B), Designer AirObic 2, Ullman PenClic Maus, Animax Anir Vertikale Maus, EVOLUTION VerticalMouse 3, Contour Design Perfit Mouse Optical, Contour Design Rollermouse Pro, Humanscale Whale Mouse, HELA Grip Maus, Sun-Flex Nomus, Cirque Smart Cat Pro, Logitech TrackMan Wheel Download article (German language) for money (90 euro-cents) here
[First major update/edit will be in maroon colour font