Mouse Review: Microsoft’s Laser 6000

Extreme Tech reviewed the Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser 6000 mouse. Here are some excerpts about its ergonomics:

Its large sculpted thumb groove and curved right- and left-click buttons help guide the right hand into a diagonal position. We say “diagonal” because the hand is neither completely flat upon the mouse nor vertical. Non-ergonomic mice force the user to operate a mouse with the hand in a horizontal or pronated position, in which we unnaturally twist our forearms with our palms facing down. Some doctors and ergonomic experts consider this unnatural and unhealthy, adding extra pressure on the carpal tunnel.

Vertical mice position the hand in a more “natural” handshake position. If you subscribe to this notion that vertical is better, then the 6000’s diagonal placement is better for you hand. Since you’re not completely turning your hand into this vertical position, but more into a half-way diagonal position, there’s no unfamiliar feeling when using the mouse for the first time and virtually no learning curve.

laser6000.jpg

The 6000’s elevated shape, we feel, doesn’t suggest this same ergonomic benefit. Since your hand reaches higher to grip the mouse, there’s more of a bend at the wrist. We eyeballed our hands when comparing the differences between the 6000 and a flatter mouse only to detect a small, but noticeable, bend at the wrist. This small crick might not be anything major to worry about in the short run, but we do question its ergonomics in the long run.

In fact, this was our biggest complaint. Whether the mouse was on top of a desk, or down lower on an ergonomic keyboard tray, the wrist would consistently become tired, either from the awkward bend (on the desktop) or hovering above the surface, not quite at rest (on the keyboard tray.)

The 6000’s unconventional shape does a pretty good job at fitting the hand. The hand curls around the top of the mouse and is positioned diagonally, without giving off any sense of unfamiliarity. With a good portion of your hand resting on the mouse, you’ll have a firmer grip, especially with the big rubberized thumb groove. Picking up the mouse will be a bit more challenging than a regular mouse because of its larger size and weight. Remember, it’s wireless, weighed down slightly with two AA batteries.

milleron commented on Extreme Tech:
I’d like to point out that I purchased the Laser Mouse 6000 mainly because it is rather large. I’ve always found that the larger the mouse (as long as it’s not excessively heavy), the better the ergonomic experience it gives me. That said, I’d like to point out that one of the “cons” mentioned by the author of this review is that the height of the mouse requires the wrist to be flexed upward. However, that problem is easily and completely overcome by simply continuing to use a mousepad with a gel or beanbag wrist pad like most of have used for years, anyway. Problem solved.

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