Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse Review: The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse is a cheap alternative to the Evoluent Vertical Mouse. But does it stand up to the competition?
In this Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse review, I reveal the pros and cons of this ergonomic mouse, from first impressions, through to daily use.
In summary, the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse is great value and a good alternative to its more expensive competitors.
I think Anker certainly gives Evoluent a run for its money, but a couple of issues hold it back from true greatness. This is particularly the case, if you are left handed.
Read on to find out why.
I have to come clean from the start. I have used not just one, but two, Evoluent vertical mice (one for each hand, both wired) for at least the past 8 years.
This means that by default, I can’t help comparing the Anker alternative to Evoluent, at pretty much every turn.
Despite this, I have always been curious about the Anker Wireless Vertical Mouse:
When I first got ‘into’ vertical mice, Evoluent was the only kid on this particular block, so there was no other choice.
Evoluent mice have always been set at a higher price point, compared to regular mice. I distinctly remember spending a long time investigating and researching, before I finally took the plunge with them.
Of course, I never looked back and will never use a standard mouse these days, if I can possibly avoid it.
Since then however, the landscape has changed dramatically and newcomers, like Anker, have arrived on the scene.
Anker vertical mice are far more reasonably priced, so I wanted to see how well it performed, both as a wireless model and for the all-important comfort and ergonomics.
Please note: I bought the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse with my own money and have not been paid, or otherwise sponsored, for this review.
I ordered the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse from Amazon.
On arrival, I opened up the parcel eagerly, to reveal a nicely packaged vertical mouse.
On first glance, the transparent plastic box displayed a good looking product. It was clear from the separate USB connector that I had received the correct model – no confusion between wired and wireless options here.
I think the box is perhaps a little too large for the size of the device. But I appreciate that it’s sometimes difficult for manufacturers to get their product seen when it’s sitting on a shelf, alongside all the others.
One definite positive about the packaging: it’s really easy to get into, without needing scissors to cut through the plastic! I was able to take the mouse out, then realise I hadn’t taken any pictures yet, and put it back in the box (I won’t tell anyone, if you don’t!).
The Anker wireless vertical mouse looks small and sleek. It’s almost all black, so it’s discrete and should fit in well with most other equipment.
The only breaks in colour on its surface, come in the form of:
1. the company name “Anker” in shiny white text on the rear of the mouse, and
2. a grey plastic line situated on the inside edge of the mouse.
The latter is an odd addition, but the shape is sufficiently arrow-like that it manages to give it a slight “cool” factor (only slight, mark you). It also seems to contribute to the sleekness, somehow. I’ll call it a “go faster stripe”.
Contrast that with the bigger, chunky, silver-grey Evoluent, which is much more likely to draw comments from your colleagues. “It’s melted!” being one of the more memorable ones that I’ve heard!
The Anker has the typical 2 button style, with a scroll wheel in between, which doubles as a third button. This arrangement is, of course, flipped on its side, but a quick grip of the mouse shows that they’re in the right position for your fingers.
The one down side of the mainly single-colour exterior is that the extra, additional buttons are not all that easy to spot:
There are back and forward buttons close to where your thumb will sit, as well as an unlabelled button further up, next to the “ridge” of the mouse.
It’s not immediately obvious what this button does, but it turns out to be the DPI setting. This allows you to make a quick speed change, without having to dive into the mouse settings screen.
On the underside of the mouse is the on/off slider button, and a standard optical component for positioning. The on/off switch is a little small, but is discreet and fits the form factor well.
The underside also has a small slot where you can tuck away the receiver when not in use: very handy if you cart a laptop around and want to avoid any damage. You just have to remember to unplug the thing first!
Overall first impressions from handling, are that it feels extremely comfortable on the hand.
Getting started with the Anker 2.4G wireless vertical mouse is very simple:
First, pop two AA batteries into the compartment underneath the mouse and replace the cover.
Then plug the USB wireless receiver into your PC, and slide the switch on the underside of the mouse to the “on” position. The switch on mine was a little stiff, but I expect it to loosen up with use.
Once switched on, you’ll see a small red light start to flash on the lower part of the “go faster stripe” I mentioned earlier. Once it stops flashing, you know you’re good to go.
And that’s all there is to it!
Basic operations are no different to a normal mouse: move the mouse to move the cursor, and press the relevant button to click.
The buttons have a small “click” sound when pressed, but this is hardly noticeable. They have a pleasant enough action, when in use: strong enough to know you’ve clicked, but soft enough to be no real effort.
The wheel scrolls smoothly and operates as a middle button, as you might expect.
I did find the cursor movement a bit slow at first. However, it was just a matter of locating the additional DPI setting button and giving it a couple of clicks, before I found the perfect speed for me.
BTW: the DPI/speed button has a simple 3-way setting of “low”, “medium” and “high”. Each click of the button cycles through these options, and then back to the beginning.
So far, so good.
The Anker 2.4G wireless mouse performs exactly as it should, and the shallow angle of this particular “vertical” mouse means that you won’t struggle to adjust to it, when coming from a normal mouse.
The only downside I found on initial tests, is the page forward and back buttons: While their click action is fine, I’m not entirely sure about their position.
It feels like I have to lift my thumb off the mouse and reach a little too far back, in order to get to the back button. It’s a bit of a stretch, and I’ve found I sometimes have to take my eyes off the screen, in order to check exactly where it is.
It may be that muscle memory will kick in on this one, but IMO it’s unintuitive the way it is and kind of defeats the object.
The forward button is easier to get to, but won’t be used so often. The manufacturer may have thought it would be confusing having them the other way around, but I can’t help feeling they should have been swapped.
Since it is a right handed mouse, I’d expect the back button to be on the left when I look straight at it, to mirror my browser.
Otherwise, it all works as expected out of the box, so 9 out of 10 for a great beginning.
Speaking of muscle memory, this is where I found my first real “conflict” with my beloved Evoluent vertical mouse:
The right mouse button on the Anker is in the same position as the middle button on the Evoluent, which I have programmed as a double click.
This meant that I kept trying to right click the blank space on the Anker, where there is in fact, no button.
However, that’s just me: it’s not really a problem with the mouse itself and I adjusted very quickly to the new input. I don’t think this will be an issue for anyone else, unless they also transition from a 3 button mouse.
There’s not much more to say about day to day use: if it looks like a mouse (mostly) and feels like a mouse (yep, pretty much), then it probably is a mouse.
Despite my dislike of the forward and back button positions, I am impressed with the ergonomics of the Anker 2.4G wireless vertical mouse.
The mouse is comfortable to hold, and the angle, or slope, of the mouse is good for hours of use.
The main buttons are well positioned and easy to click. The scroll wheel is tactile and not too stiff, although I tend to use keyboard shortcuts for scrolling, where possible.
I have noticed that it’s very easy to “pick up and play” with the Anker:
Sometimes I grab the Evoluent quickly and then have to adjust my fingers just so, before it feels truly comfortable.
This could be related to the different angles of the two mice, but it may also be due to my hands, which are quite small and stubby!
Overall: very pleased with the ergonomics.
There are one or two issues with the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse, which I need to bring to your attention.
A couple are relatively minor, but the other two could be a deal breaker…
Since it’s a wireless model, the mouse does go to sleep every few minutes to preserve battery life, when not in use. All you have to do is click a button to to wake it up, and you’re off. And therein lies a potential problem…
It’s a minor issue I know, but when the chief purpose of a vertical mouse is for ergonomics, then you can see how those extra clicks may be an issue for those with RSI.
Yes, we’re not talking many extra clicks, maybe one every hour or so, depending on usage. But if you’re already in pain from RSI, every one of those clicks counts.
You’ll have to be your own judge of whether that’s an issue for you, but I put it out there, so you’re aware going in.
Another issue I have noticed in day to day use, is that the DPI setting seems to reset itself. Every time I reboot my laptop, the mouse speed defaults back to the slowest one.
It could be due to the locked-down nature of my laptop, from working in the health care sector. Other settings on my machine occasionally get forgotten in between sessions, but I’m not fully convinced this is the cause in this case.
It’s not a huge issue because you can tap the DPI button again. However, it’s a little annoying that they didn’t think to have it remember its last setting.
The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse works fine on PC. Plug it in and off it goes, simple as that.
However, when I plugged into my iMac I found some wrinkles.
The basic functions and buttons worked immediately on both platforms, without the need to install drivers.
It’s also fine operating at the same time as Evoluent mice on the PC, and my Magic Trackpad and mouse, on the Mac.
But the forward and back buttons don’t work on the Mac operating system.
Having done some research on this, and found articles such as this one, it sounds like this is a problem with all third party mice on Mac, not just the Anker.
– The same website provides an app to make these third party mice work as expected. Apparently, using non-Apple apps like this is currently the only way around the problem.
On the one hand, I appreciate it’s not Anker’s problem, per se, but it shouldn’t have to be like this.
What is a much bigger issue, is that the Anker Vertical Mouse is only available in a right handed model.
Yes, you heard that right: if like me, you’re part of the 10% (approx) of the population that is left handed, you’re out of luck with the Anker.
Now, I’m slightly ambidextrous (the proper term is something like “cross-dominance”, and is slightly more common in lefties), so was able to use this right handed mouse reasonably easily, for review purposes.
However, for very fine movements requiring precision, my left hand is still, without a doubt, my better option.
And that makes the absence of a left-handed Anker vertical mouse a complete deal breaker, for me.
So it’s back to the Evoluent for my left hand and a choice between the Anker and Evoluent for my right. I know which way I’ll go.
Little known fact: Cross-dominance, or “mixed handedness” is slightly more common in left handed people than right handed. True ambidextrous people are very rare indeed.
I said at the beginning that I couldn’t help but compare the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse to my tried and trusted Evoluent vertical mice.
So how does Anker stack up against Evoluent?
The main pro point of the Anker is the price and the ease of transitioning to it.
It’s a really good, basic vertical mouse. But it has no programmability at all, as well as the aforementioned minor (or not so minor) issues.
In my opinion, Evoluent is still the king of the bunch.
Yes, it’s more expensive and needs drivers installing to program it. However, it comes with the right bells and whistles, to set it apart from the pack.
I don’t generally mess with the programmable settings on the Evoluent. But the middle button double click action (producing a double click from a single click) is a real God send. And it’s sorely missed on the Anker.
If Anker is the stripped-down, value Mini of the vertical mouse world, then Evoluent is not quite a Rolls-Royce, but certainly a Merc or a Jag.
The one area I can’t quite make up my mind about, is the grip:
Evoluent is a true vertical mouse, with their trademark “handshake grip”. Anker goes with a gentler, sloped approach, more like 45-50 degrees.
I thought I might find the angle of the Anker less comfortable, because it’s closer to a standard mouse than Evoluent. But I hold my right hand mouse further away from my body than the left mouse (because of the position of my external keyboard). This means I actually find the Anker slightly more comfortable for my arm.
However, in practice, there is no discernible difference. If I’m completely honest with myself, I find each position just as comfortable as the other.
On reflection, I think Anker is more comfortable for my arm, while Evoluent is better for my wrist. Maybe. – It’s a very close run thing and your mileage may vary.
Don’t get me wrong: despite its issues, the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Mouse is well worth your money.
It’s simple, comfortable, and it won’t break the bank.
It’s priced low enough to “just try it out”. And the chances are you’ll be very happy with it, if you’re right handed.
I didn’t like:
Who it’s for:
Recommended? If you’re right handed, yes (not that I’m bitter).
I'm Tim Bader, founder of ErgonomicToolbox.com and the Ergonomic Toolbox training course. I am a writer, author, blogger and church leader, and I help people to overcome RSI and live comfortably with technology. When I'm not writing, helping or training people, I live at home with my wife, two teenage kids and Playstation.
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