Thumbs Up for RollerMouse

I type a lot and am always looking for ways to avoid repetitive-stress symptoms.

I type a lot and am always looking for ways to avoid repetitive-stress symptoms. To this end, I recently gave up my wireless mouse in favor of a RollerMouse Pro from Contour Design.

My wireless mouse made it super-easy to switch between right- and left-handed mouse operation—my usual method for avoiding repetitive stress in my dominant hand. Still, the improvements in the latest RollerMouse Pro, which shipped last month, made it worth the switch.

The newest RollerMouse Pro assembly, priced at $200, includes a tray that holds a standard keyboard. This version boasts a longer roller bar—imagine a miniature rolling pin that easily slides back and forth along with the usual forward and backward spin—positioned just below the space bar on a regular keyboard .

The lengthened roller bar is easier to use than the original: In just a couple of hours, I was pretty good at using my thumbs to spin and slide the roller bar, which can also be depressed to get a click. A cluster of well-positioned "mouse" buttons just below the roller bar made mousework even easier.

While the RollerMouse Pro is intended as an ergonomic alternative to a traditional mouse, I love this device because it lets me keep my hands in typing position.

There are two drawbacks, however. For starters, I eat a lot of food at my desk, and the RollerMouse Pro doesnt lend itself to easy crumb removal. The second, more serious fault is that the RollerMouse Pro fits only on a straight-edged keyboard. Anyone using a keyboard with a wavy-edge design will need to switch to a straight-edge keyboard.

The trade-off meant I had to dump my wireless keyboard and return to a tangled tether of cables. But Im still using the RollerMouse Pro, so the wires, in this case, are worth the benefit of getting a better mouse.

Contact www.contourdesign.com to find your nearest RollerMouse Pro dealer.

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