The Handshake Approach
Evoluent is a maker of ergonomic mice and keyboards, and we received one of the company's vertical mice for review. At a glance you can see that it's a very different design than the typical mouse, as it is intended to be used with the arm in a "handshake" position.
"The patented ergonomic shape supports your hand in an upright neutral posture that eliminates forearm twisting. Many users said the Evoluent VerticalMouse provides superior comfort and even relieved their wrist pain."
The vertical design has been implemented to reduced strain on the arm and wrist, but how much of an adjustment is there in moving to this orientation? How sensitive and accurate is the sensor? Depending on your workload, precision might trump comfort, but if the VerticalMouse can provide both it would be quite an achievement.
To test it out I resolved to use the VerticalMouse with my PC exclusively for a week. It was a startling change at first, feeling quite foreign in the first minutes. For someone who uses a standard mouse hours a day (sound familiar?) I felt like I wasn't in control as I attempted to move the cursor around, and I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to adjust. But I pushed on, and rapidly began to grow accustomed to the feeling.
Switching to something that promises to ease discomfort doesn't always mean instant gratification, as any seller of orthopedic shoes can tell you. There is going to be a period of adjustment, with the end result outweighing any initial hesitation - when it's effective, of course. I could spoil the review a bit here and tell you if I'm still using the mouse after a week (I am), but I'll fully describe my impressions below.
Subject: General Tech | March 6, 2015 - 06:54 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: valve, Steam Controller, peripheral, gdc 2015, gdc 15, gaming, controller
Valve has given the elusive (vaporous? heh, I'll leave the good puns to Scott) Steam Controller a release date and several refinements to the design. Slated for a November 2015 launch, the Steam Controller will ship with most of the Steam Machines offered by OEMs. Users will also be able to purchase controllers directly from Valve (via Steam) for $49.99.
The final controller features a curved design with lots of rounded edges (no sharp angles here), large handles and dual circular programmable trackpads. The four button d-pad has been replaced by an analog stick while the four A, B, X, and Y buttons sit where a second thumb stick traditionally resides.
A circular Steam button and two smaller buttons finish out the face controls.
The two large (and despite my impressions from photos apparently ergonomic) handles each host two dual stage (analog and/or digital) triggers on the top and a button on the underside of the controller.
The Steam Controller is powered by two replaceable AA batteries and is wireless.
Users will be able to create and save custom configurations to their Steam profiles as well as share those custom settings with other Steam users. This should make adoption a bit easier since you will be able to jump into games with a recommended configuration that other users report works well. Or at least it will be a better starting point for your own custom settings rather than being thrown to the wolves with a new and unfamiliar controller. I think it is going to take practice to get good at this even with the jumpstart on suggested configurations though.
It will be available in November (Steam Store page link) for $49.99 which is just cheap enough that I will likely pick one up just to try it out and see what the hype is about. If it is as comfortable as some writers (who have gotten hands on time with them at GDC) are claiming, I’m willing to give it a shot now that it includes a thumb stick (I think I need to be eased into this dual trackpad setup).
Engadget has several more photos from the GDC show floor that are worth checking out.
What do you think about the final Steam Controller?
Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2013 - 07:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb 3.0, peripheral, nerdytec, gaming, couchmaster premium
It has been a while since we have seen a review of living room furniture, long time readers may remember a certain gaming class beanbag chair from 2008, but with the advent of Steam's Big Picture perhaps it is something we shall see more of. In this case it is more of a gaming class TV Tray, called the Nerdytec CouchMaster Premium with interchangeable wrist and palm rests, Velcro wire management loops, a 4 port USB 3.0 powered hub and a 5m USB 3.0 extension cable. This should allow you to get your mouse, keyboard and any two other USB peripherals set up on the CouchMaster with you comfortably sitting on the couch. It also sports a pocket where you can store some items but open containers of liquids are not going to be safe in it. Read on at Kitguru to see if this is an idea with potential or if you should pass this one by.
"In days gone by, it was rare to see PC gamers sitting anywhere other than at a desk when enjoying their favourite titles. With the emergence and widespread adoption of big-screen TVs and floor-shaking surround sound systems, PC gamers’ desks have a competing entertainment area – the couch."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Paging Dr Evil: Philips medical device control kit 'easily hacked' @ The Register
- Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition @ The Register
- Troubleshooting and Fixing Windows 8's Boot Configuration @ Techspot
- 4ipnet HSG260-WTG2 Wi-Fi Hotspot Kit @ TechwareLabs
- Brother MFC-J4510DW: printing in landscape mode @ Hardware.info
- How to Generate Floppy Disks for Old Macintosh Computers @ Hardware Secrets
- interview with Biostar’s Head of European Sales @ Kitguru
- Funky Kit Content #98 - Win a Thermaltake Level 10 M-series Mouse
- CES 2013: Zalman Coolers, Cases, GPUs & PSUs @ Funky Kit
- CES 2013: Ferrari Headphones @ Funky Kit
- The TR Podcast 127: The CES 2013 extravaganza
Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile | January 6, 2012 - 01:18 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: CES, velocity micro, usb, storage, projector, peripheral, CES 2012
Velocity Micro, a boutique PC builder just couldn't wait until CES 2012 to show off some of their new products it seems, as a recent web page with some punchy font seeks to get consumers excited about their new tablets, projector, and USB optical/external hard drive combination.
First off, Velocity Micro plans to debut two Android tablets dubbed the Cruz Tablet T507 and T510. Both tablets run the Android 4.0 mobile operating system, and are powered by Cortex A8 processors running at 1.2 GHz. Further, the tablets feature ARM Mali GPUs at 400 MHz, 8 GB of internal storage, 512 MB of RAM, HDMI out, a front facing camera, flash support, and access to the Amazon Appstore. The differences between the T507 and T510 tablets lie in the screen size and lack of rear camera on the T510. The T507 tablet has a 7" capacitive touch screen and has an MSRP of $150 (according to Engadget) while the T510 has a 9.7" capacitive touch screen.
Next up is an external USB hard drive that also features an optical drive and USB hub. Dubbed the VMUltra Drive, the all in one external drive has a DVD-R/RW optical drive, 500 GB 2.5" SATA Hard Drive, SD Card Reader, and 3 USB 2.0 Ports. Pretty nifty, and if the price is right I may be interested in this myself for my work laptop that lacks optical drive and is running low on storage space (heh).
Lastly, Velocity Micro is going to debut the Shine Projector. Supporting an "HD" resolution of 1280x768 pixels, the Shine weighs in at 9 ounces. It features a 300 Lumens (160 ANSI Lumens) brightness, 2,000:1 contrast ratio, a one year warranty, and a mini-HDMI input. Also, it's a glossy Ferrari red, sporty.
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