Historically, vertical mice have been made for carpal tunnel and RSI sufferers. They’ve been functional, but clinical, lacking some of the features of more modern designs. Logitech’s MX Vertical aims to buck that trend—and succeeds.
Thoughtful choices in both hardware and software allow the MX Vertical to serve all the functions of a vertical ergonomic mouse, while still packing most of the bells and whistles that make Logitech’s high-end mice favorites among power users.
It doesn’t hurt that the thing looks like a postmodern sculpture when it sits on your desk. The design is just short of perfect, and it gets an easy recommendation for anyone who wants a comfy, functional mouse that conforms to you like a friendly handshake.
You’re probably familiar with the MX Master, Logitech’s top-of-the-line conventional mouse. We’ve already reviewed its trackball variant, the MX Ergo, and I happen to have the original to compare it to as well. Suffice it to say: they’re all pretty fantastic mice. The MX Vertical takes the smooth, premium looks of those mice and rotates them by 90 degrees.
Well, fifty-seven degrees, if we want to be exact. The MX Vertical smoothly contracts and curves up to its top edge, a striking flat oval with the still-confusing “Logi” branding on one side and a thumb button on the other. We’ll get to that button in a bit, but first: the thing just looks fantastic. And that’s no small accomplishment, considering that vertical mice like the Evoluent have a tendency to look like amorphous blobs of plastic.
Soft-touch material is everywhere your hand rests, and the back curves into your palm with an appealing wave pattern. A wide lip at the bottom of the grip keeps your hand off of your mousepad. At the time of writing, Logitech only offers the mouse in a grey-and-darker-grey color scheme.
Logitech told me that a focus of the MX Vertical was to give it the same premium look as its other MX hardware, on the basis that customers who need a design that lowers RSI stress don’t necessarily want a mouse that looks like a piece of medical equipment. That attention to detail shows. Different as the mouse is from conventional design, it won’t look out of place on a designer desk or hanging out with MacBooks and Surfaces.
Hardware Covers The Basics
Extending our look past the, well, looks, the hardware in the MX Vertical is fairly basic. You get standard left and right mouse buttons, a regular clicky wheel, and two thumb buttons set to forward and back by default. Oddly, there’s no hidden button where you thumb rests for gestures or other functions. I was expecting one, as that button is present on the MX Master and my M720 Triathlon. Perhaps it was left out after ergonomic testing.
The battery is rechargeable and—a nice, forward-looking touch—gets its juice via a USB-C port on the front. That’s something the older MX Ergo and MX Master don’t get. The battery on my mouse went down to 50% after a week of testing, which is in line with Logitech’s longevity claims. One minute on the charger gives you three hours of wireless use.
When connected via USB the mouse shuts off its Bluetooth and RF radios, a specific choice for workplaces where wireless devices of any kind are not allowed. But speaking of wireless: it uses Logitech’s now-standard triple-device pairing system, with a button on the bottom allowing you to rapidly switch between up to three devices connected by either Bluetooth or RF-USB. There’s one Logitech Unifying USB receiver is in the box. Like most of Logitech’s more expensive mice, it can use Flow, the multi-computer management system.
The laser is “just” 4000 DPI. I say “just” because many mouse manufacturers like to boast of insanely high DPI for their mice, but I find that even for gaming models it’s rarely necessary. The sensor on the MX Vertical is more than enough for my needs, and what Logitech does with it is far more important—read the next section to see why.
If there’s one thing that the mouse is missing, it’s the ball bearing “hyper-fast” scrolling found on other MX designs. I could be convinced that there was an ergonomic reason for going with a more conventional, slow scroll wheel, but I still missed that feature when going through a 30,000-word manuscript or an endless comment chain. Other designs let us pick between hyper-scrolling and normal clicks, so why is it left out here?
Software Deserves Special Attention
The MX Vertical uses Logitech’s standard Options program, for handling things like custom button binds, laser sensitivity, and the multi-computer Flow management software. All that will be pretty familiar to you if you’ve ever used a nicer mouse, though I have to say Logitech’s layout is impressively intuitive.
The “middle click” wheel button and two thumb buttons can be re-bound to any keyboard function, Windows functions like volume or zoom, or Logitech’s mouse gestures. You can do the same for the pointer speed button on top, which defaults to “pointer speed”… but you shouldn’t. Here’s why.
If you’ve used a gaming mouse in the last ten years, you’ll be familiar with on-the-fly DPI switching, a button or buttons that can quickly switch the sensitivity of your sensor from high to low. Logitech’s borrowed that functionality here, but also refined it. A single press of the top button will switch your mouse from “low” to “high” DPI modes, with only two options at maximum. The magic comes in when you press and hold the button.
When you do, a window on your desktop will open and take command of the mouse cursor. Move the MX Vertical left, and your DPI sensitivity (or “pointer speed” as the software labels it) will decrease, allowing for greater precision. Move the mouse right, and it will increase, covering more desktop space with each movement. You can make this adjustment at any time, from any program, for either the low or high setting.
Michael Crider / Review Geek
This is brilliant, especially if you’re in need of constant adjustments to make yourself comfortable. It’s easily the best software feature of the mouse, and a highlight of software and hardware design working together. The only downer is that it does indeed need software: you can’t pull this on-the-fly adjustment trick if you’re connecting to your computer without the Logitech Options program installed (though it does work over either Bluetooth or wireless USB).
But Does It Feel Better?
As a web writer who spends an unhealthy amount of time in front of a giant desktop PC, and also spends a lot of disposable income on computer gear, I’m the ideal customer for the MX Vertical. I have both the time and the inclination to make an ideal ergonomic workspace. Unfortunately, I don’t suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress injuries. (That’s unfortunate for the specific case of this review, of course, not for me in general.) I don’t have any close friends or family that do, either, so let that color your impressions of this section.
Now that that’s out of the way: this thing feels amazing.
The grip is soft and comfy, something that doesn’t leave me cramped or sore after an all-day work and web binge. But that’s only half of the equation here. Logitech sets the DPI low by default, which means there’s less movement needed to get your cursor around, something that the physical design actively encourages. And even that isn’t the most thoughtful part of the ergonomic design.
The mouse is light. Really, really light… except it isn’t. Having tried the MX Master (5.3 ounces) and the MX Ergo (almost 10 ounces with its steel base), I was expecting the MX Vertical to be heavy in my hand. But it glides along like a mostly-hollow wired mouse would, barely needing any pressure at all. This was shocking to me, so I took the mouse to my kitchen scale for a more accurate measurement and found that it weighed… 4.5 ounces.
That’s only 10% lighter than my “daily driver” mouse, a G603 gaming mouse with two heavy AA batteries inside. And yet the MX Vertical feels like it’s barely there. I have to conclude that Logitech’s pulled some wizardry with the weight distribution, feet pads, and materials to make the mouse feel might lighter than it actually is.
Logitech says this is most definitely a “desktop mouse,” and is intended for use in an environment where you can control and idealize your ergonomic position. It isn’t at its best when traveling (it’s a bit too big, anyway) and isn’t well-suited for gaming. Considering the market position the MX Vertical has been placed in, those seem like reasonable expectations.
One obvious downside: the mouse is very clearly only for right-handed use. There are left-handed vertical mice out there, but Logitech doesn’t seem interested in making a mirrored variant of this one.
The MX Vertical is a great mouse, assuming you need the very specific advantages it’s offering. It feels great, it looks great, it works great. The on-the-fly custom sensitivity feature is a game-changer—expect to see it in more designs soon. Marrying an attractive design to a mouse that gladly bends to ergonomic considerations is an achievement worth celebrating.
A lack of portability or gaming prowess may limit the MX Vertical’s appeal, and I wish it came with a hyper-fast scroll wheel like the MX Master. It’s also one of the most expensive non-gaming mice around at $100. (Logitech’s high-end gear often goes on sale, and it’s $88 on Amazon at the time of writing.) But if you want a comfy mouse that conforms to your hand for hours of painless computing, don’t hesitate to splurge.
Here’s What We Like
- The mouse feels like a handshake
- And looks like a sculpture
- Shockingly Light (or at least it feels that way)
- On-the-fly DPI switching is elegant
And What We Don't
- DPI adjustment doesn’t work over Bluetooth
- No hyper-scrolling like the MX Master