Ideally, an ergonomic mouse allows your hand to sit in a natural, upright position, putting less twisting strain on your wrist and forearm than a normal mouse. The Posturite Penguin takes this idea to its ultimate conclusion. It’s a completely vertical mouse, so your hand grips it much like it would grip a joystick. What’s more, it’s a completely ambidextrous mouse. The controls sit on the front edge of the upright section where they can be reached by either hand.
However, the completely upright design isn’t the most revelatory part of the design – and nor is the bowtie-like switch on the bottom that completes the Penguin look. Rather, it’s the wide flat base that transforms this mouse’s usability.
Most upright mouse designs require your arm and hand to rest on the desk surface, as with normal mice. However, instead of the weight of your hand and arm resting on the fleshy underside of your forearm and base of your hand, these upright mice expose the less fleshy side of your hand and the relatively unprotected ulna bone of your forearm to the hardness of your desk.
Consequently, vertical mice can be a bit uncomfortable in a different way, relieving twisted forearm pain and replacing it with scraped-bone pain. Such a setup also makes movement feel quite restricted and you sometimes have to grip the mouse surprisingly firmly to move it.
The Penguin largely eliminates these issues thanks to its plastic skirt. You can rest the side of your hand on the base and easily lift your arm away from the desk surface to totally remove any forearm friction. What’s more, the side of your hand’s purchase on the Penguin’s base means you don’t have to grip the joystick part to move around, taking further strain off your hand.
The downside to relying almost exclusively on arm movement – rather than hand and wrist movement – is accuracy. We only felt comfortable using the lowest 400 DPI setting, which we normally find is too low, as it means picking up a mouse multiple times to move the cursor larger distances. However, because the Penguin relies on large arm movements, you don’t have to worry about this issue, as long as you have a large enough mouse mat.
You get just three main controls – left-click on the top, right-click below and a large scroll wheel in between them. The bowtie switch tilts back and forth to switch the mouse between left or right-hand modes, which just amounts to it reversing the direction of the scroll wheel.
On the underside of the Penguin is a button for changing the DPI between its four fixed settings – 400, 600, 800 and 1,200, along with a power switch and a stowage area for the wireless dongle. We tested the large wireless version of the Penguin, but wired and wireless versions are available in small, medium and large variants. The wired versions are also cheaper.
Overall build quality is a little underwhelming for the price. The main buttons feel rather mushy and undefined when you press them, the glide pads on the underside are quite small, and the overall fit and finish is on the basic side. However, it’s solid enough with no creaks or flex and certainly gets the job done.
Posturite Penguin pros and cons
- Best vertical mouse design yet
- Relieves finger and wrist pain
- Available in multiple sizes
- Only two main buttons
- Mushy button feel
- Quite expensive for its basic features
Posturite Penguin specs
The Posturite Penguin specs list is:
|Weight||232g (large version)|
|Dimensions (mm)||121 x 154 x 98 (W x D x H)|
|Buttons||3 (left, right, scroll wheel)|
|Stated battery life||Up to one month|
Posturite Penguin price
The Posturite Penguin is expensive for the features on offer, but you can save some money by buying a wired instead of wireless version.
Price: Expect to pay $99 (£95) for the large wireless version.
Posturite Penguin review conclusion
The Posturite Penguin is by far the most comfortable vertical mouse we’ve used, mainly thanks to its wide flat base. As well as relieving pain from twisting your forearm, it avoids the pain and awkwardness of using other vertical designs. It’s not the flashiest device otherwise, and is pricey for its basic feature set, but if wrist pain is a major concern, it’s the best antidote we’ve tested. That’s why it’s our pick for the best ergonomic mouse in our best mouse guide.
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Posturite Penguin review rating
The best forearm pain-relieving vertical mouse we’ve tested, but it’s quite basic for the money.