In the months since I reviewed the original DXT mouse, it has replaced the Contour as my full-time pointing device. So, when the long-awaited DXT2 appeared with its wireless version, I was excited to try it out. I’m not going to re-hash the core benefits of the DXT in this article, so if you need background you might want to read my previous review first. Otherwise, let’s jump right in and see what’s new.
Give me speed!
Most ergonomic mouse designs are fairly imprecise by nature, being intended for use with large arm movements. This imprecision will often cause users to turn their pointer speed way down in order to maintain control. (I myself have done this for years on the Contour mouse.)
With the DXT, the situation is exactly the opposite. This mouse is so precise that users tend to turn up the speed until it won’t go any higher. Then they start clamoring for a faster DPI setting. The second-generation DXT is the answer to this clamoring. Where the old unit maxed out at 1600 DPI, the new one can reach a scorching 2000. At this kind of speed the pointer positively flies, but remains easy to control due to the fingertip precision of the DXT.
Faster mouse movement means greater productivity. It means less physical motion, and therefore less space required – no more bumping into the keyboard and having to reset the mouse position. Intuitively it should also mean better ergonomics, but in my case, it wasn’t that simple.
The downside of speeding up
At first, I was delighted with the faster DXT. Turning the DPI setting all the way up, I enjoyed sailing around my dual screens with minutely small finger movements. After a few days, however, I noticed a tingling sensation in my right hand. Tingling in my hands is a perennial issue for me, and I attribute much of it to tension in my shoulders and arms. In this case, I believe that the increased mouse speed caused me to unconsciously tense up, and this tension, in turn, pinched a nerve.
Now, I am admittedly a rather special case, and the above will likely never be a problem for you. If perchance it is, try this simple tip: turn down the DPI setting. Once I switched back to a slower pointer speed, my hand felt more relaxed and the tingling problem cleared up.
Functionally, the DXT2 changes very little. The only real difference is in the indicator lights that show DPI and right or left hand settings. Both glowed constantly on the old DXT, with the DPI light changing color for different speeds. On the new model, the lights glow only when you change something. This is a little harder to use in the case of the DPI indicator, as it presents a series of flashes you have to count in order to determine the current speed.
The DPI button also serves to wake up the wireless unit when it’s non-responsive. The first time I hooked up mine, I had to press and hold this button for several seconds before anything would happen.
Charging and battery life
The wireless DXT has a built-in battery that gets charged via USB, and its life seems quite good. After the recommended initial charge of 90 minutes, I was able to go about a week without plugging the mouse in again. Should you run out of juice during work, you can use the unit while recharging, hooked to its long and light mini USB cable.
A slight propensity for gunk
In one respect, the second-generation DXT is weirdly reminiscent of its chief competitor, the Evoluent vertical mouse. Its button surface, just a bit slicker and shinier than before, has strange gunk-attracting properties. Where I was able to use the original DXT for months without grime build up, the new one began to feel icky within days. Nothing a soft cloth won’t solve, but still annoying.
More reasons than ever to buy a DXT
When people ask me what ergonomic pointing device to buy, I usually recommend two choices: the RollerMouse Re:d for those with large budgets and little need for precision, and the DXT mouse for everyone else. With its increased speed options and wireless version, the new generation DXT mouse makes a great design even more attractive.
Disclosure: This review was made with a temporary sample from City Ergonomics’ US distributor.
Our company, Cyberwitz LLC, provides various services for City Ergonomics, unrelated to my evaluation of their products. Opinions expressed here, naturally, are my own.