Vertical mice are an acquired taste. One of the more common types of ergonomic mice, the tall, vaguely L-shaped design allows you to grip the mouse comfortably and access all of its buttons without twisting your wrist parallel to the desk as you would with a standard mouse. The more handshake-like grip and reduced twisting and extending movements ease pain for users with repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). And these traits may help slow the process of developing RSIs in those who are starting to feel pain and numbness while using a conventional mouse. Goldtouch’s $99 Semi-Vertical Wireless Mouse—the company says its 66-degree angle still gives you some gravity assist when clicking, unlike a 90-degree design—goes to great lengths to make using a PC comfortable. There are tradeoffs inherent to that choice, but the mouse showcases why they’re worth it, especially for users who need relief.
In Comfort We Trust
Vertical mice play by a different set of rules than your average six-button cursor controller. The matte-gray chassis is shaped like an L, which allows you to comfortably hold and move the mouse with a handshake-like grip. The standard six mouse buttons—the two main clicks, a scroll wheel, back, forward, and DPI control buttons—are positioned in a familiar right-handed formation. But they are laid out sideways near the top of the tall device, so you can click them as you would on a standard mouse, with minimal finger movement. (I’m right-handed, but Goldtouch also makes a left-handed model, which is pretty rare.) The vertical shape reduces stress on the muscles in your hands, making it very comfortable to hold, even for long stretches.
The Goldtouch Semi-Vertical’s shape is exceedingly unusual, because it comes with a unique accessory: a detachable plastic hand rest that attaches to the base mouse. The rest juts out to the right and behind the mouse, giving your full hand a place to rest while using it. With the rest attached, the Semi-Vertical is the largest mouse I’ve ever reviewed, measuring 3 by 4 by 6.25 inches (HWD) and weighing 6.1 ounces. Even if you remove the rest, it’s quite hefty (3 by 3.2 by 4.9 inches, and 4.5 ounces).
As you’d expect, that makes the mouse a bit unwieldy. Given the general maneuverability issues inherent to vertical mice, though, it doesn’t feel like a huge issue. Because of the upright grip, it is harder to aim a vertical mouse with pinpoint accuracy—the sensor is no longer aligned with your palm, so the movement isn’t quite as intuitive.
The difference is subtle: You may find that clicking on a small search bar or icon may take an extra corrective movement from time to time. For the most part, it doesn’t impede everyday activities like using Microsoft Office or browsing the web, though you’ll notice a difference if you play a lot of games or do precision work with creative apps like Adobe Premiere or Photoshop. While I’ve never used a vertical mouse that didn’t come with this tradeoff, it’s a good reason to think twice about making the switch unless you’ve started to feel RSI symptoms such as pain and numbness in your mouse hand.
Meanwhile, adding the hand rest makes an already well-shaped mouse feel even more comfortable by supporting your arm more completely and giving you the option to hold the mouse without gripping too tight. The goal of an ergo mouse is to minimize the impact of using a computer on your hand. When using the Semi-Vertical, it doesn’t feel like there’s any stress on your hand at all. That’s a major accomplishment.
That said, if the weight seems like a serious issue, the mouse does give you the ability to lighten the load a bit. There’s a small slot on the underside that holds a set of four removable 5g weights. When you remove all the weights, the mouse feels noticeably lighter, but not necessarily easier to use. I actually found the mouse felt more natural with the weights in place, but it’s nice that the option is there, especially considering its size.
Across the board, the Goldtouch Semi-Vertical is an exercise in prioritizing comfort over everything else. Beyond its comfortable shape and unique hand rest, it’s a fairly simple wireless mouse. Its PixArt PAW3205 sensor is perfectly accurate, especially considering the limited maneuverability that comes with the vertical grip, but it supports only three tracking settings, ranging from 800 dots per inch (dpi) to 1,600dpi. While that’s a perfectly reasonable range for everyday computing, plenty of much less expensive mice offer a greater range and a higher ceiling.
On the wireless front, the Goldtouch uses a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection via a USB dongle, which provides a stable and accurate connection. For premium productivity mice, I generally prefer having both 2.4GHz and Bluetooth, as it opens doors to a wider range of devices. If forced to choose, though, 2.4GHz works better in crowded offices, coffee shops, and any place where it might have to compete with many wireless signals. The Semi-Vertical has a storage slot for the dongle beneath the mouse, which is great if you plan to carry it around or switch between it and a precision conventional mouse from time to time.
For power, the Semi-Vertical requires two AAA batteries, which Goldtouch claims power the mouse for about 300 hours of active use. I didn’t need to change the batteries over 10 days of testing, during which I left the mouse on even when my PC was powered down overnight. As with other mice powered by external cells, I like the battery life in theory, but I dislike the possibility of being unable to charge or plug in the mouse when the batteries die.
Are You All In On Comfort?
The Goldtouch Semi-Vertical Wireless Mouse is far from perfect, but it has its priorities in order. It’s very comfortable, even compared to other vertical mice, thanks to the extra support from the hand rest. For many people, particularly those in pain from repetitive strain injuries, the relief it supports is more than enough to make it worth the $99 price tag.
Personally, I wish Goldtouch would go a little further to keep parity with top-tier productivity mice, which generally cost about the same. Power users may find themselves drawn to Logitech’s MX Vertical, which offers a more robust toolset in a vertical form factor. But if you aren’t one for digging into configuration software to customize buttons or fine-tune DPI levels, the Goldtouch Semi-Vertical goes the extra mile to deliver a comfortable, ergonomically easygoing experience.
Goldtouch Semi-Vertical Wireless Mouse Specs
|Number of Buttons||6|
|Sensor Maker and Model||Pixart PAW3205|
|Sensor Maximum Resolution||1600 dpi|
|Power Source||Two AA Batteries|
|Warranty (Parts and Labor)||1 year|