The New Wireless DXT Mouse: A Review

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.

The wireless DXT2 comes with a compact receiver and a mini USB charger cable.

The wireless DXT2 comes with a compact receiver and a mini USB charger cable.

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 shape of the DXT2 (left) is exactly the same as its predecessor (right).

The shape of the DXT2 (left) is exactly the same as its predecessor (right).

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.

On the original DXT (right) there were only three DPI levels, selected with a colored indicator light. The DXT2 has four levels, but only one indicator light .Number of blinks indicates setting.

On the original DXT (right) there were only three DPI levels, selected with a colored indicator light. The DXT2 has four levels, but only one indicator light. Number of blinks indicates setting.

Interface changes

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.

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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 slickier and shinier than before, has strange gunk-attracting properties. Where I was able to use the original DXT for months without grime buildup, 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.

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19 Comments

  1. Emmanuel
    Posted January 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    Great blog ! Thanks a lot !

    Can you guide me in choosing a mouse following these criteria ?

    Designer on Mac (need precision).
    Pain in the wrist and forearm.
    Looking for a good life-time mouse (a lot of mouses break after 4-6 months – double clicking pb etc.).

    After reading your blog, i’m hesitating between the DXT and the Evoluent… (Evoluent seems to have a bad lifetime).

    Thanks !

    • Jason
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Can’t speak to the Evoluent lifetime, except that I have a family member who has used the mouse full-time for a year or two with no problems. (He isn’t a designer, but he works on the computer for a living.)

      That said, I’d marginally recommend the DXT more highly for you, due to its precision. I’m assuming, though, that you only need two buttons; if you really need more that you can customize, the Evoluent would be a better choice.

  2. Vincent Brouillet
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    I’m new here. Is the DXT the best vertical mouse out there (the article is a couple of years old and read in the comments that the new version is far from ideal). Which vertical mouse is the best at the moment ? I’ve never tried one but willing to give it a go.

    I just acquired a Apple trackpad, wrong choice, it’s very uncomfortable to have to keep the fingers above it without touching it, it will certainly go wrong in long term.

    • Jason
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      When it comes to ergonomic mice, “best” is in the eye of the beholder – or rather, in the hand of the user. The DXT is my all-around top pick, but there is also much to be said for the Evoluent vertical mouse; notably, it has more buttons. And if clicking is part of what gives you pain, the Rockstick has merit too.

      I have the new version of the DXT, and I have not found it to be in any respect worse than the old one. (But to be fair, I haven’t actually put it into daily use.)

      Hope this helps.

  3. Jonathan
    Posted March 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I know this is an older review but I had to ask.

    In your Contour Perfit review you mention how you would not want to go back to not having a good middle (3rd) mouse button click.

    Does the DTX allow for smooth third mouse button clicking?

    • Jason
      Posted March 20, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Actually it doesn’t, and that was something I had to adjust to during the time I used a DXT as my primary pointing device. The scroll wheel does click, of course, but not much more easily than that on any garden-variety two-button mouse. However, it was worth it to me to achieve the greater precision of the DXT.

      These days, of course, I use a Contour RollerMouse Red, which has all the buttons you could wish for.

      • Jonathan
        Posted March 20, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Thank you.

        Unfortunately I couldn’t really go with the RollerMouse, keyboard space is just slightly shorter than my Kinesis Advantage (maybe 1/16″ of overhang at the front).

        Add to that I would be using the mouse for gaming as well as productivity and some of the reviews I’ve seen have mentioned using 2 hands to get the most out of the buttons, not an option if you need the keyboard too.

        I guess the best method to judge how well it will work would be to try it and see.

  4. jevans
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Just got my DXT2 wireless. It appears it may be a later generation than the one you reviewed. The DXT D model claims 50% longer battery life than the DXT B model. Unfortunately it appears they have added a sleep mode. After 5 minutes of inactivity you have to press one of the buttons to wake it up. Rather annoying but I’ll give it a bit to see if I can get used to it.

    • jevans
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      First impression is this mouse is very comfortable and a joy to maneuver 🙂

      I’m not fond of the scroll wheel as I can’t seem to scroll without moving the mouse, but I’m learning to grip with my third finger when I scroll. (would love to have a free scrolling wheel like some of the performance mice)

      The wake up click is driving me nuts. It’s treated as an mouse click as well, meaning you’re actually clicking whatever is under the mouse in order to wake it up. Careful where you let it rest…

      • Jason
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        I can’t believe they “implemented” a wake-up click on the new version. Talk about a great leap backwards!

  5. Jason
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Moderation note: The exchange between “Francis,” City Ergonomics, and myself has been removed because it came to our attention that the original commenter did not provide a valid email address.

  6. Colin
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I find it odd that they made the buttons slicker in the second version. I tried the first DXT mouse and returned it for this reason. I found the slippery buttons made it really difficult to use because the mouse would slip in my hand.

    • Stephen Bowden
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Dear Colin.

      The DXT 2 mouse buttons use a standard paint finishing process to ensure durability of the paint.

      We also use a rubber coating on the front and back of the mouse to allow for comfort which is popular with many of our customers.
      Regards

      City Ergonomics

  7. Andy Staab
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason! Thanks for the great review. Do you know if this mouse will function on a clear glass surface? My desk top is thick but clear glass which I’ve found befuddles most mice using optical tracking.

    I love your reviews. You’re a great writer.

    – Andy

    • Jason
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Glad you like my reviews – thanks 🙂

      I just tried the DXT original (already sent the new version back) on a glass scanner top, and it didn’t work. The distributor says they haven’t tested the new model on glass, but they suspect – and I concur – that it won’t work.

      • Andy Staab
        Posted November 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Jason, I received confirmation from the manufacturer that a mouse pad would be required in my case. More specifically, a “non-reflective mouse mat” is recommended.

        • Stephen Bowden
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Dear Andy,
          The DXT Mouse uses a LED optimal mouse sensor from Avago which is not designed to work on glass. The sensor will work on the majority of other surfaces though.

      • Gil
        Posted September 13, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Thanks for your great reviews Jason. I am contemplating which to get, the older wired or the new version.
        I noticed here above that you wrote that you returned the new version. Does that mean that based on your experience you prefer the older one?
        Thanks

        • Jason
          Posted September 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Glad you find my reviews helpful. The sample was returned because it was just that – a sample. At the time there was a production shortage on the wireless DXT, and they wanted that one back.

          To answer your broader question, I did find the wired model “better” for myself at the time because of the peculiar tingling issues I mentioned. Of late, however, those issues have been cropping up with every mouse I try to use. So, my best recommendation for others is to get the latest model, and go wireless for convenience.

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  • About The Blogger

    Jason, the All Things Ergo bloggerI'm Jason, a user of many ergonomic devices by necessity and choice. I'm also a partner in a business that operates a number of commercial enterprises, including All Things Ergo.

    I have no particular training or expertise in the area of ergonomics. My views are based on my own personal experience, and what works for me won't necessarily work for you.