- Best Trackball Mouse For 2019
- Best Finger-operated Trackball: Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball
- Best Thumb-operated Trackball: Logitech MX ERGO
- Best Budget Thumb-operated Trackball: Logitech M570
- Best Budget Finger-operated Trackball: Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring
- Best For Limited Spaces: Logitech Trackman Marble
- TRACKBALL MOUSE BUYING GUIDE AND FAQs
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Trackball mice are often overlooked due to lack of knowledge regarding what they have to offer. They bring many benefits to their user, from comfort to health-related issues. After reviewing 23 devices, we’ve determined that the Kensington Expert Mouse is the best trackball for people who like to use a finger-operated mouse. For those who love to use thumb-operated trackballs, the winner is Logitech MX Ergo. We are also including budget models with a pretty good build quality such as Logitech M570 or Kensington Orbit.
Any PC enthusiast knows the downsides of a traditional mouse. For instance, if you use a mouse that is too thin, your hand cramps. Conversely, if it is too large, it is difficult for you to control. In either case, the danger of carpal tunnel syndrome is real.
For people wanting a much more ergonomic PC experience, we have found that a trackball mouse is the only real choice.
COMFORT – A trackball mouse helps decrease repeated, low-impact movements, such as clicking. For instance, trackball mice are generally larger than traditional mice, but they are shaped for the palm of your hand. The ball, for instance, is located right at the tip of the thumb, allowing you to rotate the ball and point the cursor without having to adjust your wrist’s position.
Additionally, since the trackball mouse is designed to fit the hand, when you do click the left mouse button, the index finger experiences less discomfort.
FOOTPRINT – In terms of ease-of-use, a trackball mouse allows you to engage the screen without having to constantly drag a mouse all over the desk. Additionally, the wire does not get in the way. In fact, if the mouse is wireless, the trackball mouse will never have to move.
This small footprint means you can have very efficient use of the mouse in tight spaces. When you travel for business, you can easily use a trackball mouse in an airport, on a plane, or at a hotel.
Best Trackball Mouse For 2019
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Best Finger-operated Trackball: Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball
Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball specs – DPI: 1,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 4 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Trackball, customizable buttons, USB dongle, Diamond Eye optical tracking technology, auto-sleep, detachable wrist rest
Pros: Connect via Bluetooth 4.0 or 2.4GHz USB nano receiver • Ambidextrous design • Detachable, ergonomic wrist support
Cons: Does not provide support for the palm of the hand
The wireless finger-operated trackball mouse from Kensington is, we think, one of the best options available. For instance, it comes with DiamondEye optical tracking that delivers precise control of the cursor, allowing you to quickly and smoothly get anywhere on the screen. Also, since you do not have to move my hand to move the cursor, you can enjoy a more efficient and productive experience.
Customization is another feature that we look for in a trackball mouse. We particularly like the ease with which you can customize this Kensington wireless trackball mouse. All you have to do is download the free software and then assign any of the many program functions to any of the four mouse buttons. Additionally, you can adjust the scrolling and cursor speeds for a smooth, personalized experience.
Best Thumb-operated Trackball: Logitech MX ERGO
Logitech MX Ergo specs – DPI: 512 – 2048 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Trackball, scroll wheel, USB dongle, Logitech ‘Flow’ software compatibility for use with up to three PCs simultaneously, micro USB charging, precision mode
Pros – Adjustable hinge design • FLOW technology • Battery lasts four months when fully charged • One minute of charge equals a full day of use • Scroll wheel includes middle-click and horizontal scrolling • Adjustable cursor speed and accuracy
Cons – Does not include wrist support
In terms of ergonomic design, we like Logitech’s MX Ergo. Compared to a typical mouse, this advanced trackball actually decreases the muscular strain by 20 percent.
The secret to this improvement in comfort is the exclusive, adjustable hinge design that allows for the highest level of individualized comfort. For instance, you can choose any angle between 0 degrees and 20 degrees to enjoy the most natural hand position.
Another stand-out feature of this ergonomic trackball is the Logitech FLOW technology. This multi-computer workflow function allows you to connect to and work on two computers–simultaneously. For instance, you can seamlessly copy and paste images, files, and text. By doing so, you can increase productivity with very little effort.
Best Budget Thumb-operated Trackball: Logitech M570
Logitech M570 Wireless specs – DPI: 540 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 4 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Trackball, scroll wheel, customizable buttons, USB dongle, Laser tracking
Pros: Mouse shape supports hand • Easy to clean • Wireless distance up to 30 feet • Up to 18-month battery life • Buttons are programmable for ultimate customization
Cons: Some users have reported that the buttons are not reliable
With the Logitech M570 wireless trackball, you can work or play anytime, anywhere. In fact, you can reliably use this thumb-operated trackball mouse on practically any surface, including couch or even leg. It also has a very small footprint, allowing you to comfortably use it in tight workspaces, such as when you are waiting for a flight at an airport gate.
In terms of control, the buttons allow you to quickly flip forward or backward through web pages, documents, and even menus on the home theater PC. Additionally, the scroll wheel allows you to quickly spin through super-long web pages and documents.
Finally, we really appreciate the wireless, unifying receiver because we can add up to five compatible devices without tying up all of the USB ports. Also, because it is nano-sized, it can stay on a computer or laptop.
Best Budget Finger-operated Trackball: Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring
Kensington Orbit specs – DPI: N/A | Interface: Wired (USB) | Buttons: 2 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Trackball, precise optical tracking, customizable buttons
Pros: Wrist rest is detachable • Optical tracking technology • Buttons can be customized • Does not require batteries
Cons: Wrist support might cause some users fingers to over-extend
The wired trackball mouse from Kensington comes with an award-winning scroll ring that allows you to zip through long documents and web pages without fear of causing myself an unwanted stress injury from annoying, repetitive movements. The blue dial is spherical, and it has a hard surface.
This expert design of the Kensington Orbit trackball mouse allows you to simply spin the blue sphere to scroll precisely up or down the computer screen.
Additionally, the red optics allow precise control of the cursor, ensuring you never have to worry about accuracy. Finally, with the free software, you can enjoy the full benefits of this mouse with the trackball on top.
You can customize it for your specific needs. For instance, you can choose from a variety of programmable functions to assign to either of the two buttons. Additionally, the software also allows you to adjust the scrolling and cursor speeds, providing you with an extremely personalized experience.
Best For Limited Spaces: Logitech Trackman Marble
Logitech Trackman Marble specs – DPI: 540 | Interface: Wired (USB) | Buttons: 4 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Trackball, precise optical tracking, customizable buttons
Pros – Ambidextrous design • Precise cursor • Customizable buttons
Cons – Hard to press buttons • Awkward Posture • Counter-intuitive design
This wired trackball mouse from Logitech is also an ergonomic trackball. The sculpted shape is comfortable to use either for right or left hand. The large back button and the forward button are both easy to reach which helps avoid unwanted, repetitive movements.
Equally important, the controls are programmable. This allows you such functions as opening browsers, switching to full screen when watching your favorite movies, and switching between applications.
Finally, we really appreciate the easy setup. In fact, because the Logitech Trackman Marble is wired, all you need to do is plug it into any USB port. It will also plug into my PS/2 port.
TRACKBALL MOUSE BUYING GUIDE AND FAQs
The trackballs are ideal if you are working for hours on your computer. That´s why many trackball mice offering additional wrist cushioning that will help you relieve wrist pain and fatigue. With so many models on the market, finding the best trackball mouse can be little time consuming and don’t forget that there are also a few key features a good one should have.
What is a trackball mouse?
A trackball is nothing more than a different kind of computer mouse that is specially designed to help decrease repeated, low-impact movements.
Trackballs are generally larger than traditional mice, but they are shaped for the palm of your hand. There two main designs of trackball mice – thumb-operated and finger-operated. Both models allowing the user to rotate the ball and point the cursor without having to adjust your wrist’s position.
Additionally, since the trackball mouse is designed to fit the hand, when you do click the left mouse button, the index finger experiences less discomfort.
Is trackball better than a mouse?
It’s all about personal preference. If full control, comfort, and less motion are what you need, then opt for the trackball. This type of mouse is a must-have if you plan to use a computer for hours each day.
Trackballs are designed to provide less fatiguing for some tasks and can be used by people with carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.
Advantages of using a trackball
- Can be used in a smaller space
- Allows continuous and fast scrolling and doesn’t require repositioning.
- Precision control
- Minimal cleaning
Disadvantages of using a trackball
- Trackballs are larger
- More expensive
- Doesn’t perform as well on some simple activities
How does a trackball work?
Trackballs are using either optical sensors or two roller sensors to read the movements. The mouse with the optical sensors is tracking direction in which the dots move and then the optics translate the movement of the ball into moving the cursor. Trackballs with rollers or wheels are recording the ball´s movement within an enclosed housing. The one roller reads the change in the X axis while the other reads change in the Y axis. As the ball rolls against the desk, it also rolls against the sensors. After each movement, the sensors detect the change of the degrees the sensor rotates and then sends it to the PC.
Why should you use an ergonomic mouse?
The traditional computer mouse literally forces you to adjust your hand to match its design. This leaves you with a stressed hand.
Just think about it.
You are repeating the same motion over and over again. You have to move your arm and wrist if you want to move the cursor on the screen.
The worst is that your wrist is at an unnatural angle for many hours of the day.
On the other hand, the ergonomic mouse returns your wrist to a natural position and reduces the wear and tear on your tendons. This is great if you are struggling with hand pain.
There are also other important things that ergonomic mice can offer as well – different buttons placement, a thumb rest, size changes, wrist cushioning, trackball, and vertical tilt personalization.
The main reason why you should invest into the ergonomic mouse if you are using your PC for hours in a single day is that it reduces risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
RSI is damage caused to the shoulders, elbows, upper arm, and wrist due to repetitive movement. Anyone who uses a computer regularly is at risk and should know about RSI.
The usual symptoms are a weakness in the arm, throbbing or tingling, constant pains, shaking, stiffness, and cramping.
Is there any prevention for computer workers – at least for the mouse movement?
Do not grip too tightly, and slow your speed to reduce muscle tension in the hand. But if you already have some of the symptoms we described above, it is important to get them checked by a specialized doctor as soon as possible.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand. Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers.
The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, since many people sleep with flexed wrists. Are you in the risk of developing CTS?
The syndrome is especially common for people performing assembly line work or desk jobs.
Treatment consists of relieving symptoms and slow the progression of CTS by reducing pressure on the median nerve. While working on your computer, you should allow your hand and wrist to rest – the more rest the hand and wrist get, the greater the chance of relieving the symptoms.
Are trackball mice better for carpal tunnel and what is the best mouse for hand pain? A trackball requires much less movement and provides less fatiguing for some tasks, so this type of mouse can be used even by people with carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. Can be used, it’s not prevention.
Top reasons why you should switch from a mouse to a trackball
Trackballs are ambidextrous – The mouse with the ball on the top can be used whether you are right or left handed.
Accuracy and speed – Trackballs are popular among graphic designers (not only them) because they are more precise and accurate than a traditional mouse.
Ergonomics – A mouse with ergonomic design is a must-have if you plan to use a mouse for hours each day. This is the number one priority. Trackballs are specially designed to provide less fatiguing for some tasks and can be used by people with carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.
Trackball mouse can be used in a smaller space – One of the main advantages of using a trackball is the absence of a mouse´s movement. You are using the scroll the wheel (on the top or side) to move the cursor on the screen – not the mouse.
Where is trackball used?
Trackballs are niche products. They are great for graphic designers, architects or people who are using the computer for long hours per day.
What about gamers?
Can you use trackball mouse for gaming?
Just watch this video from Randomfrankp Youtube channel. He is using one of the trackball mice we mention on this list – Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball. It is really interesting to see how he is trying to use the trackball mouse for gaming.
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- Gaming Mouse vs Normal Mouse: What Is The Difference?
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet, NINDS
- Everything You Should Know About Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Healthline
- Why the Hell Would Anyone Use a Trackball Mouse?, Gizmodo
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