After doing some research and weighing different options I found this well priced and nice featured trackball to replace my failing logitech m500 (I think that's the correct model number) on my work PC.
Why a trackball?
I chose a trackball for a simple reason:
- I wanted one. I hadn't used a trackball for, well, basically anything but I liked the idea of using a trackball for my basic tasks.
Finding one that wasn't really expensive and checked all the boxes proved difficult as outlined in this thread:
This was the only ball I could find that fit the criteria, although that Kensington Expert still looks like a very nice ball (albeit 80USD).
Getting used to it
I've been using this ball at work for a week now and it didn't take long to adjust to. It has a very intuitive layout and comfortable ergonomic design (more on that later). At first it was quite difficult to check the little boxes in the tax program I use even with the window at fullscreen, however, after a day or so it became almost natural. So overall I'd say it's got a small learning curve. It's there, but it's a relatively quick and painless adjustment.
Ah the fun stuff, here goes:
- Right and Left clicks (duh)
- Top-mounted, index & middle finger driven trackball (also duh)
- Scroll wheel with tilt scrolling
- Browser forward and back buttons
- DPI switch (hardware based with 2 settings)
- 3 additional function buttons
It feels rather solid, albeit very light. The rubber pads on bottom appear to be securely adhered and provide ample grip for the desk. The buttons all have a nice, solid feel when clicked, but they aren't too tough to click. The ball is somewhat small when compared to other trackballs out there but it is a great size in this particular layout. My only complaint is that the ball doesn't roll as smoothly as I'd like. This is not to say the ball is tough to move or anything, it's not, but there's a little more friction than I would expect. I will note that this is a very small complaint and once you get using the ball you forget about it altogether.
My experience vs. Amazon reviews
I had some doubts when I purchased this trackball after reading the reviews on Amazon. I kept seeing the same complaints over and over, yet in my week of using it I've noticed none of the things people were complaining about.
The first major complaint I saw was it was too small. Plain and simple: this is false. Unless you have mammoth hands this ball is a great size. It fits my hand wonderfully and I do not have what would be considered small, or even medium hands. It is extremely comfortable for long periods of trackball use.
The second major complaint I read was the thumb area was not well thought out. I can't understand why someone would think this. The thumb area is extremely intuitive. Left click covers the lower half, scroll wheel and dpi in the middle, and forward/back buttons on top. Seems pretty well thought out to me. Only buttons in a somewhat strange place are the 3 function buttons (I have no use for these really so It's not a complaint of mine).
I'll give this trackball a 4.9/5
For the price it's feature set is unmatched. The closest competition in terms of features is the Kensington Expert which asks 80USD and still doesn't have the 3 function buttons.
I only have 2 small complaints about this ball:
- The ball has a little more friction than I would like but it's not a big deal really
- It gets warm. Now this isn't talking about the mouse itself. I'm saying having your hand on it your hand gets warm. It doesn't breathe well. To be expected when holding your hand on something without moving it for awhile but still something to note.
Overall, this is an excellent trackball for the money. Loaded with features you'd see on a thumb-driven ball but in the correct top-mounted ball form-factor.