Best Trackball Mouse – Reviews and Buying Guide
Why You Need the Best Trackball Mouse for Your Desktop?
Three reasons, to be precise.
First up, ergonomics. Unlike traditional mice – which require constant moving of your wrist and therefore induce repetitive strain injury, trackball mouse keeps your wrist stationary, hence keeping it at a healthy angle.
Second, if you want to make the most of the limited desk space on offer, a trackball – by staying in place, would free up loads of it. And finally, since they have fewer moving parts, trackball mice are spared the wear and tear which decreases the lifespan of traditional mice.
Agree with me? It means you’re ready to try the best trackball mouse.
- 1 Best trackball Mouse
- 1.1 Kensington Orbit Trackball Mouse
- 1.2 Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse
- 1.3 Logitech Wireless Trackball M570
- 1.4 Kensington Orbit (K64327F)
- 1.5 ELECOM M-XT3DRBK Wireless Trackball Mouse
- 1.6 Kensington Orbit Trackball (K72337US)
- 1.7 Logitech Marble Mouse, Corded
- 1.8 Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball-(Certified Refurbished)
- 1.9 ELECOM M-HT1DRBK Wireless Trackball Mouse
- 1.10 Perixx PERIMICE-517 Wired Ergonomic Trackball Mouse
- 2 How does it work?
- 3 Best Trackball Mouse Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion
Best trackball Mouse
Kensington Orbit Trackball Mouse
Smaller in size than most trackball mice, the Kensington Orbit comes with a soft, wrist rest made of rubber. More importantly, not only is the Orbit responsive, but it was a cinch to operate even when used on a 1,920 x 1,080 desktop which means you won’t have to hammer the ball to get the cursor to the side of the screen.
As for the placement of buttons and that of the scroll wheel, it is neat, functional and most of all responsive. Yes, having only two standard mouse buttons means Kensington had more room to maneuver with this mouse but still, the mouse gives you a third option to decide an action when you press both the buttons at the same time.
Making the Kensington Orbit stand-out is the location of its scroll wheel. Stuck around the mouse, Kensington has made sure that you can reach the scroll wheel easily even with your fingertips, let alone the hand.
Finally, during our testing of this mouse, we found the wrist rest to be remarkably functional. It adds some size to the trackball for sure – a feature which might be annoying for those of you with limited desk space – but it also positions your hand so that the thumb and the pinky finger to provide easy access to the buttons and scrollwheel.
For those of you who have limited desk space, the fact that this mouse doesn’t come wireless – it is tethered by a cable, might annoy you.
Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse
Take, for instance, the dual-wireless technology on offer here. The mouse will connect to your system both via Bluetooth as well as 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. What’s more, if you think the cursor speed is slow, Trackball Works Software will let you adjust it, apart from customizing the function you may want the mouse’s four buttons to perform.
One problem which comes to mind as soon as one hears the word ‘’wireless’’ is battery timing, for wireless technology consumes battery for fun. Thankfully, Kensington has taken care of this problem by providing the Expert with an auto-sleep mode which will automatically switch the mouse off if it remains inactive for long time periods.
Finally, two features deserve a mention here, the first of which is the wrist support which you can detach provided you want to free desk space. Second, and this is important for first time users, the trackball’s size all but guarantees that you get maximum precision with the cursor.
Not that it would come out, but the scroll wheel does feel a bit too loose.
Logitech Wireless Trackball M570
Just like in the market of traditional mice, Logitech is a respected brand name in the arena of trackballs as well. That said, it was the performance of the M570 and NOT the brand name which forced us to include it in this review.
Have doubts? A mere glance at the programmable buttons should quash them. Apart from having the traditional right/left click buttons, you are going to get the back/forward browser navigation buttons with the M570. That, and the fact that you can adjust the cursor speed from Logitech’s software, increases the utility of this mouse.
If you don’t like the function a particular button performs, you can customize it using the Logitech SetPoint™ software. That said, the software doesn’t come alongside the mouse so you would have to download and install it separately.
Looking at its wireless technology and the impeccable 30-foot wireless range provided by this model stands out. What’s more, despite relying on wireless for connectivity, the M570 won’t devour battery, with our tests finding a single AA battery lasting more than a year on normal use.
And there won’t be any surprises as the battery comes with an integrated indicator light which would notify you in advance when the battery needs changing so that your work doesn’t get disrupted midway.
It attracts dust like a magnet, so you might have to clean it once a week to make sure the optical sensor remains responsive.
Kensington Orbit (K64327F)
If you don’t like for any reason the abovementioned Kensington Orbit, the gaming-console-resembling K6432LF might sort you out, and that too despite costing less. Still, new users might want to be wary of the 40mm ball size which means handling this trackball might require more effort from their side.
Next up is an important feature for those among you who are fed up with changing batteries and can afford to have a little extra space on their desk for wires. A wired USB connection might need a bit more desk space, but in return, it provides continuous performance without any recurring cost of batteries.
And finally, if you have a habit of going all geeky with the products you own, the TrackBall Works Software – which you would have to download from Kensington’s website, grants your wish. Apart from letting you assign a wide array of functions to the two buttons, it lets you adjust the scrolling as well as the pointer speed.
No built-in scroll wheel is available with this mouse, though the TrackBall Software lets you tweak the functions of both buttons so that, once you press both at the same time, they mimic as a scroll.
ELECOM M-XT3DRBK Wireless Trackball Mouse
How huge is this mouse: my first impression on seeing the Elecom M-XT3DRBK. The hunch proved to be right when we looked at its dimension as, being 124mm X 94.7mm, its size makes it useful for people with large hands.
Such large size allows you to rest your entire hand on it, hence removing any chances of wrist-induced RSI. And to make full use of its extended size, Elecom has supplied the mouse with elongated buttons which are located at the natural resting spot of your fingers so that you can press them from any direction.
Turning our attention to its controls, and six buttons are on offer here. That, and the built-in optical sensor allows you to use it as a gaming mouse. Also, if you feel amid the game that the pointer speed is low, you can adjust it there and then by clicking on the tiny red button beneath the scroll wheel. No need to open any software.
Lastly, since it runs on an AA battery, you might think that the battery might ditch you midway through your work. Luckily, since this mouse also has a battery indicator light, the chances of this scenario turning into reality are pretty slim.
If you want to avail all the functions mentioned above, you would have to pay a bit over the odds for this trackball.
Kensington Orbit Trackball (K72337US)
The addition of scroll ring has given this new trackball device a big improvement over other models from Kensington. Thanks to this, all you need to do is to hover over any part of the page you might want to scroll through, with no clicks needed.
As for the ball itself, Kensington has placed it at an indent right between the area existing between the left and right-click buttons, a feature which makes this mouse ambidextrous. And while this mouse comes with a detachable wrist rest, the trackball on its own is large enough to support your entire hand.
It may take some time for you to get used to this trackball provided you haven’t used a similar one before. That said, provided you can afford to give it some time, you’d vouch for the quickness and precision which comes with its optical tracking. Still, the fact that it comes wired means you might have to make extra space on your desk.
The only nuisance we noted while testing this product is the ‘’click-clack’’ sound which comes when you press any of the right or left-click buttons.
Logitech Marble Mouse, Corded
First things first, you might find the shape of the Logitech marble a bit weird since it doesn’t mimic the natural shape of the hand. Sleek and long, it has a huge trackball at the top with four generous-size buttons, two on each side. The mouse is symmetrical which means both the righties and lefties can use it with equal ease.
The Marble Mouse comes with a ‘’ball forward’’ design in which your hand would sit comfortably on the rear of the trackball, on the downward sloping. From there, all you need is a single finger to move the ball, though we found that increased precision was on offer provided you use two fingers to guide it.
Turning our attention to the buttons which the Marble Mouse offers, and there are four of them, two on each side. The bigger two buttons are for right and left-clicking whereas the smaller ones are for forward/back navigation. All these buttons can be programmed once you download the Logitech software from the company’s website.
Finally, since the Marble Mouse doesn’t offer any wireless connectivity, you must connect it to your computer with a USB cable. Luckily, while the usage of cable poses some restrictions, its 5 ½m length allows you to place the mouse at a comfortable distance away from the monitor.
That said, since the mouse employs a sensor technology, it won’t give away a smooth tracking experience on glass surfaces.
The increased length of the cable is a double-edged sword for the Marble Mouse. While on one end it allows us to place the mouse comfortably, it also binds us to create more space for the lingering cable, on the other.
Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball-(Certified Refurbished)
Taking the most-pressing issue about the M570 head-on, the fact that it comes refurbished might be a deal-breaker for the majority. After all, who wants to get a used product when better ones are on offer in the same price tag?
That said, provided you can afford to spend a bit extra, this mouse comes with 3 and 4-year protection plans to provide you with an equally long warranty.
And provided you can – at least for a moment – take your mind away from the fact that it comes refurbished, and look at its features, there is much to admire about this model. Take, for example, its wireless connectivity and its wider-than-usual shape. While the former provides hassle-free usage, the latter makes the mouse a cinch to use.
Similar ease is on offer with the lack of drivers as this mouse provides the option of plug-and-play activation. However, if you want to step up your experience, you may do so with the customizable software. Once inside the software, you might encounter the unifying Software which, after taking you through a few steps, would sync your keyboard and mice. Though both of them have to be Logitech for syncing.
The option to customize the mouse settings come with another software, SetPoint 6.15, one which you can download from Logitech’s website. You can decide pointer speed, the lines the scroll wheel might scroll, and the pointer acceleration with it. And if you don’t want to be ditched midway through, you can use this software to keep the remaining battery life under your gaze.
For people with small hands, the positioning of the browser buttons might force them to extend their fingers beyond their comfort zones. That and the fact that this particular mouse comes refurbished might serve as deal-breakers for some of you.
ELECOM M-HT1DRBK Wireless Trackball Mouse
As it turned out, later on, this is the price you have to pay for multiple DPI resolutions, eight customizable buttons, and a tilt wheel design. And with 181mm by 114mm size – which will support your entire hand right from the fingertips to the bottom of the wrist, the price tag was beginning to look justified.
While the mouse is undoubtedly large, Elecom has done well to make it easy for use. Just like the abovementioned ELECOM M-XT3DRBK, the buttons are elongated and located on the natural resting spot of your fingers to make sure you can press them from any direction.
Looking at its controls and you might find it weird to know that the left-clicking button would be controlled, not by your finger, but by your thumb as Elecom has moved it further down the left-hand side. As for the remaining six buttons – this mouse has eight of them, remember? – the Elecom Mouse Assistant Software lets you assign up to 10 frequently used functions to them.
Wrapping up, Elecom has gone one step ahead of its competitors by making the trackball easy to clean, hence enhancing its shelf life. You can access the trackball from beneath to remove dirt and any grime so that the precision of the cursor remains as impeccable as ever.
It is ultra-expensive. Period.
Perixx PERIMICE-517 Wired Ergonomic Trackball Mouse
Boasting an ergonomic design that is smaller than what most trackballs offer, the matte and glossy surface Perimice-517 is stylish, to put it mildly. Apart from providing a space for your wrist, the area on the mouse’s right side is extended, hence your entire hand can rest on the trackball with ease.
Also, if you aren’t fond of trackballs whose buttons produce the large ‘click’ sound, this trackball’s buttons operate without making any noise. And located just underneath the scroll wheel and between the right and left-click buttons is the dpi switching button using which you can set the mouse’s sensitivity at any of the provided three levels.
Finally, to ensure that the performance of this trackball doesn’t suffer due to dust, Perixx has provided it with an easy-to-clean trackball. Consequently, no matter for how long you may use it, there won’t be any sluggishness in the precision of this trackball.
Of the many useful features which this trackball does have, compatibility isn’t one. For, it is only compatible across Windows devices, which means Linux and Mac users can look elsewhere.
How does it work?
There are two types of trackballs available in the market: thumb-operated or finger operated. Regardless of their type, both of them function similarly.
Inside the trackball mouse are two rollers-cum-sensors. While one of them would notice change along the X-axis, other would respond when you move the mouse along Y-axis. As you’d rotate the mouse’s ball, its inner portion would roll against the sensors.
Every time the ball will roll, the sensors will detect the degrees to which the ball has deviated from its original position, and by how much. Afterwards, they will send that information to your computer.
From here on, your computer’s operating system will take the lead and would tell the CPU how many pixels the cursor needs to move in which particular direction relative to the degrees the sensors have calculated.
Best Trackball Mouse Buyer’s Guide
Think the abovementioned information would be enough to land you the best trackball mouse for your needs? Nope.
Features that are Important
Thumb-operated or Finger-operated
Thumb-operated trackballs require your thumb to operate a small fob located on their left side. Your fingers, meanwhile, are left alone to navigate the scrolling wheel and clicking buttons.
As for the finger-operated trackballs, they require your middle and index finger to control the ball positioned in the middle of the mouse. Since the ball has occupied the center space, the buttons get space on the sides, with your ring finger and thumb taking care of them.
One area where you might find one finger trackball differing from another is the position of scroll ring. While some of them – such as the Kensington Expert – have their scroll ring around the ball, the majority has scroll rings on the left-hand side of the trackball.
Size of the ball
If you are going to use a trackball mouse for the first time – and have larger hands, you might want trackball mice with bigger sized balls, such as 50mm. For, their bigger size would give you better control and precision over the direction of the cursor.
That said, if you have been using it for some time or have smaller hands, a smaller device with a ball size of either 32mm or 40mm might just suit you.
In contrast to what most of us believe, the number of buttons a particular mouse may have has less to do with its performance and more to do with your comfort.
For instance, if you only browse websites, do basic computing and aren’t a gamer, Kensington Orbit – which has only two buttons, would suffice.
However, if you use complicated software or are a hardcore gamer, the abovementioned Logitech M570 – which has four buttons, or Elecom M-HT1DRBK – which has eight of them, might deserve your attention.
How fast will the pointer of your mouse move on the desktop’s screen will be determined by its sensitivity, which, in turn, is calculated in dpi or dots per inch.
Most of the trackball mice come with a built-in dpi, one which you cannot change. There are some, however, like the Elecom M-HT1DRBK, which provide a DPI switch to let you choose the optimal DPI level for your needs.
Detachable Wrist rest
Having a trackball with wrist rest is important, no doubt about it. Still, just like the trackball itself, a wrist rest would consume considerable space on your desk.
Can your desk offer this space all the time? If you don’t know the answer to this question – as our desks are neither empty nor cluttered all the time, opt for a detachable wrist rest.
So that, when the desk space is running low, you can simply take it off, only to attach it back again when you feel like enough space is on offer.
Choosing the best trackball mouse from the list of ever-increasing options is anything but easy. Still, now that we have done that, the attention turns to you and the choice you are going to make. And to make sure you don’t have to sweat too much on selecting the best option for your needs, we’re going to unveil you the trackball which we liked the most in our review.
Unsurprisingly, it is the Kensington Optical Trackball mouse which gets our nod. Not only is this mouse spacious – which means even first-time users can use it, but it comes with a detachable wrist rest, and has six programmable buttons. Therefore, be it gaming or everyday computing tasks that you may indulge in, here is a mouse which we recommend.