Any decent trackballs left?

So in looking for a replacement for my Microsoft Trackball Explorer, I find that it’s been discontinued. In looking at what else is out there, well, there’s not much. What I’m looking for:

*Index/middle finger trackball control - none of those big honking balls that you rest your palm on (hard on the wrist) or the thumb operated ones (suck for games)

*Scroll wheel

*Reasonable button placement

*Wireless would be a plus, but at this point I’ll take anything really.


The only thing I’ve seen that comes close is the Logitech Cordless Trackball Optical, but I’m not a huge fan of the ergonomics. On the other hand, if it’s all there is that’s out there…

I used to have a Logitech Trackman Marble that was really nice… all they needed to do was update it with a scroll wheel and it would have been perfect. But alas, they disocntinued it and went to thumb operated balls for a while.

Surely I’m not the only one who switched from mice due to wrist stress a long time ago. Why are these things so damn hard to find?

cuz nobody buys 'em OEM

Nooooooooo :(

I’m using an optical cordless trackman right now. It’s your only option, unfortunately, if you want all those features.

I have the old-school one right next to it too - but it finally just got to me too much that it didn’t have a wheel.

Sheesh… it’s like you and I are keeping the entire market segment alive.

Where is the scroll wheel on the optical cordless trackman? One of my complaints was that from the pictures I can see of it, it doesn’t actually have a scroll wheel, instead opting for scroll buttons. Also, do the left/right buttons straddle the ball, or are they both on the right side of the ball? (I hate the newfangled mice with the friggin’ “hidden” main buttons… I can’t ever tell where they are by looking.)

I’m still using my Microsoft Trackball Explorer at home and I love it. When my mouse at work died I tried to get one but alas they were discontinued, so I ended up with the Logitech Cordless Trackball Optical. It’s ok but I’m not sure it would do well at gaming. The one I use at work has limited range, needs to be pointing at the receiver and doesn’t seem very responsive. Of course it just may be due to the piece of crap computer I use at work. I love trackballs that are controlled by using your fingers. I hope some one comes out with a decent one before my trackball explorer dies.

Left of the ball, looks like:

I have a Kensington Orbit Optical Trackball. Their whole line can be found here. I used it for my laptop before the laptop went tits-up. Only two buttons and no wheel, and not wireless. It does work, however. The ball is about the size of a golf ball.

The Kensington Expert Mouse is the very definition of the “big honking ball” trackball (the ball is the same size as a pool ball; there are stories of people replacing the ball with an actual pool ball), and I gather it has something of a reputation among people that have a need for serious precision in their mice. (People who use CAD or do 3D modelling. I remember seeing the older, non-optical version of the trackball in one of the special features of the LotR movies when they were interviewing one of WETA’s modellers.) It is, on the other hand, about a hundred dollars, $120 for the wireless model. Four buttons and a wheel.

That black area right of the ball is button 2.

I swear by the logitech trackballs, because they’re the only trackball I’ve ever found that has absolutely silky smooth rolling. I tried a MS one that sorta looked like a logitech one once, but found the ball to be stiff.

Button 1 is the silver swathe to the left of the ball, yes?

I don’t like the idea of splitting the ball like that, though I suppose the buttons are re-mappable. IMO the trackball explorer had a great layout… the wheel button especially seems like it’s in a much better place than in the logitech. However, since there’s zero options. (I can live without wireless, but even then I don’t think that opens up the field… there’s just not really anything in terms of finger operate trackballs out there.)

Button 1 is the large silver oval on the left side of the mouse, beneath the back/forward button. It took some time to get used to leftclicking with my thumb, but now it works suprisingly well. I use the thumb for l-click, index finger for the scroll wheel or the trackball, and the middlefinger also can be used for the trackball

why do thumb-operated balls suck for games? I’ll admit they take quite a bit of getting used to, but now that I’m habituated to it, I can’t imagine going back to a traditional mouse.

One problem is that thumb-trackballs can lead to thumb joint RSI. Which isn’t much help if you switched to a trackball because of wrist RSI in the first place.