10 Best Trackball Mice | April 2017

We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Whether you have limited desktop space or just prefer the action of a rolling ball, one of these trackball mice will let you zip around your computer's screen quickly and accurately. Many find that these designs also help to alleviate hand and wrist strain, too. Skip to the best trackball mice on Amazon.
10 Best Trackball Mice | April 2017
Overall Rank: 10
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The abcGoodefg Wireless is easy to install on any system with its plug and play setup. It can be used as a handheld pointer/mouse or set on a desktop like a standard trackball, giving it more versatile use options than other models.
  • comfortable and lightweight
  • solid and well balanced feel
  • trackball sticks sometimes
Brand abcGoodefg
Model pending
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
9
The InfoGrip BIGtrack has a 3-inch ball that makes it the largest trackball available. It's a great choice for people with disabilities, older people and kids who may have trouble controlling smaller units.
  • requires less fine motor control
  • rear buttons prevent unwanted clicks
  • takes up a lot of space
Brand Infogrip, Inc.
Model 12000005
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
8
The Yumqua Y-01 Mini puts the power in the palm of your hand, literally. It is an off table model that can easily be held between your fingers, but it can be difficult for people with large hands to control precisely. Use it left or right handed.
  • good choice for travel laptop users
  • allows for quick trigger responses
  • wired design limits mobility
Brand Obic-Shop
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
The Kensington SlimBlade has a low profile, minimalist design, with an elegant style that looks good on your desk, plus you can customize the buttons via Trackball software. It is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
  • lots of speed customization options
  • has very little pointer drag
  • button click noise is overly loud
Brand Kensington
Model 4 Button - Ultra Thin
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
6
The YUMQUA Y-10W is a great choice for presentations, as it fits snugly in the palm and allows you to use your thumb for mouse control. It's like having a presentation remote that offers you more control features.
  • has a 30' effective range
  • helps prevent musculo-skeletal disorders
  • no place to store the usb receiver
Brand YUMQUA
Model Y-10W-US
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The Logitech Trackman has an ambidextrous design, a top located trackball that offers fingertip control for accuracy and speed, and delivers smooth and reliable tracking. It's made with a larger trackball to reduce wrist motion.
  • easy to pull out trackball for cleaning
  • has four large easy access buttons
  • scroll speed is slow
Brand Logitech
Model Logitech.910-000806
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
4
The ELECOM M-XT3DRBK is an affordable wireless option that connects to the computer via a small USB stick, and has five buttons, including the wheel. It's designed for thumb trackball control, which many find preferable.
  • deceleration switch slows pointer speed
  • also has a scroll wheel
  • back and forward buttons for browsing
Brand Elecom
Model M-XT3DRBK
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
3
The SANWA MA-TB39S is a good choice for those with larger hands who find other models a touch too small. Its silver housing looks beautiful and resists fingerprints, and the ball removes easily for cleaning.
  • minimizes accidental clicks
  • as precise as an optical mouse
  • allows for assignable button functions
Brand Sanwa
Model MA-TB39S
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
2
The Logitech M570 has a sculpted shape that supports your hand and keeps the mouse in place while you work. It comes with a Logitech unifying receiver that lets you connect up to six compatible devices at once.
  • works for 18 months per battery set
  • has very smooth cursor control
  • wireless connectivity up to 30 feet
Brand Logitech
Model 910-001799
Weight 9.9 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
1
The Kensington Expert K64325 comes with a detachable, soft wrist rest that allows you to comfortably work for hours with less hand fatigue while providing more accuracy. It's available in wired and wireless versions.
  • ambidextrous design good for lefties too
  • auto sleep function conserves batt life
  • scroll ring for scanning pages
Brand Kensington
Model 4 Buttons - Wireless
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Keeping It Comfortable

If you spend a lot of time working at a computer station, you're going to be forced to use either a mouse or trackpad for the entire day in order to navigate your screen. This can get tiring after a while because you're constantly having to move your wrist and arm back and forth to get the pointer where you need it to be. A trackpad can relieve some of the strain from your wrist through the use of your fingers to move the cursor and pointer, but not all of it. That said, if you're a person who suffers from arthritis or chronic pain, you'll need a solution that keeps your wrist from being overworked. If you simply don't care for a conventional mouse with a clicker, then the trackball mouse is a good alternative.

A trackball mouse is a pointing device that consists of a freely-moving ball held in place by a socket with sensors for detecting its movement and rotation. A user can move the trackball with their fingers, thumb, or the palm of a hand. Unlike conventional computer mice, the trackball has no limits to its movement. A user can continue rolling the ball, even when the screen pointer has nowhere else to go. By contrast, a traditional sliding mouse has to be lifted and re-positioned should a user run out of room to move it across their desk.

A trackball offers several ergonomic advantages. Firstly, its usage encourages the freedom, flexibility, and independence of the thumb and fingers from the wrist and arm. It is often molded to support the wrist during operation, which provides extra cushioning and limits the possibility for pain or injury from extended use.

Unlike traditional mice, trackballs are not limited to use only on flat surfaces, as the ball can freely rotate on its axes while being held in place by its socket. This means it can be moved in virtually any direction without having to slide the entire mouse across a desk's surface. Such an application makes this mouse particularly useful on small desktops where space is limited. Additionally, it can be used effortlessly with a laptop from most any angle without impacting its accuracy. This comes in handy when using a laptop on unstable surfaces, such as a bed or on a boat.

One of the most popular applications for the trackball mouse includes the gaming industry. Because there is no requirement for a mousepad, a gamer experiences improved accuracy when playing first-person shooters, role-playing (RPG), and arcade-style games through the use of quick-spinning trackball action.

Large trackballs are used at computer stations with sonar equipment, at radar consoles in air-traffic control rooms, and even as part of computer-aided design workstations where precision and graphical work is common.

Trackballs are easily built into public internet access terminals and are more difficult to steal and vandalize than a traditional mouse.

A Brief History Of The Trackball Mouse

The original concept for the trackball was invented in 1946 by Ralph Benjamin. While working for the British Royal Navy Scientific Service, Benjamin helped to design a radar plotting system called Comprehensive Display System (CDS). Benjamin's project used analog computers to predict the future positions of target aircraft based on data points that were provided by a user with a joystick. Benjamin felt that the use of a joystick could be improved upon, so he invented a ball tracker system which he called roller ball. Although the concept was patented in 1947, only a prototype of the device was ever developed and it was kept a military secret from that point on.

Although Benjamin can be credited with the original idea for the trackball, the first practical application for this type of mouse was invented in 1952 by Canadian engineers Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff as part of their effort to design an improved target coordination system called Digital Automated Tracking and Resolving (DATAR). The DATAR system was similar to Benjamin's 1946 concept, but the difference was in the use of a digital computer for target calculations instead of analog. The DATAR system made use of a Canadian duck pin bowling ball weighing several pounds, which represented the first use of a trackball to move a cursor.

During the 1960s and 1970s, trackballs continued to evolve as high-cost, high-precision instruments for military use, each with a diameter range between two and four inches. By 1980, it was introduced into the gaming industry in the form of Atari's Missile Command. In 1989, Logitech introduced its first trackball called the Trackman. Logitech and Microsoft also launched trackballs designed for portable computers in 1991. With the evolution of more advanced optical tracking technology and standardized electronic interfaces (i.e. USB), the popularity of the trackball grew because it was easy to use as a plug-and-play device. It was also interchangeable with a traditional computer mouse.

Finding The Best Trackball Mouse

The trackball is ideal for comfort and practicality for your computer station. For that reason, any trackball device offering additional wrist cushioning (detachable or otherwise) is usually a good thing. This is definitely true if your motivation for investing in one is to relieve wrist pain and fatigue.

If you consider yourself a gamer, a trackball can be a godsend for playing involved first-person shooters, fighting, or racing games that require a lot of mouse precision and freedom to control what's on the screen.

Some of the best trackballs are wireless and offer up to a thirty-foot range, which can definitely come in handy if you're a graphic artist working on a large monitor and you require some distance to see and manipulate your work.

The trackball itself should also be easy to remove for cleaning, as it's inevitable that you'll spill something on it sooner or later.



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Last updated on April 24 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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