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[trackball] CST L-Track 3200


My review of the CST L-Track 3200. Keep in mind this is my first trackball.

I got my CST a few weaks ago, I bought it off a fellow geekhacker.

I made the decision for the CST*Ltrack because it had some good reviews on this forum, and it's openability, high DPI, easiness to hack or modify, and supposedly nice support won the battle against the kensigton models.

First impressions: When I first opened up the box, The model was a lot lighter than what I had imagined. It also seemed very cheap. This is supposed to be one of the best quality trackball available, it costs 150$+ and it's so light, made out of cheap plastic it seems, doesn't offer anything special, and the trackball as well as the scroll wheel movement, and resistance to it isn't uniform when you move them around (particularly if you change directions). I was first very bitter about my purchase, I've got to admit.

The usage was nice however. At first you are a bit clumsy with it, but you are able to do everything you want to do (didn't game with it yet) without taking too much time, so the transition is easy.

The more I use it, the more I get used to it, and so I'm pretty confident that I won't miss my mouse anytime soon. What other reviews said about the scrolling wheel and the middle click being hard to reach are true, but it isn't soo bothersome as I first imagined. I get a lot less pain in my muscles than when I use a mouse, so I'm happy with it.

But I still thought it wasn't worth its price for now.

Then, after one or two weeks, I*decided to open it, to look how it is in the inside, and maybe if it needs cleaning. This is when I changed my view about the trackball.

The interior/mechanics was very simple, well thought, working, easy to understand, easy to clean, easy to hack around or maintain.
You clearly saw it has been well thought out, and they didn't skimp on designing time nor place to make everything fit wonderly. It's not just a simple PCB card with everything being done by some unknown microcontroller, which fits in a open only once case, like so many chinese products are. You sensed the quality of american labour. I'm finally really happy I made this purchase, and recommand it, but probably not to everybody.

I later on learned how to change the DPI of it. You can switch between 800, 1600, 2400 and*3200. you don't really feel the difference between the two or three first, as you have a lot more control over a trackball than over a mouse, so the usage doesn't really change. However, 3200 was too much (at least on my 1440*900, it's probably more than usable on larger screens). But I sensed that everytime you go up in resolution, the trackball just became a lot more confortable as you don't need to move around that much. It just felt better, even if you didn't sense the difference at first. I can clearly see how older trackball are totally useable at a lower resolution, but having a higher resolutions adds comfort nevertheless. I currently use 2400*DPI.

TL;DR: The cst l-track is not a fancy well looking trackball. It's just a simple trackball, that freaking works. It's at the same time the bare minimum and at the same time everything you need. It uses very simple mechanisms, easy to understand, maintain and hack. And again, it just freaking works. The high resolutions adds a lot of comfort, even if lower resolutions are just as useable.

I haven't played with the extra buttons you can add yet.

Nice review. I am glad that you like it.

I am at 800 dpi all the time; with anything higher I feel like fine-grained control becomes very tiresome, as the trackball just becomes too damn sensitive.

Good review.

Nice thorough write up. Be nice to get a few pics to go along with it though!


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