Author Topic: Which trackball out of these choices  (Read 1366 times)

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Offline typo

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Which trackball out of these choices
« on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 04:43:51 »
I decided to revisit a trackball. Mouse is just too uncomfortable. My contenders are L-trac, a Kensington model(probably slimblade), or the Logitech Ergo.
Which do you folks think is best out of those? I know it is personal preference, but which is most liked? Thanks

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 08:10:51 »
Actually I just found a very hard mouse wrist rest that makes the mouse bearable. All the others are squishy. My keyboard wrist rest is oak.
The issue with a track ball is I think it is going to be too slow? On 3x32" 4K displays the G502 Hero is on 12,800 DPI. Will a track ball be that fast? I want the windows mouse control on 6 without acceleration because I hate that. I am not sure a trackball will be fast enough even spinning the ball but then it is really out of control anyways? If you folks still think a trackball will suit me please select from the ones I mentioned. Thanks

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 08:14:43 »
I couldn't handle using a trackball with the low DPI it took too much effort to get across my screens and some of the trackballs take up a huge footprint on the desk.

I use a 3m gel wrist rest with my mouse (G900) it's not hard but not squishy either.

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Offline kurplop

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 08:16:25 »
The Slimblade gets my vote. Low profile and great scrolling are itís standout features. Iím not as enthused about its switches though.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 08:47:58 »
That was actually my top choice too. I will get it and try it. I just hope it is fast enough. It's switches rated 5,000,000. Most switches rated 50,000,000. Although I am sure even 5,000,000 takes a long time to reach. That may speak to the switches you do not like however. Is there a "click lock" so you do not have to hold it to drag/drop?

I actually find no wrist rest on mouse is best for me. I just realized that again with this hard one. None of them are as comfortable as just the mouse pad to me. My problem with mice is not my wrist but my elbow. For some odd reason they all hurt my elbow. I am not sure if the Slimblade will relive that but worth a try. No big deal to return it. I will probably miss all the macro buttons on the Logitech gaming mice though. I will probably just get used to not having them.

I know a lot of folks like the L-trac but I do not like the scroll wheel behind the ball. The Slimblade twist is much better IMO. Well, Ill try it.  Plus I can get a very good deal on it.

Offline Tessachka

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 09:41:13 »
I've tried both the Kensington Expert (similar to Slimblade) & L-trac and prefer the L-trac. Both work really well on a multi-monitor setup with all 1440 monitors (it's actually easier than a high-dpi mouse, since you can fling the ball around easily to move very quickly across screens or turn 180 degrees in FPS games :D) I like the L-trac more mainly because the ball is lighter than the Kensington & L-trac does have slightly higher DPI so I generally feel like it's a tiny bit more precise for me (might just be perceived effect of lighter weight tbf). I had issues with the scroll wheel activating on it's own w/ Kensington also, but that won't be an issue with a Slimblade if you go that route. Another thing to note with L-trac is it needs to be cleaned WAY less often, though the process is a bit more involved so it's a bit of a trade-off.

Moving to a finger (not-thumb) driven trackball has pretty much saved my hand & sanity. FAR FAR better than a mouse for me. Hope it helps you!

Offline Tessachka

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 10:15:13 »
That was actually my top choice too. I will get it and try it. I just hope it is fast enough. It's switches rated 5,000,000. Most switches rated 50,000,000. Although I am sure even 5,000,000 takes a long time to reach. That may speak to the switches you do not like however. Is there a "click lock" so you do not have to hold it to drag/drop?

I actually find no wrist rest on mouse is best for me. I just realized that again with this hard one. None of them are as comfortable as just the mouse pad to me. My problem with mice is not my wrist but my elbow. For some odd reason they all hurt my elbow. I am not sure if the Slimblade will relive that but worth a try. No big deal to return it. I will probably miss all the macro buttons on the Logitech gaming mice though. I will probably just get used to not having them.

I know a lot of folks like the L-trac but I do not like the scroll wheel behind the ball. The Slimblade twist is much better IMO. Well, Ill try it.  Plus I can get a very good deal on it.

I've also had an elbow pain problem (my whole right hand, arm and shoulder are an issue due to an old injury) and something that helped some years before I finally caved and tried trackballs was getting a set of Ergorests. If you still find you have an issue once you switch to trackball, might look into those. I'm not a medical professional so please take all this as the anecdotal experience of someone who's just dealt with a lot of this kind of pain. A lot depends on your desk and the ergonomics of it. I know a lot of ppl in the keyboard world prefer positive tilt but a slight negative tilt for your wrists & forearms, or at least neutral positioning, seems to be much less painful in the long run. If you decide to try it, make sure that when you sit at your desk your shoulders are relaxed, not raised or turned forwards, and the angle between your forearms and upper arms is at LEAST 90 degrees. Not gripping your mouse anymore should hopefully help with the elbow pain though. All that tension on the structures of your hand just gets referred back to your elbow. If you can, might consider going to see a physical therapist also to help relieve the pain more quickly and get you back to normal. Just switching to trackball will hopefully help over time and prevent further damage & pain.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 11:04:36 »
Thank you. I code about 14 hours a day. As far as I am concerned right now I can no longer stand using a mouse.
The only Trackball I can get today is the Kensington Expert. Some like it better than the SlimBlade. It looks alright to me. the scroll wheel may in fact be easier than the awkward motion of twisting the ball too. I will go get it and see how I like it. I have used trackballs before. I just figured they are too slow for this much screen real estate but I at least need to try it and find out. I cannot stand a mouse any longer.

Offline kurplop

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 11:42:23 »
The Expert Mouse has a better switch experience but many complain about the scratchy scroll ring feel.  The Slimbladeís scrolling action is not at all awkward. Just slide your thumb or finger along the chrome ring and ball to scroll. Iíve seen people initially claw the ball to twist it. No wonder it feels awkward for them.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 12:27:49 »
Actually I have decided that I am going to try the Logitech MX Ergo Plus first. The placement of your hand is more like a mouse. I imagine my thumb could be sore at first but that should go away in a few days I hope. I seem for some reason to at least prefer the way it appears. In actual use I do not know yet of course. It does get higher reviews on Amazon then any other trackball. I doubt it is junk being about the same price as the Kensington models. I have no idea yet if I will prefer the thumb ball. However my brother has been using an M570 for many years and swears by it. He vastly prefers it to the Slimblade and L-trac. I just asked him about it. Plus Best Buy is closer than the computer store anyways. I will give it a try and see how I like it. I do not understand why trackball buttons are rated 5,000,000 and mice 50,000,000. Although many people said they had millions of clicks on it. To even reach 5,000,000 is no small feat. I figure it does speak to the quality of the switches used though. I imagine it will be fine however.

Online Leslieann

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 20:33:22 »
Mice get better* switches because gamers murder them with rapid fire and just general abuse towards the mouse.
I've had traditional (box style) trackballs and Logitech thumb style and I find the thumb style much more practical for day to day use, but traditional better for anything requiring precision.

As for better, a higher number may be "better" in terms of numbers of clicks, but I've seen higher click counts be more easily damaged by abuse. Basically I take those numbers with a massive grain of salt. I basically consider it good if I get 16months out of a mouse.
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Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 22:27:50 »
Mice last me years and I code 14+ hours a day but do not game. Perhaps gaming punishes them more.
Okay, so the MX Ergo Plus feels great. It is much too slow and ball does not really free spin. This is a big problem. It is supposed to have multiple speeds but does not seem to be working. Perhaps only if running their software as this has no memory. It is great feeling but as I feared way too slow. Any fix for that without acceleration? I have to move the ball around and around to get where I need it. Some technique perhaps? I do think I will llike this better than a large finger style ball. It scores higher than them on every test site too. Not sure how to speed it up without taking windows off of "6"?

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 22:59:11 »
Only way to speed it up and not even enough is windows pointer settings. Or have their software installed which essentially does the same thing. It is pretty jerky. Not smooth gliding like a mouse. That may just be my getting used to it however. Stress on the wrist is now zero at least. Doubt I get a sore thumb. The ball is pretty loose but you can still not flick it very much. I am not sure if I should try a large ball one?

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 11 June 2019, 23:15:54 »
Sorry to Hijack my own thread. I fixed it with a Reg hack. Plenty fast now. Downside is now a lot of acceleration. Well I am not playing games so I guess it does not matter. It is plenty fast and accurate now. As of now I think this is a keeper. Although I would not mind revisiting a large ball trackball either. This is pretty good now though. I guess that is the end of the story. I am now satisfied with it.

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 13 June 2019, 12:35:14 »
Mice get better* switches because gamers murder them with rapid fire and just general abuse towards the mouse.
I've had traditional (box style) trackballs and Logitech thumb style and I find the thumb style much more practical for day to day use, but traditional better for anything requiring precision.

As for better, a higher number may be "better" in terms of numbers of clicks, but I've seen higher click counts be more easily damaged by abuse. Basically I take those numbers with a massive grain of salt. I basically consider it good if I get 16months out of a mouse.


Yep can confirm, thanks to over 1 million+ clicks on my optical mouse the clicks don't feel that good

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 13 June 2019, 23:47:26 »
Man, today I got a steal on an Expert Mouse. 30 bucks new! Unfortunately it will not fit between my tray and the bottom of the desktop the way I have it inverted. I would have really liked to try that. The M570 is a staple. It is okay. The MX Ergo Plus is some serious equipment. Probably better built than anything from Kensington. I miss all the macros on the mouse. However, I do not need to sustain the injury I am heading towards. That is no joking matter. No pain/stress whatsoever with the MX. Not even a sore thumb.  I had to hack multiple registry entries to get it fast enough but now I have a lot of acceleration. Like I said, I suppose it does not matter unless one is gaming. For coding it works fine. Plus I can press the button to slow it way down for much more precision. They just should have put memory on it IMO. I do not need a 170MB app installed to use my pointing device. No big deal though. For anyone I would look into this. A whole different ballgame than M570(no pun intended). I am probably not looking back at this point. Solely due to injuries. It is indeed not as precise as a mouse though.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 14 June 2019, 19:53:39 »
I actually made it much to fast. I could not reliably hit my targets. Not games but folders files ETC. I slowed it down to 2 ball revaluations left/right-up/down and this thing is perfect now. Not looking back but I think I can still speed it up a bit and still have good accuracy. I would have liked the large ball type but this may actually be better. It is very well built. Also, unlike their gaming mice the battery is user replaceable. It is a different target market segment. People probably will keep this for years. Gaming folks usually upgrade to each new mouse before the battery is worn out anyways. I do not know why I took so long to get this. I do not really miss the macros after all. I can do them on the Topre RGB instead. That's it. This is a keeper for me and should last 3-5 years at least. The main buttons are practically gaming grade. Probably the same Omrons but they just rate them lower for a different audience that is not as impressed by that.

Online Leslieann

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 15 June 2019, 04:54:54 »
I never understood the point of wireless trackballs and touchpads, I get it if you use multiple devices but for the most part, it's like a keyboard it doesn't move.

Anyhow, yes, people with trackballs keep them for loooong periods, the used ones you see for sale are from offices being closed or people who tried it and didn't like it. It's also why it's a small segment, besides few using them, those who do don't replace them much. Be gentle with it and it will last double the length you expect, I've seen several go more than 10 years. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen one replaced from wear.
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Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 16 June 2019, 02:59:44 »
I am not sure about Logitech but they will replace it anyways. An -trac for instance should last way more than 10 years. Maybe 30-50. Like you said I have never seen one worn out. The wireless is good because I can control my music server(a different machine) from my listening chair. Slowed down it is fine. I had it so fast, I just touch it and across the screen. That was stupid on my part. I settled on 2 ball rolls across 4K screens. You have to hack the registry for that. On Mac I have no clue. I only code on PC and Android. From the looks of it the MX will not wear out either. Built like a tank. The M570 is not that heavy. No pain whatsoever now. I have used them many times but preferred a mouse. I can't go back as of now. Everything here is Ergo, Embody chair ETC, stand up desk. I put my tray positive instead of negative tilt too. I would have preferred the large ball but it will not fit under my table. The Thumb is very good too. Logitech is good stuff. I guess they like to cover all markets. 

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 16 June 2019, 09:04:43 »
Unfortunately this does not work wired. So it takes up two USB ports. I use it wirelessly anyways in the manner I stated above. I set it back to one ball roll among all 3 32" 4K displays and I guess I grew used to it because it is fine now.To do this you will need to make extensive hacks to the registry on the PC. Although I believe there is a program that will do most of it for you but requires substantial math skill as well.
I wish the large ball Expert Mouse would have worked here but this is very good as well. Compared to the M570 it is a completely different level of quality. I am sure this lasts a long time at which point Logitech will replace it for free anyways. Luckily the battery is user replicable unlike their $149.99 mice. I am very pleased with this but do miss the buttons and hyperscroll. It is in fact probably better than a large ball device for most people I would figure. Thumb is not sore since it moves very freely. There is a bit of slack in the ball cavity if you move it very fast it will rattle a bit and you will feel that. Under normal use it does not exhibit this behavior. I think I have said enough about it already LOL. I was just wondering if anyone else had one and what they thought?

Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 06:55:50 »
I am not sure about Logitech but they will replace it anyways. An -trac for instance should last way more than 10 years. Maybe 30-50.

L-Trac is a solid unit and very good to use, but won't last 30-50 years under serious use. Eventually, the little plastic bendy bits that connect the buttons to the shell will fail, in the same way that laptop mouse buttons inevitably break-- this has already started to happen on mine, though it's not yet at the point of impeding function, only making the affected button feel a little weird. Other failure points include (as on all mice) the button switches and, if you open it periodically for cleaning and occasionally knock the rollers out by accident in the process, the little clips that hold the roller bearings (the plastics there on mine are already starting to show signs of strain). Minor points also to be taken away for the little square stick-on feet, which will come off eventually-- I've now lost all four and am using the trackball on a cloth mousepad.

Mind you, if you're gentle, and just using it for e.g. random office tasks or web browsing, it'll probably hold up much longer. It generally takes a minor miracle for any peripheral to survive my use for more than a couple of years, and the L-Trac has already managed over twice that. I am a gamer and game developer, and also one of those people who needs to have coffee at his desk, so probably pretty close to a worst case scenario for devices.
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Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 18 June 2019, 04:42:01 »
I did not know L-trac "is not that solid" per your comments. I code 14-16 hours a day and I am a slob too. I have never replaced a Topre keyboard or Logitech mouse except to upgrade to a newer model I am not sure about their trackball because old ball mice did fail. However I think it is almost impossible to break a Topre keyboard. Likewise with Logitech gaming mice. I used them years without breaking. Always ended in an upgrade not a failure. The Topre RGB because of the LED's may have a lifetime. Although they run them at low voltage and I am on dimmest setting. I imagine it lasts 15-20 years. It better because I put huge money into a case, paracord, and keycaps.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 18 June 2019, 16:29:31 »
Well don't get me wrong I like the MX Ergo but it does have shortcomings. It gets stuck and skips. The ball is not weighted evenly. So for fine pixel work you must hold it in place or it will move by itself often. A full size ball would have been more to my liking but it will not slide under my desk with my tray tilted. It is overall pretty good but like everything, not without it's faults. The worst thing is the ball rattles in the cavity. Still, I will live with no pain over a mouse now. Anyone know a full size ball that is not more than 2-3/4" tall the entire unit? The expert mouse is a tad taller even though it says 2-1/2".

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 18 June 2019, 21:18:51 »
Aha! I figured out the MX Ergo in the 20 degree position there is no issues with the ball whatsoever due to gravity. Plus it is even more comfortable. Terrific!

Offline tex_live_utility

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 21 June 2019, 13:37:39 »
I decided to revisit a trackball. Mouse is just too uncomfortable. My contenders are L-trac, a Kensington model(probably slimblade), or the Logitech Ergo.
Which do you folks think is best out of those? I know it is personal preference, but which is most liked? Thanks

These are all pretty different. The L-trac has more buttons than the Slimblade and the Logitech is a thumb trackball.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 22 June 2019, 05:15:17 »
So I am using the Logitech. It is fine. however this thing sticks and stutters. Plus you need their 159MB software installed as there is no memory. I do not mind that with 32TB here. However I wonder if there is any way to lube this thing or something? Thanks

I wanted the Expert Mouse but it would not slide under my table in the Humanscale tray!

I appreciate you folks did not get upset about my zealous posting habits in this thread!

Online Leslieann

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 22 June 2019, 06:57:33 »
Clean it out really good before anything else, I've seen some come alive just from that.
If you do need lube, just like switches, nothing petroleum based.
It needs to be silicon based, more specifically it needs to be labeled plastics safe, just because something is silicone based doesn't mean it doesn't have something in it that will attack plastics.

Beware how much you use, you don't want it getting all over the ball.
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Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 22 June 2019, 09:29:08 »
It is clean. Brand new. Do I put the lube on the rollers or what? I have Teflon lube. Is that okay? It says nothing about plastics. Thank you

Online Leslieann

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 22 June 2019, 21:20:27 »
Yep, on the rollers.
If it's safe for plastics, it will tend to say so as it's a selling point.
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Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 23 June 2019, 02:00:24 »
Thank you. I will get a different lube to be sure.

Offline typo

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Re: Which trackball out of these choices
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 23 June 2019, 07:48:16 »
There is a tiny white LED right above the ball that was always lit. Now it is not. any idea how to turn it on again? Thanks.

Nevermind. It only lights in "precision" mode.
« Last Edit: Sun, 23 June 2019, 07:53:50 by typo »