Author Topic: Thumb vs finger operated trackball  (Read 59054 times)

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Offline knightjp

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Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« on: Sun, 06 September 2015, 14:07:01 »
I'm thinking of getting a trackball. No I don't game nor do I have any RSI, etc. I always believed that prevention is better than cure. So if getting a trackball is better than a mouse and those suffering with injuries, then obviously, getting one now would be better.

Of course I now cannot decide whether getting a thumb operated one is better than a finger operated one. Specifically the Logitech M570 vs The Kensington Orbit with scroll wheel.
« Last Edit: Tue, 28 June 2016, 03:58:06 by knightjp »

Offline kurplop

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 06 September 2015, 15:50:58 »
Welcome to the Geekhack forum.

I'm a finger man myself but it is a very individual thing. Also, I wouldn't assume that a trackball is better for you; it is for some but not for others.

I think that the first guiding principle for good ergonomics is that it is comfortable and that it feels right for you. It's best if you could try out several before you buy.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 06 September 2015, 16:12:05 »
Welcome to Geekhack!

I find that the most important thing is the angle of the hand - that it is slanted and not flat on the desk. I have never taken a liking to trackballs myself, but I can see the value when you have multiple ways to position your hand.
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Offline kurplop

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 06 September 2015, 17:34:22 »
I agree entirely with your comment about the angle. It's critical that it be right. That was my major concern when I mounted mine between my split keyboard. I really liked the angle I set my Expert Mouse on an earlier keyboard tray.
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Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 07 September 2015, 06:59:03 »
I suppose choosing one over the other is a very subjective thing. What works for one person, won't necessarily work for another. I just wondered if there was any advantage type had over the other.

I know that the finger operated one is ambidextrous. That means since I'm left handed, I would be able to use on my left hand. But I primarily mouse  with my right since I like using the keyboard shortcuts while I'm holding on to the mouse.

So having in ambidextrous would be advantageous if at any point I switch to the Dvorak layout. But for now, does not seem essential.

I know how many people say that the thumb operated one is extremely comfortable. However it seems to me that it would probably put a strain on the thumb over long hours of usage. I've never used one, so anyone who is currently using it would be able to comment on that.

What looks comfortable sometimes is not exactly the best for me in my experience. Used to type on Colemak. Everyone said that it would be easy to pick up and would be comfortable. It took me 2 years before I was able to type a single sentence properly and my fingers felt cramped. So I'm not sure about that.

Offline Tactile

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 07 September 2015, 11:14:33 »
I have both types & for me the fine motor skill required by the thumb trackball is less comfortable (and I'm not as skilled at it) as the gross movement of a finger type trackball.

Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 07 September 2015, 15:58:19 »
So far all the reviews & the posts on other threads that I've been reading seem to be mixed. I guess it comes down to preference and what works best for each individual. I like the what I read in the link below.

http://www.trackballmouse.org/top-10-trackball-mouse/

The only problem here is that I don't have a tech shop with display pieces of trackballs for me to try out.


« Last Edit: Mon, 07 September 2015, 17:23:42 by knightjp »

Offline snarfarlarkus

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 08 September 2015, 00:56:08 »
Thumb trackballs kind of strain my wrist... Is that just me?

Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 09 September 2015, 01:35:58 »
Thumb trackballs kind of strain my wrist... Is that just me?

I'm sure that its not just you. Pretty sure that there are those who use the finger operated ones just for that very reason.
From the reviews of the M570 that I've read online, quite a few claimed that they find it more comfortable than finger operated ones.

Opinions in between the two seem to be divided equally on which type is best. I guess that it all depends on what is best for each person really or where our preferences are.

Offline Snarfangel

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 09 September 2015, 14:47:20 »
So far all the reviews & the posts on other threads that I've been reading seem to be mixed. I guess it comes down to preference and what works best for each individual. I like the what I read in the link below.

http://www.trackballmouse.org/top-10-trackball-mouse/

The only problem here is that I don't have a tech shop with display pieces of trackballs for me to try out.





Of the trackballs I've used, I like the Kensington Slimblade and Expert, and the Logitech Trackman Marble FX (the latter only available used, pretty much, and in PS/2 format -- it's an old one, but I have two that still work perfectly). The two top-end Kensington ones are excellent, though, and available new, and the ball glides like a dream on either one (a little quieter on the Slimblade, I think, though that might just be mine).


Never did care much for thumb-operated trackballs, though that's more of a personal preference. You can really give the finger-operated ones a good spin.

Offline 0100010

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 09 September 2015, 15:13:28 »
You need a trackball that can be operated by both your fingers AND your thumb.  Logitech Trackman FX

  Quoting me causes a posting error that you need to ignore.

Offline jerue

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 11 September 2015, 13:29:58 »
FWIW, I don't like thumb trackballs. Fingerballs FTW.

Obtain a Microsoft Trackball Explorer, or a Logitech Trackman FX. Both of those are awesome, and I would argue that the MS Trackball Explorer is the best input device ever.

I'd also take a look at the CST2545-5W as you can also mod it and add two extra buttons, some users like to rig mechanical switches to them. Like this! (via /u/tylerbrainerd on r/mk)


Offline smknjoe

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 11 September 2015, 14:01:30 »
You need a trackball that can be operated by both your fingers AND your thumb.  Logitech Trackman FX

Show Image


That looks like it would be pretty comfortable.

Finger operated seems to be more popular, but I'm not a fan. The wrist motion is similar to a standard mouse. This is the most comfortable mouse I've ever used: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-TrackBall-Optical-PC-MAC/dp/B00005853X ...too bad they don't make them anymore.

As with keyboards, you need to try them out to see what you like best. Everyone is different.
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Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 12 September 2015, 16:31:07 »
Finger operated seems to be more popular, but I'm not a fan. The wrist motion is similar to a standard mouse. This is the most comfortable mouse I've ever used: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-TrackBall-Optical-PC-MAC/dp/B00005853X ...too bad they don't make them anymore.

As with keyboards, you need to try them out to see what you like best. Everyone is different.

I'm not sure if anyone here watches the youtube show Tec syndicate. I remembered seeing an episode where they build a system linux for Eric S Raymond. I just watched it again and I'm not one to choose something just because someone famous uses it. But Eric was using a Logitech thumb operated trackball. I just thought that it was interesting to note.

Offline njbair

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 12 September 2015, 17:20:12 »
I'll chime in with a second endorsement for the CST L-TRAC. I also have the model with two expandable button ports, although I'm not currently using them.

It's a finger trackball, but sometimes I find myself sort of tenting my hand and using my thumb, it's not hard to do.

The other cool thing about the L-TRAC is that you can replace the ball with any 2-1/4" billiard ball.

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Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 13 September 2015, 03:39:48 »
The CST L-Trac does look cool. I just saw a video of someone using it. It looks OK.. but how does that compare with something like the Logitech M570?

Offline njbair

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 13 September 2015, 07:01:25 »
The CST L-Trac does look cool. I just saw a video of someone using it. It looks OK.. but how does that compare with something like the Logitech M570?
You must not have done a price comparison or you wouldn't have to ask!

The L in L-TRAC stands for Laser, whereas the Logitech is optical. It's wired, not wireless like the Logitech, but trackballs don't really move so I don't see the point of wireless in this case. It's probably twice as big as the Logitech.

And it costs like $100 more.

That said, it could be the last pointing device you'll ever buy. Unless you buy more L-TRACs.

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Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 15 September 2015, 02:28:13 »
Having a look through the L-Trac site. I will say that I'm not impressed  by the overall design of the L-Trac. It seems like the scroll wheel was an after-thought. However what is impressive is the glowing trackball - nice feature.

However, even though I'm reading through the material, I cannot figure out what is the difference in between the CST2545-5W(GL) & CST2545W(GL)..

Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 27 September 2015, 11:57:31 »
I got myself a Logitech M570 today.
I tried looking for the L-Trac and the Kensington Orbit, but apparently, they don't come here in Dubai. If I do need them, I would have to order online and wait about a month of delivery.

Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the Logitech. Like the reviews state, it is quite comfortable to use. I'm slow at this point and I do feel that there is a loss on speed. Probably due to the learning curve, since this is my first trackball. For the moment I'm enjoying the comfort. :)

Offline njbair

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 27 September 2015, 13:01:59 »
I got myself a Logitech M570 today.
I tried looking for the L-Trac and the Kensington Orbit, but apparently, they don't come here in Dubai. If I do need them, I would have to order online and wait about a month of delivery.

Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the Logitech. Like the reviews state, it is quite comfortable to use. I'm slow at this point and I do feel that there is a loss on speed. Probably due to the learning curve, since this is my first trackball. For the moment I'm enjoying the comfort. :)
You will learn to "fling" the ball to quickly move across the screen. At that point you move less than with a mouse, since the ball's momentum is doing the work for you.

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Offline SamirD

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 28 September 2015, 23:09:34 »
Finger operated seems to be more popular, but I'm not a fan. The wrist motion is similar to a standard mouse.
I own both a Logitech thumb and finger model and this makes sense as my hand hurts with extended use on the finger model.  Thumb model--well I've been sitting at this one for 11hrs now and still no pain.
I have both types & for me the fine motor skill required by the thumb trackball is less comfortable (and I'm not as skilled at it) as the gross movement of a finger type trackball.
It definitely takes some getting used to since the thumb is small and is missing a joint compared to the fingers.  But that being said, once you do get used to it, you're moving and straining less.
I know how many people say that the thumb operated one is extremely comfortable. However it seems to me that it would probably put a strain on the thumb over long hours of usage. I've never used one, so anyone who is currently using it would be able to comment on that.
Been using it for 11hrs now and thumb feel 100% normal and unstrained.  I don't mouse a lot, but I do need it about every 20-30 seconds.  I work at least 8hrs a day every day and have been for over 2 years now on my current IBM M and Logitech trackman setup with the same desk and chair, monitors, everything.  I get terribly sleepy or hungry before my hands hurt--haven't figured out how to permanently solve those two problems yet.  :))
I got myself a Logitech M570 today.
I tried looking for the L-Trac and the Kensington Orbit, but apparently, they don't come here in Dubai. If I do need them, I would have to order online and wait about a month of delivery.

Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the Logitech. Like the reviews state, it is quite comfortable to use. I'm slow at this point and I do feel that there is a loss on speed. Probably due to the learning curve, since this is my first trackball. For the moment I'm enjoying the comfort. :)
You'll find it fairly comfortable if you're used to a traditional mouse.  In fact, you may even try to move it every so often before remembering to use your thumb.  It takes time to set in, so don't worry.
You will learn to "fling" the ball to quickly move across the screen. At that point you move less than with a mouse, since the ball's momentum is doing the work for you.
Yes, totally awesome advice!  I use this all the time.  And when it doesn't fling as quickly, time to clean the ball pads and/or the ball.  Flinging is awesome.  I fly across a 2048x1536 screen with ease, and much less strain than a mouse.

Offline davkol

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 30 September 2015, 13:04:42 »
Statistically, the kind of motion required by thumb trackballs is a tendon killer… and most fingertip trackballs don't really promote a good wrist posture. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of anything done right, but the discontinued Microsoft Trackball Explorer. In the end, it boils down to personal "durability" or consciously avoiding some habits (like resting an extended wrist).

Offline SamirD

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 30 September 2015, 14:39:04 »
Statistically, the kind of motion required by thumb trackballs is a tendon killer… and most fingertip trackballs don't really promote a good wrist posture. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of anything done right, but the discontinued Microsoft Trackball Explorer. In the end, it boils down to personal "durability" or consciously avoiding some habits (like resting an extended wrist).
Interesting.  I was just watching my thumb and hand as it was using my logitech and essentially only the two thumb joints were moving.  How is that bad?

It's interesting that there's such a following behind some trackballs like the Logitech and MS one.  I didn't even know about the MS one, but now I'm wanting one like other keyboards just to see how good they are.  I think I'm evolving into a connoisseur of input devices, lol.


Offline kurplop

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 30 September 2015, 18:07:20 »
As much as I personally need a finely tailored keyboard/trackball set up, I would suggest that you be careful not to be drawn into thinking that there's something out there that is going to be greatly superior to what you have if what you are using is already comfortable. Years ago when I first was taught how to touch type, I knew that the straight rows would not work with my physiology. I didn't know that there were options but years later when I first saw a split board, I knew that was what I needed. The same thing is true with the excessive pronation needed with a standard mouse.

My point is that most people don't need anything with the word ergonomic in front of it. If and when they do, their body will let them know, loud and clear, before any irreversible damage is done. What will you then need? Probably not the latest ergo studies or experts to tell you; just a little common  sense and exposure to what is available out there. What feels comfortable is probably your best guide to what is best for you. If you like the feel of the 570, you probably have your answer.

Offline SamirD

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 30 September 2015, 23:27:26 »
Very good points.  Although I never really searched for the best trackball for me.  The wired Logitech was the cheapest that walmart had at the time.  Little did I know it was the one that has a cult following today.  I got lucky on the second one I bought--got it for $3 because the ball was missing.  And since they have a lifetime warranty, Logitech sent me a new ball for free.

Hence it would probably be a bit prudent of me to check out what else is out there, very much like I need to try different keyboards, before I decide these are 'it' for me.  Although, I've been lucky enough that I've landed by default on some very good choices and honestly don't think they'll change to anything different.  I sometimes get lucky like that, but very seldom.

Offline KaminKevCrew

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 30 September 2015, 23:30:18 »
I got myself a Logitech M570 today.
I tried looking for the L-Trac and the Kensington Orbit, but apparently, they don't come here in Dubai. If I do need them, I would have to order online and wait about a month of delivery.

Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the Logitech. Like the reviews state, it is quite comfortable to use. I'm slow at this point and I do feel that there is a loss on speed. Probably due to the learning curve, since this is my first trackball. For the moment I'm enjoying the comfort. :)
You will learn to "fling" the ball to quickly move across the screen. At that point you move less than with a mouse, since the ball's momentum is doing the work for you.
That's the issue I have with my optical Kensington. If I flick the ball too fast, the sensor can't keep up, and the cursor kinda hovers in one spot on screen. Opto-mechanical for the win! (a friend of mine has an old Kensington Turbo, and you can flick it as fast as you like.)

Offline SamirD

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 01 October 2015, 12:09:09 »
That's the issue I have with my optical Kensington. If I flick the ball too fast, the sensor can't keep up, and the cursor kinda hovers in one spot on screen. Opto-mechanical for the win! (a friend of mine has an old Kensington Turbo, and you can flick it as fast as you like.)
Interesting.  The Logitech I have is optical too I believe.  I guess it's a vastly different design because I've never had that happen.


Offline mrgoldenzombie

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 26 October 2015, 22:34:20 »
I'm a finger man myself  :cool:
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Offline captain

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 16 May 2016, 09:54:18 »
If anyone is still on the fence, this may be the time to get off...especially if you're a "finger man"!  ;-p

Massdrop has the CST-Laser Trackballs at some excellent prices.

If you want to give me referral credit for saving you $50, I'd be grateful if you'd use this link:  https://www.massdrop.com/r/3FDYVX  ;-)  The trackballs are here: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/cst-laser-trackballs

For further trackball wisdom, study from the master: hunt down ripster's trackball wiki faq.  He has the best trackballs I've ever seen!

In the mean time, here's a decent review of the non-backlit CST-L L-Track and Kensington Slimblade: 
« Last Edit: Mon, 16 May 2016, 11:29:25 by captain »
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Offline Marizen

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 19 May 2016, 11:55:49 »
I like fingering more. There's just more control.

I use a Kensington Expert. I've tried the Trackman Marble and it was alright, but felt cheap in comparison (which makes sense because of the price difference). I will own a Slimblade and L-Trac Glow one day, but I don't have any desire to spend the money right now. I'm kind of skeptical of the Slimblade because it doesn't have separated buttons, so I'm worried there will be some plastic bend before actuating the switch.

I also have an M570 and it's alright, but I don't like using my thumb and I don't like how small the ball is. The scroll wheel sucks too.
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 May 2016, 20:22:20 by Marizen »

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 19 May 2016, 17:17:12 »
I've had both.
Thumb is fine for browsing, but beyond that, finger is better, this is especially true if you are doing Cad, Photoshop or video editing, anything requiring straight lines. This isn't to say it can't be done, people do it, but others and myself have found we can work faster using fingers in those circumstances. Personally, if I got another (I've considered it) it would be finger and use a mouse along with it.

If you have tendonitis or arthritis in your thumb, do not use a thumb trackball, on the other hand, if you have carpal tunnel in your wrist, a thumb one can be fantastic. I have tendonitis in my thumb and cannot use thumb for long periods, my mother has carpal tunnel and needs a thumb trackball in order to use her computer for more than an hour.

I agree with the earlier statement, wireless is pointless unless you use it with a laptop (same with keyboards), since they don't get pushed around the desk.
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Offline Marizen

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 19 May 2016, 20:21:25 »
I agree with the earlier statement, wireless is pointless unless you use it with a laptop (same with keyboards), since they don't get pushed around the desk.

I could see how wireless would be desirable. It can definitely help reduce clutter. In terms of pure functionality, sure, it's kind of pointless unless you're mobile. But I also appreciate that my trackball isn't adding more wires to my desk  when I already have a keyboard, mouse, headset, wireless adapter, laptop and charger, xbox, 2 large speakers, a large amp, external hdd, a couple miscellaneous charging cables, and two monitors.

Of course, a lot of the clutter could be remedied by me getting a larger and more organizable desk. I'm currently using a $30 fold-up table form Costco.
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 May 2016, 20:32:25 by Marizen »

Offline csmertx

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 22 May 2016, 22:59:10 »
I've jammed my wrists so many times throughout the years that they just won't move they way I want them too. I have to either use mice at ridiculously high dpi or use a trackball. So far I've used the trackman marble mouse (wired cheapie) and it served me well for the first year. I guess Chinese Omrons don't last as long as the Japanese variety. I use my fingertips for all input devices so fingertip mice make sense to me. I don't like the L-Trac's shape but it has the best dpi afaik. I'm really not a fan of the small trackball in the marble mouse; I can't use it to do any sort of task that requires pinpoint accuracy aside from FPS/RPG gaming stuff. I've tried to use it with some basic 3D modeling and it was not as smooth as mouse operations (my mouse even has acceleration lol). L-Trac would be my first choice but not the newer model. I would prefer the discontinued 3,200 CPI L-TracX model because I've become accustomed to 3,200 - 8,000 cpi/dpi.
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Offline esr

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 12:10:36 »
I'm not sure if anyone here watches the youtube show Tec syndicate. I remembered seeing an episode where they build a system linux for Eric S Raymond. I just watched it again and I'm not one to choose something just because someone famous uses it. But Eric was using a Logitech thumb operated trackball. I just thought that it was interesting to note.

Confirmed, that was me using a Logitech T-CH11, the original Logitech optical trackball with three buttons.  In my opinion the best pointing device ever, and a great improvement over its successors.

You can read about my Frankenball, a T-CH11 mated with the guts of a Sanoxy active PS/2-to-USB adapter, here:

http://www.catb.org/esr/trackman-conversion/

We're still refining the build; seems the little microboard in the Danoxy has trouble driving signal over a six-foot USB cable.  Any recommendations for low-resistance USB cables would be welcome.
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Offline TheVengeance

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 13:05:54 »
I agree entirely with your comment about the angle. It's critical that it be right. That was my major concern when I mounted mine between my split keyboard. I really liked the angle I set my Expert Mouse on an earlier keyboard tray.
(Attachment Link)

The one thing that I didn't anticipate when centering the ball on later keyboards is the benefit of being able to use alternate hands or both hands at the same time to reduce fatigue, especially during extended CAD sessions.
(Attachment Link)

Whoa, what is the one at the bottom? Is that an adapted Ergodox?

Offline kurplop

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 19:55:00 »
I agree entirely with your comment about the angle. It's critical that it be right. That was my major concern when I mounted mine between my split keyboard. I really liked the angle I set my Expert Mouse on an earlier keyboard tray.
(Attachment Link)

The one thing that I didn't anticipate when centering the ball on later keyboards is the benefit of being able to use alternate hands or both hands at the same time to reduce fatigue, especially during extended CAD sessions.
(Attachment Link)

Whoa, what is the one at the bottom? Is that an adapted Ergodox?

The design was inspired by the ErgoDox but it is rumored to be the love child of a Slimblade and an Atreus.   https://flic.kr/s/aHsk9S87aK

Offline AKmalamute

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 20:28:26 »
Somebody was going to custom build an L-Trac lookalike using high-value rollers and a billiard ball. I commented on how you could tip it a bit to make a thumb trackball but got ignored.

Has anybody seen the files for that? I'd kinda like to play with making my own as everything in that project resonated with me ... except the orientation of the surface; I have tried finger-balls before and they make my hand hurt. Thumb trackballs, I maintain, are amazing.

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Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 20:34:37 »
Thumb ball users, how's cursor stability on a thumb ball during energetic spam-clicking while simultaneously moving the ball (or at least not lifting your finger off of it)?

I find that, with my CST, it's fine for slow-paced uses, since you can click gently, lift your fingers off the ball when clicking, or both-- but when playing some kinds of games, neither of these is an option, and the cursor winds up jumping around a lot. I was wondering if the ergonomics of a thumb-ball might be better in this regard. I didn't consider them at first, since my thumbs don't have great dexterity (how the hell do people use game controllers, anyway?), but maybe they'd suit me a bit better anyway...
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Offline AKmalamute

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 21:04:03 »
Not 100% sure I get the problem you're describing, but FPSs are what got me hooked on thumb-trackballs in the first place.

Generally you want to turn mouse acceleration on; then when you jump from one end of the swiping space to the other, your char has turned a full 180 ... but when you're trying to manipulate 3D objects in Bethesda-space you can still manage to drop the object on the table where you were trying to put it. Upside-down, but still with a degree of precision.

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 21:15:38 »
I can see how gaming could be difficult with the CST. I've watched a video of someone that added some extra buttons to his CST so that he could press the buttons with his thumb. The Marble Mouse trackball I used was perfect for gaming when the ball was new; but after a while, those optical trackball balls start to lose their effectiveness. Maybe the oils from my skin turned the clear coating into an opaque coating? Too bad, because optical tracking is supposedly the most precise
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Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #40 on: Sat, 04 June 2016, 23:10:39 »
Confirmed, that was me using a Logitech T-CH11, the original Logitech optical trackball with three buttons.  In my opinion the best pointing device ever, and a great improvement over its successors.


So I'm assuming that you prefer the thumb operated trackballs over the finger operated ones. What is your take on the Logitech M570?

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #41 on: Sun, 05 June 2016, 16:30:57 »

So I'm assuming that you prefer the thumb operated trackballs over the finger operated ones. What is your take on the Logitech M570?


Your assumption is correct.

As for the M570, I have one.  it's not horrible, but I have little use for scroll wheels and (being a Linux user) want my third button back.  Also, the top curve of the shell is different from and in my opinion inferior to the T-CH11 - it;s like the designed it for someone with a child-sized right hand.

The RF circuitry is weak; signal can be blocked by the mass of an adult human.

I've heard M570s tend to die quickly, but not had mine long enough to refute the claim.
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Offline davkol

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #42 on: Sun, 05 June 2016, 17:09:41 »
Switches tend to die. I've already replaced the two under the primary two buttons. The rest (back/forward and wheel) is unfortunately more problematic.

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #43 on: Sun, 05 June 2016, 19:06:14 »
Switches tend to die. I've already replaced the two under the primary two buttons. The rest (back/forward and wheel) is unfortunately more problematic.

To be fair, that can happen with the older Trackman models as well (though they're much more durable than the newer ones).  I had to replace the forefinger switch on my wife's T-CH11 last year.  No big deal, the Omron D2F microswitches they use are very inexpensive and it was all less than 10 minutes of work with a light soldering iron.
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Offline davkol

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #44 on: Mon, 06 June 2016, 03:23:37 »
The M570 usually doesn't even have the cheapest omrons, but I've had problems with those too (ironically, only in Logitech mice/trackballs). They often die within months.

Logitech absolutely used some much better microswitches 15+ years ago. I sometimes harvest Japanese omrons from their OEM ball mice.

Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #45 on: Mon, 06 June 2016, 04:44:58 »
In the time that I've been using my M570, I have not noticed any problems or issues. One thing I did find was that the scroll wheel was smoother using the standard Mac OS X drivers than installing the Logitech drivers. But in order to get the functionality of the extra two buttons, you need the drivers so it took me a while of adjusting the scrolling speed, etc., to get it working right.

There are plenty of people who love the M570, but equally those who complain about the quality. Even on here...
http://www.trackballmouse.org/logitech-wireless-trackball-m570/

Looking at the site in the link, the Kensington Slimblade and Expert finger operated ones achieve high praise. CST L-Trac too.... But the site calls the M570 as the best selling trackball at the moment.

Offline davkol

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #46 on: Mon, 06 June 2016, 05:20:36 »
But the site calls the M570 as the best selling trackball at the moment.
Because it's Logitech, i.e., available locally in every ****hole, and it's less intimidating than a finger-operated trackball at first look for the general public.

It's the same reason as in case of Razer BlackWidow or SteelSeries 6G until about 2012. If you wanted a mechanical keyboard, these two were the only available in brick-and-mortar stores all over the world.

M570 is a problematic product. It combines Logitech's know-how (above-average wireless w/ Unifying receiver, good tracking) with subpar components: the choice of switches and wheel is something I'd expect in a $5 mouse (actually, Logitech RX250 is higher quality) and not a product with $80 price tag outside the US.
« Last Edit: Mon, 06 June 2016, 05:26:14 by davkol »

Offline knightjp

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #47 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 05:57:14 »
Been watching a few reviews on the M570 and there are those who swear by them. I think that when it comes to Thumb and finger operated trackballs, there is pretty much an equal divide. Kind of like asking car guys which do they prefer - Ford or Chevy.  :p ;D

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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #48 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 13:55:54 »
With Logitech's M570 continued success, I find myself wondering why they are so few thumb-operated trackballs models available. The people of Elecom know, I guess it all comes down to the ergonomics of the M570.
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Re: Thumb vs finger operated trackball
« Reply #49 on: Sun, 12 June 2016, 00:24:00 »
With Logitech's M570 continued success, I find myself wondering why they are so few thumb-operated trackballs models available. The people of Elecom know, I guess it all comes down to the ergonomics of the M570.
I'm not an expert when it comes to ergonomics, but seeing ESR use the thumb operated trackball and trying out the M570 for myself, I can say that it is pretty good. Doesn't get editor's choice on http://www.trackballmouse.org/, but that is mostly down to the fact that the person who does the reviews prefers the finger operated ones.  :p