Author Topic: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?  (Read 3662 times)

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Offline Snarfangel

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I was just curious about which trackball Geekhackers prefer, among those who have used both, and why?

I use a Logitech Marble FX and a Mouse-Trak Industrial -- both of which I like -- but I am always on the lookout for something better. :)

Online kurplop

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 02 May 2015, 23:25:56 »
I have used both and prefer the Slimblade although the Expert Mouse has features in its favor as well.

I used the EM for about 2 years but was initially disappointed because of the excessive wrist extension needed to operate it.Soon after, I  inset it at an angle  into a tray and was very happy with it. When I got anErgoDox I wanted to incorporate the EM into it but ran into some clearance snags which I was able to solve with the Slimblade.

Keep in mind that I haven't used either trackball  in an unmodified form enough to give a completely fair analysis but here goes.

I prefer the EM switches. They seem to have a larger "sweet spot" to hit and the Omron switches are much more robust than the Slimblades. While the switchplate surface on the SB is large, unless you hit them close to the 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock area, they aren't as easy to depress.

The EM also has 4 buttons that allow 6 assignable functions which is nice. The SB doesn't have provisions for chording but it offers other controls which I never bothered to set up so I can't comment on that.

In the SB's favor, the scrolling feature is nothing short of great. While the EM scroll ring is nice, it is somewhat scratchy compared to the smooth rotating ball on the SB. Don't worry about the spinning ball affecting the cursor: it doesn't.

The lower profile of the SB is also a big plus. Much less wrist extension.

They are both good trackballs in my opinion with the SB being a little better. If you are considering either, I would recommend  trying both. 

Offline Snarfangel

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 05:47:16 »
I have used both and prefer the Slimblade although the Expert Mouse has features in its favor as well.

I used the EM for about 2 years but was initially disappointed because of the excessive wrist extension needed to operate it.Soon after, I  inset it at an angle  into a tray and was very happy with it. When I got anErgoDox I wanted to incorporate the EM into it but ran into some clearance snags which I was able to solve with the Slimblade.

Keep in mind that I haven't used either trackball  in an unmodified form enough to give a completely fair analysis but here goes.

I prefer the EM switches. They seem to have a larger "sweet spot" to hit and the Omron switches are much more robust than the Slimblades. While the switchplate surface on the SB is large, unless you hit them close to the 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock area, they aren't as easy to depress.

The EM also has 4 buttons that allow 6 assignable functions which is nice. The SB doesn't have provisions for chording but it offers other controls which I never bothered to set up so I can't comment on that.

In the SB's favor, the scrolling feature is nothing short of great. While the EM scroll ring is nice, it is somewhat scratchy compared to the smooth rotating ball on the SB. Don't worry about the spinning ball affecting the cursor: it doesn't.

The lower profile of the SB is also a big plus. Much less wrist extension.

They are both good trackballs in my opinion with the SB being a little better. If you are considering either, I would recommend  trying both. 

Thank you, that was an excellent review. I just need to see if a local store has them set up side by side! :)

Online vivalarevolución

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 09:12:29 »
The Expert mouse has a slight upward tilt that I found kind of annoying and might have caused some wrist pain for me, but I did not use the palm/wrist rest with the Expert.  The Slimblade is flatter and lower profile.  Like kurplop said, I like the switches better on the Expert.  The scrolling feature on the Slimblade is nicer, but I don't mind the scroll wheel on the Expert, either.

All in all, they are both good products to use.  I don't think you can go wrong.
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Offline davkol

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 14:06:15 »
Slimblade hands down. Much better sensitivity, actually smooth scrolling, 5 year warranty. I'm not too happy about the glossy surface and a bit cheap switches, but I'll just mod it as soon as it's out of warranty. I hear the Expert feels more solid, but if I wanted a solid trackball, I'd go with CST, DT225 or perhaps some Itac.

Offline skippington

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 04 May 2015, 10:27:14 »
I have both.  I prefer the scroll ring on the Expert (with the magnet removed), but the lower and flatter profile of the Slimblade is much easier on my hands.  For that reason, the Slimblade is my go to pointing device.

Offline knightjp

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 13:27:37 »
I'm not a fan of the Experts wrist angle. I wonder if anyone has ever used the Expert for long periods without the wrist extension and not had any aches or pains or issues.

This is one reason why I would like the Slimblade. But hows does the Slimblade compare in functionality. I have heard that using the Kensington software you can add a lot of functionality to the Expert. Can that be done with the Slimblade as well?

Offline knightjp

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 03 December 2016, 13:29:38 »

Offline davkol

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 13:53:44 »
I'm not a fan of the Experts wrist angle. I wonder if anyone has ever used the Expert for long periods without the wrist extension and not had any aches or pains or issues.
I don't see a problem. You should either use the wrist rest, or float your hand. The same holds for the Slimblade anyway—even small wrist extension is still wrist extension. I have a recording of both (Expert, Slimblade).

But hows does the Slimblade compare in functionality. I have heard that using the Kensington software you can add a lot of functionality to the Expert. Can that be done with the Slimblade as well?
TrackballWorks provide remapping only in software. You should be able to fully replace it by something like AutoHotKey.

One old version of the Expert (I think it was called Expert Pro) had extra customizable buttons.

Online kurplop

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 14:27:48 »
Some people are more sensitive to wrist extension than others. I knew within seconds that I could not use the Expert Mouse without modifications. The included rests harmed more than helped. The Slimblade is much better for those who have extension issues.

The fact that I've used one or the other in most of my keyboard mods is evidence that they are my favorite pointing devices. Their position relative to the user is just more critical than many alternative products.

Offline davkol

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 14:47:35 »
If it just sits on the desk, comfort/strain depends on the height of the surface relative to forearm posture. You've been using them in custom trays or even keyboards, though; you obviously have figured it out. The stock Expert's wrist rest and the Slimblade's case are both angled for usage with desks too high. Personally, I prefer to have a tray lower and stand close to it, so that I can float my hands right above the keyboard/trackball with straight wrists and without upper-arm strain. If I were to rest my wrist, I'd use tall palm-forearm support similar to DataStealth.

Online kurplop

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 04 December 2016, 15:49:01 »
I use palm rests more for reference than support. I rely on my chair's arm rests for support. I replaced the stock armrests on my Leap chair with new rests padded with 3 layers of yoga mat and a comfortable cover. It's so comfortable that the only time I think about it is when someone mentions arm support.

 

Offline lyndon

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 20 December 2016, 19:46:46 »
I've been pondering this question myself too. I think that I'm going to purchase the expert because the way that it scroll seems like it would be better for me. I also don't really like the aesthetics of the slimblade because it seems like it's trying too hard to be modern. Anyways, nice to hear other people's suggestions on which is better. I also looked at the Clearly Better Trackball but it's too hard to find where I live so I think I will be sticking with getting the expert rather than any other alternative.

Offline rabbitfire

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 25 December 2016, 20:41:27 »
I have used both and prefer the Slimblade although the Expert Mouse has features in its favor as well.

I used the EM for about 2 years but was initially disappointed because of the excessive wrist extension needed to operate it.Soon after, I  inset it at an angle  into a tray and was very happy with it. When I got anErgoDox I wanted to incorporate the EM into it but ran into some clearance snags which I was able to solve with the Slimblade.

Keep in mind that I haven't used either trackball  in an unmodified form enough to give a completely fair analysis but here goes.

I prefer the EM switches. They seem to have a larger "sweet spot" to hit and the Omron switches are much more robust than the Slimblades. While the switchplate surface on the SB is large, unless you hit them close to the 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock area, they aren't as easy to depress.

The EM also has 4 buttons that allow 6 assignable functions which is nice. The SB doesn't have provisions for chording but it offers other controls which I never bothered to set up so I can't comment on that.

In the SB's favor, the scrolling feature is nothing short of great. While the EM scroll ring is nice, it is somewhat scratchy compared to the smooth rotating ball on the SB. Don't worry about the spinning ball affecting the cursor: it doesn't.

The lower profile of the SB is also a big plus. Much less wrist extension.

They are both good trackballs in my opinion with the SB being a little better. If you are considering either, I would recommend  trying both.

Thanks for very detailed review

Offline Steinberg2010

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Re: Kensington Slimblade vs. Expert -- which trackball is better?
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 10 January 2017, 08:47:18 »
I agree with the other posters above re: the scratchiness of the expert scroll wheel (I use one and it's quite pronounced). If you don't need the extra buttons, it might be worth considering the kensington orbit - my wife swears by hers. It has a smooth scroll wheel compared to the expert.

~S