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Trackball Mouse

A trackball mouse is perfect for people who require precise cursor movement and increased control but need the ergonomic comfort they can't get from a regular mouse.

Trackball mice are great mouse alternatives for people who need a device with programmable buttons, such as graphic designers and editors. Plus, there are options for left-handed or right-handed users. Because of their compact design, they will take up less space on your desk or workstation.

For some people concerned about repetitive movement injuries and ergonomics, a trackball mouse can be more comfortable than an ergonomic mouse. Choose from a wired USB trackball device or a wireless trackball computer mouse - both are available for your specific needs.

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Trackball Mice FAQs

What is a trackball mouse?

Similar to a traditional mouse, a trackball mouse is commonly used as a pointing device for computers. It features a snooker-sized (or smaller) trackball that rests on rollers that spin in any direction. As you move the trackball, the mouse pointer moves in the same direction as the spin.

Is a trackball mouse easy to use?

Whichever design of the trackball mouse you choose, switching from a traditional mouse will take some time to get used to. Since the cursor moves in response to the trackball movements, the operation of a trackball mouse is significantly different. Moreover, various trackball designs require the use of either the thumb or fingers. Trackball mice also have a different sense of momentum, so you may need to calibrate the sensitivity based on your needs.

Once you get the hang of it, you can gradually use the trackball mouse for different tasks to get practice and hone your usage. We recommend using the trackball in parallel with your mouse and slowly transitioning to the trackball over time.

What are the common designs for trackball mice?

  • Thumb-operated trackball mice 

The trackball is located where the thumb is, while the rest of the device looks like a regular mouse with the typical clickable buttons. The design often requires a slightly taller side where the trackball is, creating a slight vertical tilt that helps make the device more ergonomic. You can use your thumb to maneuver the trackball and your fingers of choice to do the left or right-clicking. This design of trackball mice is often used by right-hand users.

  • Fingers-operated trackball mice 

The trackball is located in the middle of the device, which you can control using your index or middle fingers, although you can use any or a combination of fingers to move the ball. The clickable buttons are located on the sides and act as the left and right-click buttons, often controlled by your thumb and pinky fingers. Some manufacturers include a scroll ring to simplify up or down scrolling. This design can be easily used by both left and right-handed users.

Who should use a trackball mouse?

  • People who have RSI issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis 

The most common RSI-related issues are often caused by repetitive motion while using a non-ergonomic mouse, plus the unnatural posture and hand position required to operate it. The stationary base of the mouse promotes very little repetitive wrist motion when using a trackball mouse, hence why this type of mouse is highly beneficial for people with RSI issues. Your arms and shoulders sit in a neutral position, with most movements occurring predominantly with your thumb or the preferred combination of fingers. 

  • People who easily get finger or hand fatigue 

The ambidextrous trackball designs of the trackball mouse particularly, are ideal for people whose hands or fingers are prone to strain or fatigue. Using a trackball mouse minimises wrist movement, ensures your fingers move the trackball in a more natural position, and allows switching between your left and right hand to operate.

  • People with a disability or elderly users

For some people, sustaining their hold on a traditional mouse while clicking or dragging it can be a big task. In addition, people with significantly clammy or shaky hands will also appreciate how a trackball mouse is operated mainly with the fingers. With a trackball, they can easily position the cursor on their screen and click the left or right button without lifting or dragging the mouse in different directions.

Is a trackball mouse better than a trackpad?

Most commonly found integrated with laptops, trackpads are the primary devices used to move the cursor across the screen. While most people can live with the trackpad for day-to-day use, it is still not as ergonomic as a trackball mouse. Trackball mice have a contoured area to rest your hand on while using the device, unlike a trackpad, which is flat and does not support your hand, particularly your wrist.

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