Gadget Review: Perixx Trackball (PERIPRO-506) on Linux / Mac

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~192 times.

I haven't used a trackball in earnest since about 1998 - when they were briefly all the rage at school. But we're all working from home during lockdown, and my desk isn't big enough to accommodate a full-sized keyboard and mouse. So I thought I'd try a trackball.

A red trackball set in black plastic.

This doesn't need an unboxing video, or any complicated set-up tips. It's an inert black box, with a red orb nestled in it.

Made in Germany by Perixx, it's a heavy unit - no danger of it slipping around your desk. The ball is light enough to control with your fingertips. But there's no inertia on it - you can't whizz your way around the screen. The layout is good. Pretty easy to click with your thumb and drag with your fingers. Takes a little getting used to.

And, yes, it looks like HAL from 2001. If you don't like that, you can buy replacement balls in a variety of colours

Good

  • Clickable scrollwheel! Dead easy to scroll with this, and having a 3rd mouse button is always handy.
  • Mouse buttons are large and make a satisfying clunk when used.
  • Long USB cable.
  • Detachable wrist rest. I've kept it on. It's a good cushion at just the right height.
  • Plug and Play. No drivers required on Mac or Linux.
  • It looks gorgeous!

Bad

  • Sssslllloooowwww! On MacOS I bumped the mouse speed up to the maximum. It still felt slow.
  • The trackball can be slightly stiff to begin with. But I reckon it will loosen with time.
  • I'd really like to be able to push the ball in to click. I realise why this would be impractical - but I keep doing it instinctively.

These are all pretty meagre complaints.

Linux

It just worked. Top speed was much faster than on the Mac.

It shows up as 062a:7269 MosArt Semiconductor Corp. They're just a generic chip manufacturer. The product listing doesn't give much more information. But, c'mon, it's a trackball. You're not getting a firmware update for it!

Buy it

This trackball costs £25 on Amazon. Seems pretty reasonable to me!

One thought on “Gadget Review: Perixx Trackball (PERIPRO-506) on Linux / Mac

  1. Chris says:

    Nice review.
    I have a Clearly Superior Technologies CST2545W-RC. The device is quite large, and quite expensive. But it's very comfortable in my hand and feels well built. It has 3 physical buttons and a separate scroll wheel, which I like so I don't accidentally middle-click while scrolling. All the buttons are large so my hand can be in a comfortable position and still easily click. Each button as a satisfying actuation also. Sadly, CST is out of business but you can still find some on eBay. Not mine, though!
    It works fine in Linux:
    Bus 002 Device 002: ID 5332:1400 Clearly Superior Technologies. CST Laser Trackball
    I doubt there will ever be any firmware updates considering the manufacturer is defunct.

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