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