I have been a fan of the trackball concept for several years since I bought my Logitech Marble Mouse. It is a great low cost ($20) ergonomic solution to the wrist pain associated with using traditional mice. What’s different about a track ball is that instead of moving your forearm all over the desk to navigate the cursor, you gently flick the ball to and fro and let the rolling momentum of the trackball do most of the work.
One of the other great things about the Marble Mouse is the ability to switch to the left hand and have it function the same way (it is essentially symmetrical). Sometimes one of the best ways to eliminate pain is to just switch up the repetitive motion instead of letting it all build up on one part of the body, in one continuous position.
It takes a little getting used to, just like any new peripheral, but in general I found the Marble Mouse intuitive and natural.
Long hours of use sometimes cause pain in my finger tendons, but it is nothing compared to the pain in my wrists I get from using a regular mouse. The upward sloping of the mouse is also not ergonomically ideall, as it puts the wrist in an unnatural position.
A week ago I bought another model of Logitech’s trackball series, the Trackman. Unlike the Marble Mouse, the Trackman is not symmetrical. Instead, the trackball is on the left side of the mouse and is operated with the thumb rather than the index and middle finger. I found the thumb movement to be incredibly straining on my thumb and less natural feeling. What was worse, I couldn’t switch to my left hand to relieve the discomfort.
So I returned to the Trackman and went back to the Marble Mouse. Overall, I would recommend the Marble Mouse as a low cost and quick-fix solution, but it is by no means ergonomic heaven.
Anyone else have experience with trackballs?