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Optical mice vs trackball.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thinking of getting a high dpi trackball , just wondering if anyone has any experience with gaming with trackballs?
Given my RSI problems i've kinda decided a standard optical mouse isn't really too healthy for me so i'm trying to find an alternative that doesn't require flailing my arms and wrists about like a loony.
Edited by kyle-reece - 5/10/11 at 2:23pm
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post #2 of 9
If i wasn't going with an optical, I would use a laser mouse. Trackballs are nothing but trouble, I refuse to clean one ever again!
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by johonm333;13431809 
If i wasn't going with an optical, I would use a laser mouse. Trackballs are nothing but trouble, I refuse to clean one ever again!

trackball != ball mouse doh.gif

back to kyle's question though:
you may wanna PM Neutrino here. I know he used to use a Trackman FX and, believe it or not, a wireless trackball.

Nowadays he's onto some weird little, but remarkably intuitive, contraption that does 3D motion. just can't remember the name of it.
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post #4 of 9
I use a CST L-TracX and love it. It rolled a bit stiffly when I first got it, but that smoothed out in about a day. This thing is very comfortable to use, and so far I've had it for about 6 months without needing to clean it. Beats the hell out of my old Logitech Trackman.

As an added bonus, you can apparently replace the ball with a pool ball if you want.

EDIT: almost forgot... you know how most devices cannot be modified or opened without voiding the warranty? This trackball comes with disassembly instructions. So there's another plus.
Edited by Scars Unseen - 5/9/11 at 9:05pm
post #5 of 9
I honestly had no idea trackball mice were still being made other than your ones with the red marblish patterned ball. I wouldn't think those would be good for gaming though... but if it works for you then yea.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaClownie;13448669 
I honestly had no idea trackball mice were still being made other than your ones with the red marblish patterned ball. I wouldn't think those would be good for gaming though... but if it works for you then yea.

Hard to say. I game just fine with mine, but I've been using trackballs exclusively for the past 7 years, and I mostly play single player, so I'm not really the best person to talk to. I think the last competitive multiplayer I engaged in was BF2142.

That said, my hand and wrist don't get fatigued from extended use like they did when I used mice.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scars Unseen;13448610 
I use a CST L-TracX and love it. It rolled a bit stiffly when I first got it, but that smoothed out in about a day. This thing is very comfortable to use, and so far I've had it for about 6 months without needing to clean it. Beats the hell out of my old Logitech Trackman.

As an added bonus, you can apparently replace the ball with a pool ball if you want.

EDIT: almost forgot... you know how most devices cannot be modified or opened without voiding the warranty? This trackball comes with disassembly instructions. So there's another plus.

how easy is it to scroll over something click with barely stopping and move on? thats something that doesn't seem super quick to do if you have to take your hand of the trackball to click, unless the thumb sits in easy position to press the left button?

what about using the middle mouse button (seems remarkably small for something i'll be using a lot top open tabs and is currently my main method of map navigation in starcraft 2)

and follow-on from that is it easy to remap the buttons so the small button can be right click and the right one can be middle click? if i had that would be a godsend for desktop work and browsing, though would be bad for gaming, unless its has software like the Kensington which according to a review i read can have the buttons set to be different things dependng on the program

how easy are those buttons to press?

How much do the extra buttons cost that can be plugged in at the side, and do they require any kind of handiwork to install? (4th and 5th button would be very much appreciated, would likely be used for middle or right click held up within digit range of the left click button, with the other being in front of me space bar, for my left thumb to use)

if you could could you post a picture of how your hand sits with the thing please?
overall i'd say thats looking pretty good if the extra buttons aren't expensive and the software is as good as kensingtons is purported to be
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle-reece;13453531 
how easy is it to scroll over something click with barely stopping and move on? thats something that doesn't seem super quick to do if you have to take your hand of the trackball to click, unless the thumb sits in easy position to press the left button?

Pretty easy. The way that I use the trackball leaves my thumb on the left button at all times, so I can click without taking my fingers off the ball.
Quote:
what about using the middle mouse button (seems remarkably small for something i'll be using a lot top open tabs and is currently my main method of map navigation in starcraft 2)

Now since the middle button rests directly above the ball, I do have to take my finger off in order to click it. In practice, however, I don't even notice the interruption, as the distance my finger has to travel is so small that it's pretty much the equivalent of flicking your finger. And while the button is smaller than the left/right buttons, it's actually larger than most middle buttons I've used (it's just that those left/right buttons are huge) and that bump in the middle acts as a good tactile guide so you never really have to search for the button.
Quote:
and follow-on from that is it easy to remap the buttons so the small button can be right click and the right one can be middle click? if i had that would be a godsend for desktop work and browsing, though would be bad for gaming, unless its has software like the Kensington which according to a review i read can have the buttons set to be different things dependng on the program

The trackball does have software that allows for button remapping. I haven't checked to see if it does application profiles.
Quote:
how easy are those buttons to press?

Quite easy.
Quote:
How much do the extra buttons cost that can be plugged in at the side, and do they require any kind of handiwork to install? (4th and 5th button would be very much appreciated, would likely be used for middle or right click held up within digit range of the left click button, with the other being in front of me space bar, for my left thumb to use)

As far as I'm aware, there aren't any commercially available buttons yet, but some people on the geekhack.org forums have made their own with no problems.
Quote:
if you could could you post a picture of how your hand sits with the thing please?

This isn't my hand, but it's more or less how I use mine, minus the wrist pad.

p1010895i.jpg
Quote:
overall i'd say thats looking pretty good if the extra buttons aren't expensive and the software is as good as kensingtons is purported to be

Personally speaking, this is the best trackball I've ever owned. It's more comfortable than my Trackman was because you don't have to use an eagle claw grip to hold it.
post #9 of 9
The best option for high sense gaming is a laser mouse with a quality hard mouse pad. I use the Xai with a 4HD mouse pad. The mouse itself glides effortlessly and I can adjust the CPI anywhere from 1 to 5001.

I really don't know how well a trackball will work for gaming, especially competitive multiplayer games. I only see people use them for autocad type apps.

But what are you using now? A lot of people ignore what a quality mouse pad can do for your experience. For optical get cloth, for laser get a hard pad.
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