Anyone Use Trackballs?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CaptainZap, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. CaptainZap macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2007
    I've been looking for a new mouse (Mighty Mouse just doesn't cut it for comfort, my wrist drags on the desk and causes pain after prolong use) and have been wondering about Trackballs. Just wondering what everyone thinks of them and if there are any good ones that work with Macs.

    And also, if I can't find one that I like, I might get a mouse, I need one that is relatively cheap (Under $45). And I was wondering what happens if you have one with more than the normal 2 buttons, do you have to install special software for the other buttons?

  2. superted666 Guest


    Oct 17, 2005
    We use them to control servers where we dont have space for mice.

    It might just be me but i find them very awkward to use and unproductive.
    Granted these are not top of the range models but i cant imagine a big difference
  3. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    capt z,

    i have the logitech cordless trackman wheel mouse.

    LOVE IT. in fact, i even bought another for my peecee.

    in fact, i HATE with a passion, regular mice. my hand doesn't move, my wrist doesn't move...just the thumbs and a finger.

    it is a pain getting used to it, but once you do, it's all rock n' roll.

    alot of ppl do find them awkward to use, but they probably just haven't spend more than 10 minutes straight time on them.

    buy one and give it some time. you won't regret it.

  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I use a Microsoft Trackball Explorer on my PC at work. It takes time to get used to it, but I like mine. Since MS makes their software for Mac, I would assume it would work. Only problem is I don't think this trackball is sold anymore.

  5. BiikeMike macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
    I'm a big fan of trackballs as well, and I always get made fun of for it. But I don't really care, its all trackball, all the time for me!

    I don't like the big ones, I do find them pretty awkward, but the smaller ones with a nice thumb control...... THATS luxury!
  6. HugMnster macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2006
    Tyler, Tx
    I use the kensington turboball an love it. I hate using regular mice now. Been using this one for years on my pc an now on my mac also. Not hooked it up to my imac but have it attached to a kvm switch at work with my pc an imac an linux machines, works out really good for me.

  7. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    Love the old classic Kensington Expert track ball. Use it every day. The newer verion, wich I frankly don't like, may be out of your price range. Look for the old standby all white, 4 button corded version. You can use cue balls to replace the one that comes with it, and even though it's not a laser trackball it's accurate, lasts forever and is easy to clean.

  8. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Ditto on those thoughts. Personally I use the Logitech Marble Mouse. I have two of these, one of which is near 5 years old and still works great. This mouse is inexpensive, has 4 buttons and works seamlessly with OSX. I plugged it into my ibook and it worked on its own. It also comes with software to install that lets you customize what the 4 buttons do in OSX. The reviews on amazon also speak for themselves. I highly recommend.

    Cheers :)
  9. CaptainZap thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2007
    Well thanks everyone, I already bought one to see what I think of it, if I don't like it, I'll send it back and get a normal one, but by the looks of it, everyone that uses them loves them (Except for superted xD).

    My dad had one of those, he never used it. And I'm sure it works great if you are used to it, but I think the size and position of the buttons would be a little awkward. Thanks anyways.

    BTW, I got this one. I was looking at the one Erendiox posted, but I'm afraid the oreintation of the buttons would throw me off. So I went with a thumb controlled one with the normal mouse buttons.

    But thanks again, I'm pretty excited for it to come!
  10. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    My wife tried to install one of those when we got married. I refused. She waited until we had kids and took them away. Now I just lay around in front of the TV with the remote in hand. :mad:

    sorry, couldn't refuse :p
  11. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I hate them, but the graphics people at work love them, so who knows. I use one, as mentioned, in the server room where mice don't fit. I suppose you can get used to anything with time. :p
  12. CaptainZap thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2007
    Well I got the trackball today, and well, I really like it. I tested it on a game of Halo and well, I got the most kills. Still a lot to get used to and I would definitely recommend it if you have wrist pains. :D
  13. mcc macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007
    The Logitech TrackMan Marble is, perhaps, the best pointing device ever made with a thumb-operated marble and three buttons. Ergonomically, it was like laying your hand on the desk. Unfortunately, Logitech discontinued making it and replaced it with a version that had a wheel that could be used as a middle button. The wheel changed the elevation and made it difficult to use.

    When I acquired my PowerMac G5, it came with an Apple Might Mouse. I did like the nipple for moving around the screen and the fact that it was a two button mouse but it was a pain, figuratively and actually, to use with my ACD.

    I tried a Microsoft trackball that I picked up during the last Millenium when one of my Trackman Marbles failed with my PowerMac G5. It was better than the Mighty Mouse but after a few months I was visiting the doctor for pinched nerves due to the angle that the hand was held when using it.

    I have replaced it with the TrackMan Wheel which is similar to my old Trackman Marble. The geometry of the device to a little getting used to because the palm is raised higher. The middle button is gone and is replaced by a wheel between the left and right buttons.

    The color could be a little lighter gray but it doesn't look out of place with the Apple aluminum keyboard that has replaced the Apple's white gunk trap.
  14. cbrain macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2006
    North-East, UK

    I used to have a trackball on my old PC and I really liked it, I should try and find it and try it with my mac.
  15. ojwk macrumors regular


    Sep 5, 2007
    Those red balls make me think of opulent alien energy orbs. Probably just me though..
  16. ivan1234 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2007
    I've used them before and could never get used to them. I think the best combo is a wireless mouse on the right and a powermate on the left. :D
  17. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    A few years ago we had 3 of them on the computers in the house and I found them really simple to use. Then they all broke.

    I wouldn't mind having another one, I could use them a lot better than I can normal mice, but I just haven't gotten around to splashing the cash, my mice are £5 ebay jobs these days :D
  18. Chrystal Ocean macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    I too have a M$ Trackball Explorer. Have you, or anyone else who has this trackball, had any problems with it working on your Mac? Lately, mine has been acting wonky.
  19. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Abso-freaking-lutely, and for ages. Kensington Orbit with the MacBook when it's docked at home, and a Logitech Marble Mouse in the G5 iMac. Think I'll get another Logitech when the Kensington craps out (and it will, trust me).
  20. Chrystal Ocean macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Nice to have that confirmed actually since I'm still new to the Mac. I've some serious wrist problems and had been using the wireless Logitech Optical Trackball for a couple of years. Not only was it eating too many batteries, but it wasn't doing that much to alleviate the wrist problems. Tried the wired M$ Trackball Explorer, which I'd had around the apt, and within a few months, my wrist was substantially improved.

    Alas, the thing behaves erratically a good deal of the time. Had begun to worry that it was more than the trackball, but I do know that M$ stopped offering support for this device sometime ago. Perhaps these problems are why.
  21. Robert-313 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    Marble Mouse - How do you get widgets displayed?

    For me a trackball is the best way to go. I just replaced the Apple Mighty Mouse on my new iMac (Leopard) with a Logitech Marble Mouse but I miss the little button that brings up the widgets. Does anyone know the equivalent operation to do this?

    I found it, on my iMac is is the F4 key.
  22. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    i use the black Kensington Expert Mouse, it has 4 programmable buttons, a center scroll wheel and a center scroll ball (which if oyu hold Shift while using the center scroll WHEEL you get 360 scrolling whichis awesome!)

    ive had it for years and love it. works perfect and doesnt stress my wrist or hand when using it, i do alot of scrolling documents, video editing, horizontal scrolling through audio/video tracks on large displays. its efficient.
  23. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    just simply pressing on the middle scroll button ony our mouse should work.
    most if not all have that function. the scroller/scrollwheel between the left & right click buttons should work. has on all mine.
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Assuming the buttons don't currently support the features you want, do you have the ability to set button function via software?

    I use a Logitech Trackman, and if I wish, can go into the utility program and map out button functions. Very nice to have. :)
  25. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    the MM has a few mapping features, nothing as major as Logitech mice. just go with a logitech mouse, they are great quality.

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