Logitech MX Ergo puts trackballs back on the map

These days, the topic of pointing devices is dominated by mice, trackpads, and touch displays. But decades ago, the trackball was the clear number two behind the still-popular rodent. Logitech thinks there are enough thumb-balling die-hards around to justify creating the MX Ergo, a trackball complement to its MX Master 2S and MX Anywhere 2S laser mice. The MX Ergo is the company's first new trackball design since the release of the M570 wireless unit all the way back in 2010.

A hinge on the bottom of the Ergo lets users angle the bottom of the device up to 20° relative to the supporting surface. A button next to the ball drops the tracking sensitivity for increased precision when needed. The Ergo works over the 2.4 GHz wireless band with the included receiver, or it can communicate with its host over Bluetooth. The trackball supports the Flow multi-computer software Logitech introduced with the MX Master 2S and MX Anywhere 2S. Flow allows users to easily switch between up to three computers running Windows or macOS.

Logitech says the 500 mAh internal battery is good for up to four months of use on a single charge. Users can put the electrons back where they need to be with any old Micro-USB cable. The manufacturer says one minute of charging provides enough juice to run the Ergo for a day. The device measures 5.2" long, 3.9" wide, and 2.0" tall (13 cm x 10 cm x 5.1 cm) and weighs 5.8 oz (164 g) without the optional metal plate.

Logitech's MX Ergo trackball is available in the company's webstore now for $100. Those interested in trying out a trackball without that kind of investment can still find the company's wireless M570 trackball for $28 on Amazon or $30 on Newegg. The manufacturer backs ye olde M570 with a three-year warranty while the new, premium MX Ergo curiously has just a one-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • Koli
    • 2 years ago

    I’ve used the M570 for years now, though it’s been replaced three times due to the really poor switches Logitech uses for the mouse buttons. A friend of mine repaired one of them and replaced the switches with higher quality Japanese ones and they’ve lasted far longer than the stock ones did.

    Considering the price of this new one, I seriously hope they’ve gone for higher quality switches this time.

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      Unfortunately, it appears they have cheapened the new one even more, especially considering the high price:

      1) The bearing points are for the first time in the entire industry NOT made of metal! They are PLASTIC!

      2) The reviewers of the product are complaining it’s hard to get the ball out for cleaning.

      3) They got rid of the replaceable batteries and there is no place underneath to store the universal receiver.

      Instead, there is a Li-ion polymer non-replacable internal battery [and of course no in-warranty way to change the battery]. You connect a micro-usb cable to charge it. People are complaining the fit on the USB connector is very tight and hard to hook up for charging.

      This sounds like an avoidable disaster at any price.

      btw, I am “ripped-off consuner” on amazon. I suspect you’ve seen some of my posts there, and I agree about the switches; I had the “machine gun” effect problem in the M 570, etc.

    • Godel
    • 2 years ago

    Tough luck if you’re a lefty.

      • drfish
      • 2 years ago

      Not many options in that case, but [url=https://smile.amazon.com/Wireless-Trackball-Left-Handed-buttons-M-XT4DRBK/dp/B016QCPRBM/<]they do exist[/url<].

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      The quality of the Logitech M570 coupled with the insulting and alienating customer service led me to Elecom. They have four variant models: Wired/Wireless and Righty/Lefty.

      I’m right handed and quite happy with it, but if I have to make another purchase, I would go with the wired.

      This new one is wireless only and there are complaints about the regcharging. Even the M570 had batteries easily changed., this one you cannot change the battery, it’s rechargeable and only by adding in a micro-USB [not C] cable back to a USB for power only. Worse, there are complaints it’s very tight and hard to easily plug in and out for the recharge process. I see Logitech going downhill, and this is not helping [not to mention expensive]. Also, if imitation is the sincerest for of flattery, the overall look and color scheme is a total ripoff of the Elecom! Oddly, the actual Elecom works better with the blue M570 Logitech ball; the dark charcoal grey ball they supply is not that good, but the blue logitech one has a much better “polish” and “hardness” to it that translates into much finer movements. But the new Ergo has the charcoal grey ball. I guess when they imitated it, they didn’t check the forums that explain that the blue logitech ball was the item of choice! So much so, on Amazon you get an ad for a purchase of just the ball! I’m afraid from the pictures it won’t be able to work with the M570 ball.

    • drfish
    • 2 years ago

    Hello, lifelong trackball fan here. I hope to review this for TR ASAP. That is all.

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      I look forward to it. Please be mindful of all of the relevant issues.

      From what others say, I cannot review it, because I don’t intend to get one.

      On Amazon, the only reviewers are the ones that were paid to do so in exchange for getting the product for free.

      Also, there is some kind of marketing gimmick:

      There is some sort of wedge angle adjuster component available, but you can only get it if you from either the Logitech website OR BestBuy. Notable, Amazon cannot supply the item.

    • Growler
    • 2 years ago

    If they’re going to bring back a trackball, they need a new version of the Trackman Marble FX. I still have the one I got when I put together my first computer. It doesn’t get used as much any more, but it still feels great.

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      All of them from that era were great and work today. I am using a Trackball Marble Wheel as I post here now.

    • CScottG
    • 2 years ago

    I keep hoping for one with multiple programmable buttons w/ on-board memory.

    Hopefully they also fixed the problem with the stuck right/left click buttons that wear-down far too quickly with use. I’m also hoping the plastic casing is a better material than the M570 which feels kind’a cheap. (..the old wired version was much better in both respects.)

    IF they get both of those characteristics corrected then I actually have no problem with the inflated price.

      • drfish
      • 2 years ago

      I just looked up my NewEgg and Amazon history, for both my personal and work accounts. I’ve bought eight M570s to date (and one [url=https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B016QCPNUW<]Elecom M-XT3DRBK[/url<]). Of those, only three M570s and the Elecom are still on active duty, all because of the freaking buttons crapping out - and I've gone to the trouble of soldering in [url=https://www.digikey.com/products/en?WT.z_se_ps=1&keywords=ZMCJF7P0T<]replacement switches[/url<] on some of them. *fingers crossed*

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      Sorry to burst your bubble [and I totally agree with you on the M570], this seems to be a major fail and less value and quality for far more money.

      I don’t really care about programmable buttons; that’s generally a matter of the companion software [which can always be improved].

      IF they get both of those characteristics corrected then I actually have no problem with the inflated price.

      I predict you will be very disappointed, sorry.

      I use the Elecom with the M570 Ball as recommended on the amazon forum. I am quite happy. This one is clearly a ripoff of the elecom but ironically they have the color scheme of the Elecom which savvy users to NOT use, they use the M570 turquoise ball. I am afraid this is its own size, so we may not be able to retrofit the ball the way we can on the Elecom.

      Unlike the M570, no internal room for the universal receiver, and the battery charging is a new nightmare: You cannot change the batteries and instead you have to use an overly tight micro-usb charging cable [back to a USB power source; it is not a wired mouse if you add the cable, too bad!].

      Sounds like the main improvement is they expect to recoup all the money they lost on the M570. I predict they also will be disappointed.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    I’ve got 2 Logitech marble mice, few things in computing are so perfect or so durable.

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      I use them a lot, last for years. Am using it right now. Best thing they ever made.

    • siberx
    • 2 years ago

    The product page lists a DPI of [b<]380[/b<] for the sensor - I understand that trackballs traditionally don't use/require as high DPI as regular mice, but [i<]why[/i<] couldn't they at least put one of their regular sensors in the thing? Even a low-end non gaming sensor is 1600-2000dpi these days, and it would make it a lot easier to get good accuracy while minimizing trackball movement for people who are trying to reduce strain.

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]The product page lists a DPI of 380 for the sensor [/quote<] No 180 no-scope kills, then?

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I used to love trackballs back in the beige computer era, but man they cause carpal tunnel syndrome really fast compared to other pointing devices.

    It’s not just me either – it’s a common problem with trackballs and the science behind it is that moving a trackball with your thumb involves more ligaments and joints than moving a mouse with your wrist, and unlike the wrist movement, trackball movement with your thumb is perpendicular to the primary axis your thumb joints are designed to move in.

    I guess if your wrist is completely screwed with carpal tunnel from mice already, this might be a temporary relief, but as someone who’s never suffered with CTS from mice, Logitech trackballs caused me genuine pain after a while, even when I was much younger and therefore less susceptible. 20 years of normal mouse use later and I still don’t get CTS from mice….

      • LocalCitizen
      • 2 years ago

      that’s strange. i moved to trackball specifically to alleviate my CTS pains. i think it’s different for everyone.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        No, that’s what I’m saying. If you have CTS pain from using a mouse, a trackball will provide temporary relief by using different tendons and ligaments that aren’t worn and inflamed.

        It’s temporary relief because if you’re susceptible to CTS in the first place, the action of using a trackball is more wearing on your tendons and ligaments than the action of using a mouse. The solution is to use both, switching between them every few weeks so that your inflamed ligaments from mouse use can rest and heal whilst you use the trackball, and vice-versa.

          • Whispre
          • 2 years ago

          I switched to using the M570 trackball back in 2011 to alleviate pain from using a mouse. I’ve since used an M570 both at home and work (we’re talking anywhere from 60-100 hours a week of use here) full time with no thumb related issues.

          I’ve never actually heard of that being a thing to be honest.

      • CScottG
      • 2 years ago

      Trackballs had this problem (I’ve had multiple versions for CAD work), but I’ve been using the thumb trackball configuration (for general & gaming cursor-use) since about 1995 and the only time I get pain/fatigue is multiple days of long duration heavy-use gaming (..like that one time I was “marathon”-playing Mount and Blade: running-down the rabble on my trusty steed).

      • Wirko
      • 2 years ago

      Oh, you were holding it wrong.

      My first TB was something like [url=http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/accesori_files/image002.jpg<]this[/url<]. I rotated it 90 degrees clockwise and used it with my left hand; thumb and palm for pressing the buttons, two or three other fingers on the ball. Windows 3.1 driver already had support for rotation. I have owned the symmetrical [url=https://assets.logitech.com/assets/55341/trackman-marble-gallery.png<]Logitech Trackmen Marble[/url<] since the first one came out about 18 years ago (and it only had two buttons back then!). Left hand, with reversed buttons. Never had a mouse at home, save for those in the cellar maybe. Scrolling isn't as flawless as I'd like it to be; maybe I should try out AutoHotkey. Never had CTS, either. The fact that I hold a mouse in my right hand at work and a trackball in my left hand at home has probably helped here.

      • VincentHanna
      • 2 years ago

      I have a trackball and a mouse both on my main PC. I don’t use the trackball THAT much anymore, but it is there. I can switch. There’s no rule that says you are limited to just a single pointing device.

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      I am a professional programmer and I go all the way back to the rectangular Logitech trackballs that wore out the little roller rubber pieces internally [this is before the spiral-shaped ones also mechanical]. In short, I’ve been there for every “era” of Logitech trackball.

      I use my trackball for far more than the average person and of course type more than most, and then that’s not only hours per years but also years. Simply, put, I never have gotten CTS and I think it’s a problem of just using any product incorrectly, not that trackballs are in any sense of the word more prone to it.

      My wrists are fine and I also play keyboards. And I remember when CTS became a trendy buzzword when lawyers were starting to bring lawsuits claiming this a s a bad work-place problem.

    • LocalCitizen
    • 2 years ago

    does anyone know if the trackball can be used in wired mode? or it that port only for charging?

      • CuttinHobo
      • 2 years ago

      It does seem strange for a stationary pointing device to be wireless-only.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        ….and yet wireless keyboards are definitely a very popular thing.

          • LocalCitizen
          • 2 years ago

          and they work better than mice for surfing on the couch

          • CuttinHobo
          • 2 years ago

          Fair enough. 🙂

        • willyolioleo
        • 2 years ago

        …damn, i thought this was a mouse with a an additional trackball for more control over 3D work and such.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      If it’s anything like my MX anywhere 2, the port is just for charging and you still need a bluetooth connection or mini-RF USB dongle to use the mouse.

        • LocalCitizen
        • 2 years ago

        sigh 🙁

        thanks Chrispy

      • clasys
      • 2 years ago

      Not only is it only for charging, it is hard to use FOR recharging. That would be SOOO obvious, to allow it to be wired with a cable already provided!

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