Logitech’s MX Ergo trackball reviewed

When Logitech’s MX Ergo was announced a few weeks ago, I was the kid in the classroom with their hand in the air shouting, “pick me, pick me!” to do the review. Most of the other kids in the room were just yawning. As of this review going live, I’m still not sure the teacher of our figurative classroom even acknowledged me before I jumped out of my seat and started writing on the chalkboard. That’s OK, though—not everyone gets trackballs.

The Logitech MX Ergo

I, however, do get trackballs. Both literally and figuratively. As I mentioned in my Steam controller review, I grew up using them. I haven’t used them exclusively by any means, but I’ve certainly used one as my primary pointing device for the couple decades that computers have been a daily part of my life. When Logitech releases a new trackball, it’s kind of a big deal to me, like a sequel to a favorite game or a new movie by my favorite director.

Therein lies the rub, though. Sometimes, while you’re waiting for someone familiar to release something new, you stumble across an alternative. A similar game with some fresh ideas, or a surprise hit from a director you’ve never heard of. Not to mention that sequels aren’t always better, and directors can be famously inconsistent.

The Elecom EX-G

Enter the Elecom EX-G, the high-water mark for trackballs that I’ll be measuring the MX Ergo against. I picked up an EX-G nearly a year ago as an alternative to the Logitech M570s that I love. The MX570s keep failing me due to well-known problems with the switches under their primary buttons. It pains me to say that I’ve bought eight M570s since 2010 because of that flaw. Enough was enough. I never got around to reviewing the Elecom, but that’ll make this review all the more interesting.

The Logitech M570

Features and changes

Enough context, let’s talk about the hardware. A handful of features set the MX Ergo apart from its predecessor M570. Its “Ergo” namesake surely comes from the most obvious change: the ability to tilt up to 20° thanks to a magnetic base plate. Before I saw it in person, I was picturing a mechanism not unlike the hinges on a Microsoft Surface’s kickstand. In reality, it’s vastly simpler than that: just a pivot point and strong magnets to hold it in one position or the other. Curiously, Logitech is also offering a Best Buy-exclusive MX Ergo Plus that affords 30° of tilt. If you need even more verticality, the Plus could be worth a look.


Next up in the change log, so to speak, is the addition of Bluetooth connectivity alongside the traditional Logitech Unifying Receiver option. This is a very welcome upgrade, and one I wish more peripherals included. Nobody wants to use a dongle if they don’t have to. The inclusion of Bluetooth is complimented by a button beneath the scroll wheel that allows for toggling connectivity between multiple computers.

Speaking of buttons, the MX Ergo has a couple other new ones that the M570 does not. The scroll wheel now offers tilt functionality, a feature that I appreciate but almost always forget to use (the Elecom EX-G has it, as well). Personally, I’d prefer a thumb-driven scroll wheel for horizonal scrolling, but I can’t very well complain about that on a thumb-driven trackball, can I? The last new button is a “precision mode” button that toggles cursor speed way down. It’s located above and behind the ball. Logically, it’s not a momentary switch like a thumb-actuated sniper button, since that would make it impossible use while still moving the ball with your thumb (unless the ball was the button, hmmm). It does have its uses, though, and it lights up to let you know what it’s activated.

Rounding out the big changes are some creature comforts. The MX Ergo swaps out the AA juice packs of the M570 for an integrated 500 mAh Li-Po battery that’s purported to last for four months of use between charges. I didn’t have any complaints with the previous AA solution, since I have a good charger stocked with my trusty Panasonic Eneloops at all times, but I can’t complain about the switch to an integrated battery either. After all, that battery is probably going to last a long time if it only needs to be charged a few times each year. Last, and probably least, the MX Ergo comes coated in a soft-touch finish instead of the bare plastic of the M570.

Let’s talk about some under-the-hood changes next. The single biggest question I wanted answered was if Logitech made a change to the all-important choice of primary button switches. Thankfully, the reply I got was a firm “yes.” It turns out that the MX Ergo uses the same switches as in the MX Master mouse. These switches are rated for 10 million clicks as compared to the M570’s three-million-click switches. I’m pretty sure that none of my M570s made it to three million clicks before getting squirrely, but I am content to know that the Ergo’s switches are at least a different part number and that I didn’t find forum threads full of people complaining about them while researching for this review. Hopefully, I won’t ever find myself soldering in replacements like this guy taught me to do with the M570.

 

Usage impressions

Out of the box, my reaction to the MX Ergo was immediately positive. The metal base plate rightly adds heft to a device meant to be stationary and feel solid. The entire bottom of the plate is covered in rubbery grip material, so this thing isn’t going anywhere unless you intentionally move it. As always, the wireless performance with the Unifying Receiver was as good as it gets.

The MX Ergo’s tracking of a ball itself is also extremely consistent. I suppose that’s a natural advantage of getting to choose both the sensor and the tracking “surface” built into the product. When I first got my Elecom EX-G the tracking was miserable. I thought it was because of the mystery wireless solution until I dropped the ball from one of my retired M570s into the EX-G. That solved 90% of my problems, and moving the dongle closer to the trackball solved the rest. I’ve rolled with an M570 ball in the Elecom ever since. Our own Zak Killian also had problems with one of his Elecom’s balls, so this is a thing that’s possible to goof up.

Another thing I like about the MX Ergo is that there are 6 points of contact with the ball instead of the traditional three. I’m not 100% sure of Logitech’s reasoning for this, but my theory is that the extra points are there to reduce ball jiggle or lift during intense use (don’t laugh, this is serious). Coupled with the optional 20° angle, the ball reliably stays in the pocket and tight against the sensor at all times. Admittedly, most people probably wouldn’t even notice that this could be a problem in the first place, but since my trackball isn’t used on a perfectly level surface, it’s something I recognize as a welcome improvement over both the Elecom EX-G and the M570.

Let’s briefly discuss gaming on a trackball. I actually used to swear by trackballs for gaming, even for faster-paced games like Team Fortress 2. Nowadays, with gaming mice evolved so far, I no longer peddle trackball gaming with much fervor. I really don’t want to get deep into the weeds of DPI settings, cursor speed, or sensor-related nuances, though. This isn’t the place for an advanced class on free-spinning either (360 no-scope, pfft). Suffice it to say that you can game quite proficiently with a trackball, but you have to be pretty darn comfortable with them already for it to go well. That said, the extremely low sensor DPI of the MX Ergo makes it even less suited for gaming than either the M570 or Elecom, especially for twitchy shooters. They’re great for strategy games though. The more your title of choice looks like a spreadsheet, the better.

Now, before we turn to my list of complaints about the MX Ergo, I’ve got a small public service announcement to share. If you’re not familiar with trackballs, one of their quirks is that, when they are brand new, the ball doesn’t move quite as smoothly as it will after a little use. It’s a little gross, but let’s just say you need a bit of a “slick” to build up on the ball for optimal performance. Think of it as seasoning a cast-iron skillet, or how a too-clean touchscreen can impact your swiping. Yeah.

Anyway, this break-in process usually takes somewhere between a couple hours to a day or so of use in my experience. In addition to this normal trackball idiosyncrasy, the MX Ergo occasionally made a subtle grinding noise and felt noticeably gritty while moving the ball around. I was pretty concerned about this at first, but fortunately it resolved itself after a few additional days of use.

You many have noticed that I didn’t so much as give the time of day to Logitech’s software suite. You’re right, I didn’t. Chances are, you can guess what it does and already know if you’re going to use it or not.

Almost everything is awesome

Want to hear about that list of complaints? Let’s not waste any time. None of these are deal breakers, but they will ultimately stop me short of giving the MX Ergo an unreserved recommendation.

First up are the new back and forward buttons. Since your thumb will be otherwise occupied, the buttons on the MX Ergo are designed to be pressed by your index finger. Compared to the buttons on the M570 and the Elecom, they are, in my opinion, too short, too narrow, and not close enough together. I feel like it takes me more time to press them effectively, while the buttons on the other trackballs are always a twitch and a flick away. It doesn’t help matters that the back button is a bit further down on the MX Ergo either. On both the M570 and EX-G, I can position my finger between the buttons and rock back or forward as needed. The MX Ergo requires me to make a more targeted motion that is just plain slower. That may not be a problem for your hand, though.

Just look at the big beautiful buttons on the M570 and EX-G.

One complaint I hear leveled against trackballs is that, unlike optical mice, they need to be cleaned. I’ve always found that to be a silly thing to hold against them, because it takes just a few seconds to de-gunk them. Plus, it only needs to be done a few times a month at most in my experience. I’d say that complaining about cleaning a trackball before you’ve tried one is like getting squeamish about changing a diaper before you become a parent. You’ll get over it quickly. But I digress.

The MX Ergo is no exception to the trackballs-get-nasty rule. Unfortunately, cleaning it is more hassle than it should be. Every trackball I’ve used since the turn of the millennium has allowed me to remove the ball without requiring any tools. You can usually just poke your pinky finger though a hole in the bottom of the chassis and pop out the ball to get at the detritus. With the MX Ergo, though, unless you have very small fingers, you are going to need to find a pen or other instrument in order to reach the ball. That changes the prospect of cleaning it from “let me just take care of this in a sec” to “oh crud, I forgot to clean this stupid thing before I sat down again.” It’s pretty annoying to me, but maybe not so much for someone with a stash of right-sized prodding devices at their desk.

Just a couple more nits to pick. The flat orientation of the MX Ergo is essentially useless to me. That’s because, when the trackball is flat, the right edge is about one inch above the desk. My pinky naturally rests off the edge of the trackball, leaving it hanging in space without the desk itself to comfortably rest on like it can when the Ergo is in its 20º orientation. I suppose I could craft up some kind of “pinky pillow” with materials I have around the house for some reason, but that seems a bit silly. As with my other complaints, your mileage may vary.

Mind the gap. Also, it kinda looks like a calzone.

Finally, unless I’m missing a secret compartment somewhere, the MX Ergo is the first wireless input device I’ve seen in a long time that doesn’t include a built-in space to stash its receiver while it’s not in use. Especially considering that many of these will be used over Bluetooth, it seems silly to me not to give the user somewhere to keep the receiver tucked away for safe-keeping. Maybe you’ve already got a drawer full of Unifying Receivers and don’t care about a spare, though.

 

Conclusions

A lot of headlines claimed Logitech was “bringing back” the trackball with the release of the MX Ergo. For many of us, though, the trackball never left—Logitech did. The MX Ergo is coming back to a landscape where other fresh and increasingly popular options exist.

The Elecom EX-G is one of them. It cost less than half the $100 price of the MX Ergo and has an extra button for your ring finger (with Omron switches backing them that haven’t failed me yet). Unlike the Ergo, it’s also available in wired and left-handed versions. Did I mention that I like the Elecom’s back and forward buttons significantly better, too? Spec wise, the 750 to 1500 DPI range on the EX-G is also preferable to me as an out of the box configuration versus the Ergo’s 320 to 440 DPI range (but don’t worry about that too much on a trackball). The only complaints I have about the EX-G are that you may want to replace the ball with an alternative and that the wireless is flakey in an RF-heavy household beyond a few-foot range. For my main PC, I’d buy the wired EX-G if I had to do it again, as its trackball doesn’t need to move around much. My wireless EX-G is working perfectly at the office, though.

On the other hand, Logitech’s own M570 typically sells for about half of its own suggested price, making it one-quarter the cost of the MX Ergo. At that price, even with bad switches (which I’ve heard are better in new stock), it’s still a compelling offering compared to the Ergo. The original design of the back and forward buttons alone make a solid case for it and the robust wireless performance makes it better for HTPC duty than the Elecom. I’m afraid I can’t point at the MX Ergo and explain away the $75 price difference. Frankly, I think the M570 is selling for cheaper than it should right now.

I blame accidentally saying ‘MX570’ on only being awake for 20 minutes before recording.

That’s great and all fish, but why would I ever want to use a trackball in the first place? First of all, thank you for reading this far if you’re exclusively a mouse user. That’s a fair question. Since this is a review, and not a sales pitch, I’ll keep this part short. For mobile and HTPC use, nothing beats having your mousing surface integrated into your pointing device. Nearly as significantly, I’ve found that my hand and wrist feel better if I switch up the hardware I’m using to push my cursor around. That said, if you’re not already sold on trackballs in general, I can’t in good conscience recommend you shell out $100 for the MX Ergo. It would just be too big of a gamble.

So, if you aren’t sure about this whole trackball business, but you’re willing to give it a chance, pick up a cheap Logitech M570 and take it for a spin. If you hate it, good news: it was cheap and it’s potentially not long for this world anyway. If you like it, that’s also good news, because if its switches start to die, you can transplant the ball into an Elecom EX-G and still come out ahead compared to the cost of the MX Ergo. Or, you know, buy the MX Ergo. It’s terrific if you don’t expect the things I complained about to bother you.

Personally, I’m going to keep using the MX Ergo as my daily driver at home. There are a handful of problems to debate about, but the biggest one is the price compared to other comparable offerings. I’ve already cleared that hurdle to bring you this review, though. As long as the buttons keep working, I’m perfectly willing to accept that, like the new Logitech logo, a few things about the MX Ergo come up a little short.

Colton Westrate

I host BBQs, I tell stories, and I strive to keep folks happy.

Comments closed
    • telecaster
    • 5 years ago

    What’s the shareware you use? I too love the 570 though the wheel and buttons are quite noisy on my latest.

    • telecaster
    • 5 years ago

    Great review. One additional nit to pick: it’s quite hefty. I travel a lot and the MX Ergo weighs twice as much as the 570. Most of this is in the metal hinge plate. The weight is nice if you don’t plan on going anywhere, but it’s like a brick in your bag. And you can’t really use it without the metal plate.

    I would like the hinge better if it in fact did adjust in degrees from 0 to 20 as advertised, instead of either 0º or 20º. And the lack of a place to put the USB dongle is indeed annoying.

    It’s smooth enough to keep for a home mouse but I’ll be ordering a 570 for the road.

    • melgross
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve used all of their trackballs over the years. I can’t say that I’ve had problems with any, but I don’t remember any. I’ve been using the 570 since it came out, as has my wife, and have not had a single problem with them, so I don’t understand the complaining. I paid $39 each, and bought three, to have a spare, which is still in the box. I use them on Macs, and don’t use the software either, as there’s shareware that’s better.

    This new one looks interesting, but the comfort of the 570 is fine, so there’s no rush.

    • grimley
    • 5 years ago

    Have been using Logitech trackballs since the company’s inception. Those of us who prefer them to mice know what makes for a good device. I was encouraged when I learned that Logitech was sticking with this line of devices and I ordered the MX Ergo immediately. The device is well made and the tilting feature works quite well. Unfortunately, Logitech dropped the ball with respect to the control software. Setpoint is not compatible with the Ergo. A newer package called “Options” is meant to set “options” for the Ergo. Problem is, “Options” has NO options for pointer adjustments other than an anemic speed slider. The latter is largely ineffective. No adjustments for acceleration or anything else. Overall, useless. If you’re new to trackballs, don’t fall for the shills. If you’re accustomed to a snappily tuned M570 for example, stick with it. This is a serious form-over-function fail. I used the Ergo for all of 10 minutes and am now waiting on an RMA from Logitech. There is no excuse for this kind of one-size-fits-all nonsense from a company that claims to be paying attention to its clients.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    Logitech MX Master. Just got one for work. Nice kit.

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    Absolutely, I’ve fixed a couple of mine, and linked to a different guide in the review. I bought enough switches to fix 5 of them for about $10.

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 5 years ago

    Hah – I built a “wedge” for my CST-2545-5XW trackball using Lego – virtually identical angle for the Elecom featured on that reddit link. It helped improve the roll feel.

    Too bad the CST-2545-5XW is out of production. They only sell the CST-2545-5W now (1600 cpi maximum versus 3200 cpi maximum). To be fair, I don’t use more then 800 cpi even for my 4K monitor.

    • mrlinch
    • 5 years ago

    You can pretty easily replace the switches on the M570 with something more “clicky” and robust, for about $5 in parts. I did on mine after the switches on my M570 went flakey. Love the new clickiness and haven’t had any problems in about a year.

    Here’s the full ifixit guide on how to do it: [url<]https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Logitech+M570+Wireless+Trackball+Switches+Replacement/97182[/url<]

    • Kirudub
    • 5 years ago

    Good find with that Elecom! I’ll check that one when my MS Trackball dies on me… In fact, I might just buy the damn thing and expense it.

    Edit… ughh, it ships from Japan, so it’ll take a few months on the slow boat. =(

    • CScottG
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve had a range of trackballs over the years (..and even grew up playing the arcade game: Centipede).

    A classic trackball is generally preferred for high precision (from the user.. not necessarily from the device), but at a *much* slower pace. My favorite of these in design was the Logitech Trackman Marble FX (from a long time ago) because you could use both your fingers and your thumb. The classic trackball was often sold with CAD programs, particularly when looking at a 2D view. Those really old ones had very nice plastics for the ball that felt great with excellent glide, with real weight, and with a nice texture to touch (..though I know of no current designs that come anywhere close today). Still, I wouldn’t use this design for any gaming (including Centipede), because the action is so much slower.

    The thumb trackball (like we have reviewed here) however is *supreme* at speed (..and I like it withOUT the supplied positioning software). You can “flick” it with your thumb to move the cursor from one side of the screen to the other and then very quickly move it into the position you want. It’s so fast that I wonder why competitive gamers haven’t adopted it. Practically speaking: the design is more than accurate enough and easier to move – generally requiring much less movement from you to achieve any particular cursor location (and as a result it’s just faster).

    Both take a while to “master” but I’d say that the normal trackball is probably a bit easier to start into, but more difficult to ultimately “master”, while the thumb trackball takes more time to get use to initially.. but with a month or so (of gaming + general use) you should be very good and after a few months of regular use that pushes the limit of it’s capability (with speed), I think you’ll find it hard to go back to a regular mouse (no matter how good it is).

    Note that with the thumb trackball you can get a “carpel tunnel-like” reaction after extended use. I’ve had it bad after multiple days of use with long gaming sessions. When that happens you just stop using it for about a week and things should go back to normal. It can of course also hurt you when you start learning to use it and gain muscle memory, but that’s not what I’m really talking about here.

    • Vhalidictes
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve tried them over and over again. I can’t use my thumbs for hitting buttons, and I can’t get used to my index/middle fingers for ball movement. They look awesome but I can’t use them.

    • Forge
    • 5 years ago

    Very nice. I have M570s all over the place, they’re my default pointing device, but I might have to pick up a wired EX-G and give it a shot.

    Also, the free-spinning 1080 noscope…. Yessss…. Ask anyone in my late 90s/early 00s LAN party group about that. The context was UT99, with the rocket launcher, and any largish open space. A ballerina on crack leaps into the air, like a terribly lethal fidget spinner, and rockets find you. Over and over, rockets, from every angle, reaching out to every target. Glorious.

    • freebird
    • 5 years ago

    Thumb trackballs sux mouse balls… hurtz your thumb too! Ok for light usage, I actually have one hooked up to my Windoze 10 mining rig, because a didn’t want to waste a “real” mouse on it.

    • ZPrime
    • 5 years ago

    The Slimblade doesn’t have a scroll wheel. You scroll by physically spinning the ball around the Z axis. So the scroll smoothness is about the same as just moving the ball around.

    You can move the slimblade with index+middle fingers leaving thumb and pinky available for at least two buttons. I’ve never tried gaming on mine (it’s at work), but I imagine that some FPS work would be possible as long as you don’t need more than 2 buttons.

    I dislike thumb trackballs because they induce their own form of RSI, and RSI-avoidance is the whole reason I went to a trackball in the first place.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 5 years ago

    Thanks for your thoughts Kirudub and Khali.

    Your points certainly make sense to me… and I can see now why the MS Trackball Explorer is so well regarded.

    To that end, I just happened across a new model I hadn’t noticed existed until just now:
    The “Elecom HUGE”

    It looks like they actually *did* follow the MSTE layout, and even made the trackball itself a hint larger… it’s an ergonomic-mouse-style, but seemingly at a similar scale to the big trackballs.

    [url<]https://www.trackballmouse.org/elecom-m-ht1drbk-huge-wireless-trackball/#fullreview[/url<] Seen a lot of long-time MSTE users singing its praises... and a few lamenting that it comes "frustratingly close", mainly due to fine points about the ergonomics. Apparently it's better if you can 3D-print a wedge stand to tilt it to the side: [url<]https://www.reddit.com/r/Trackballs/comments/6r8po5/elecom_huge_trackball_on_a_stand/[/url<] I've got pretty large hands, so I'm mighty tempted to give this one a try.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    I used to use the TrackMan Marble back in the day. Then I took an arrow to the thumb.

    (it was great for precision aiming in FPS games, but the fatigue was eventually too much. I had the thumb version like this one)

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    Fair enough, I’d guess that the M570 has outsold all of them, though. I actually finally bought a Trackman Marble this summer, but only for a [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=119022&p=1355606#p1355606<]very specific purpose[/url<].

    • Kirudub
    • 5 years ago

    Yeah, the Kensington Expert is not good for gaming for the reasons Khali gives. It also has a scroll wheel that has a very “gritty” feel, which is a known “feature” that’s been remarked on and not fixed (the same has been remarked about on the Slimblade, so buyer beware).

    I only use mine for my design & DAW work when I want to give my hand a break from my Logitech MX Master mouse.

    The discontinued MSoft Trackball Explorer that I gush about in my intial post is VERY good for gaming, as it allows you to comfortably use your index & middle finger to control the ball while allowing you to use your thumb to trigger 2 key binds & use the scroll wheel for weapon switching, or whatever you want to assign to it (it can also be clicked).

    Why no-one else has tried to reproduce this layout is odd, and must be down to IP.

    I’ll most likely be forced to look on Ebay for a used model once mine kicks the bucket.

    Edit for speeling

    • omf
    • 5 years ago

    Ha! Well, if I’m not mistaken, there are more finger-driven trackballs out there than thumb-driven ones (in terms of models and vendors), so take that as you will… The special thing about the TM Marble is that it’s a *small* finger-driven trackball.

    • Kirudub
    • 5 years ago

    Ooh trackballs! Reminds me of my first use of a trackball with Centipede in the arcade.

    I’ve been using my Microsoft Trackball Explorer on my work/gaming rigs since the mid 90’s. Jeebus, now that I think about it…. over 20 years of continuous service!

    Shot of it: [url<]https://www.trackballmouse.org/microsoft-trackball-explorer/[/url<] It still works, even if it's a bit scarred/discolored, and the ball bearings have worn down a bit. Really a bummer that MSoft retired it. Like OMF said about his fave, I like the Explorer since your index finger and middle fingers are used to move the ball, NOT your thumb (which I find causes me discomfort after a while). The Explorer allows your thumb to work 2 buttons & the scroll wheel, and your 3rd/pinky can work 2 buttons. Great layout. Works REALLY well for FPS games; 180 spins are no problem, and head shots are plentiful. Only issue might be the low DPI on the sensor, but I'm still loving it. My backup trackball is the Kensigton Expert Mouse; again, since it allows for the index/middle fingers to move the ball (but not as good for gaming due to layout).

    • DoomGuy64
    • 5 years ago

    Being a fellow alternative tech user of things like optical drives, maybe I should be the first to say, [spoiler<]"you're doing it wrong", in order to be a complete jerk and appeal to groupthink lynch mob mentality. /sarcasm Just because someone uses a device you don't use, doesn't make it useless or appropriate to harass them about using it. Just felt that needed to be said, because of how toxic some forum members are about people using hardware they don't use. There is nothing wrong with using alternative tech, and [i<]having the ability to choose is what makes using a PC great.[/i<] [/spoiler<] Peace out, loved the review.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 5 years ago

    Thumb trackballs pretty well ruin my thumb and mice get uncomfortable too quickly. So at least for me, its either a finger trackball or Thinkpad eraser.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 5 years ago

    With the marble, I’m pretty sure left click with my thumb and right click with my pinky. Index and middle fingers are on the ball.

    It does need a scroll wheel, otherwise perfect.

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    It’s funny, I wrote a line about this that I cut from the review. Essentially it said, “I think people that like finger trackballs are just as crazy as mouse people think I am for liking thumb trackballs.”

    To each their own. 🙂

    • TwoEars
    • 5 years ago

    Trackballs are perfect for travel or when laying on the couch/bed. Better than the integrated touchpad and doesn’t require a mouspad. I have two logitech M570’s around the house.

    • Khali
    • 5 years ago

    My major issue with the Trackman Marble was the fingers you use to move the ball are also the same ones you use to click the buttons. Made playing most games a hassle for me.

    I have never had an issue with thumb fatigue or accuracy due to my thumb not being as dexterous than my fingers. It all comes down to what your used to using.

    • Khali
    • 5 years ago

    While I have not tried the two from Kensington I have tried several that had the ball in the upper center that you had to use your fingers on. They all had the same flaw. The fingers you use to move the ball around are also the same fingers you use to click the buttons with. So for gaming they are rather lame. You cant move and shoot at the same time in a FPS for instance.

    Thumb style trackballs on the other hand do offer smoothness and accuracy. The trick is sticking out the first couple of days to a week until you get used to using it. Plus there is always a break in period for a new trackball where they don’t seem very smooth at first.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 5 years ago

    Anyone have any thoughts regarding these “mouse-style” thumb-trackballs, versus the likes of the Kensington Slimblade or Expert?
    I’ve not tried any before, but my intuition tells me a bigger ball will feel both smoother and more accurate. I also get the feeling just controlling something with my fingers vs. my thumb is likely to feel like I have more control. Is this the case, or is there little difference in practice?

    I’m very tempted to get a Slimblade… seems to be about the only big-style trackball that doesn’t look like something out of the 80s (which in fairness, some of them probably are) 😛

    • Goty
    • 5 years ago

    I also used to game with one. I was good enough with it to get into the top ten globally in Tribes on The CLQ.

    • omf
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve been using the [url=http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/trackman-marble?crid=7<]Logitech Trackman Marble[/url<] since it came out in the late 90's. I like it a lot better than most trackballs available (like those in this article), because you use your first two fingers instead of your thumb to move the ball. Your fingers are much more dexterous and less prone to fatigue than your thumb, so it makes a lot of sense. My only minor complaint is that I wish they'd add a scroll wheel somehow. The design has gone practically unchanged since it was first introduced. I remember being pretty excited when they finally made it available with a USB interface instead of PS/2!

    • thedosbox
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<] my theory is that the extra points are there to reduce ball jiggle or lift during intense use [/quote<] Must resist the temptation. Damnit. That's what she said.

    • CScottG
    • 5 years ago

    Why do I feel like some Jedi has waved his/her hand in front of me and said:

    “This is NOT the trackball you were looking for.”

    (Great review Colton!)

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    [url=https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS726US726&tbm=isch&q=thumb+scroll+wheel&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjn_MLXv9XWAhWFMSYKHfMIAjAQBQgkKAA&biw=1018&bih=969&dpr=1<]They exist[/url<], but they are pretty rare. Probably the best known is the MX Master or the Rat 7.

    • UberGerbil
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Personally, I'd prefer a thumb-driven scroll wheel for horizonal scrolling[/quote<]I've wanted this too, but I've never seen a mouse that offered it. But maybe I haven't looked hard enough?

    • meerkt
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]accept that, like the new Logitech logo, a few things about the MX Ergo come up a little short.[/quote<] LucasArts FTW!

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    Very quiet, but audible.

    • Wirko
    • 5 years ago

    Mouse wheel silent or noisy?

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    Notched, no complaints.

    • flashbacck
    • 5 years ago

    Mouse wheel smooth or notched?

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve been using trackballs for years. Yes, you can game on it. Back when I spent too much time playing FPS’s people used to be amazed at my skills it, especially at CS and CS:Source. I agree, doing mousing on the go is a lot easier with a trackball. That’s specifically why I started using it. Much easier to use on a couch while gaming.

    My old wired Logitech trackball died this year (switches) so I picked up the MX570. I’ll wait until my current MX570 dies before I look to replace it as the upgrades don’t seem that great.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Khali
    • 5 years ago

    Very nice article. I wish more places reviewed Trackballs. I loved my Trackman Wheel back in the day. When Logitech discontinued it and replaced with the M570 I was not a happy camper. Not offering it in a wired version made no sense to me unless Logitech had stock in battery companies. Then there are the horrible switches. A typical M570 might last me a year if I’m lucky. My current one has been acting up for the last month and its time to replace it. Thanks to this article Logitech won’t be getting my money this time. I’m going to give the Elcom a spin. Wired with good switches sounds good to me at this point.

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