I’m not as young as I used to be. I’ve been grappling with finding the best mouse for everyday use for a while now, in part, because my body has been telling me I need to change. The aches in the wrists and the fingers are more frequent and lasting longer, and even my beloved Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro can’t change that.
Before I worked at Windows Central I spent years working on massive laptops with dodgy trackpads and desktop PCs in communal office spaces with terrible mice. So it’s been well over a decade in the making, but finally, I’ve decided to do something about it.
Out of the blue, I decided to try a trackball. The results have been immediately noticeable to the point that I’m absolutely convinced and won’t be going back to using a regular mouse as my daily driver. It’s better than I ever imagined it could be.
What’s different about a trackball?
Source: Windows Central
The main difference to using a trackball over a normal mouse is the movement. The only part that moves is the ball, so the rest of the mouse stays static. You still get buttons and a scroll wheel, though exact designs will vary, but the crucial factor is that you’re not required to move your wrist across the desk.
Instead, your wrist remains static and you use your fingers to push and pull the ball, moving the cursor across the screen as you go. This is the biggest change and for me, the most comfortable.
Spending five days a week in front of the PC working, then some evenings gaming, all that wrist motion from moving the mouse across the desk has been creating some pretty bad fatigue, and while it hasn’t completely gone (yet), after a few weeks with a trackball I’ve noticed a massive change.
The model I got is the Kensington Orbit. In part because it wasn’t very expensive and if I couldn’t get along I wasn’t too much out of pocket. But it’s also got an interesting design which I’ve really resonated with. The two main mouse buttons are on either side of the trackball, with a scroll ring surrounding it. To scroll up and down webpages I now rotate the ring with my thumb and ring finger, and it’s been so much nicer to use than a regular scroll wheel.
An unexpected side effect is I have more desk space now since I’m not devoting a large chunk of it to a mousepad.
What a trackball can’t do
Source: Windows CentralGames like this are not good with a trackball.
In something like Age of Empires or Oxygen Not Included, it’s fine. But for shooters, it is not. It’s just not accurate enough, and though I could probably practice, it’s easier to sub in a proper gaming mouse.
After all, I’m not gaming on my Logitech Ergo K860 keyboard either.
You also don’t get the sort of customizable buttons you might find on a gaming mouse, either. So if you’re using those as shortcuts for non-gaming features, as I used to, then you’ll be missing out on those as well.
A new approach
Source: Windows Central
If, like me, you’re plagued with wrist fatigue then give it a try. You can pick up a good trackball for not a lot of money if you’re not sure, as I wasn’t, and it could be the change you’ve been looking for.
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