I recently bought myself my first trackball mouse. I have spent many hours every day at the computer, and I have done this for many years. I decided if I am to continue having a job in software development for the next 40 years I would have to look out for myself. I had heard about trackball mice before but I thought they were only for a small group of people. I decided to give it a try in order to create more variation in the way I work.
After some browsing around the Internet and reading several articles I concluded this:
- A regular mouse can be tough on your wrists and shoulders.
- Accuracy is not a problem, as long as you do not have to be pixel precise (my own judgement). Some even claim that trackballs are more precise than regular mice.
- Variation is key - You can always use a trackball mouse at home and a regular mouse at work and vice versa.
- Trackball mice are only "better" if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or another illness.
- It often comes down to personal preference.
A Trackball mouse is not better unless you have issues with your wrists or shoulders. A trackball mouse can be used preventively, but I believe sitting correctly and taking breaks are much more important. Variation is always a good thing - I myself have a regular mouse at the office and a trackball one at home.
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
I would suggest you try a trackball mouse yourself and see if you like it. It took me only a day or two to get used to it. Now I do not even have to concentrate to use it. I bought the "Kensington Expert Trackball Mouse" as it seemed pretty popular and well-known. It makes scrolling web pages a pleasure with its scrolling wheel. One thing I still have to get used to, is using the buttons at the top.
HOWEVER my “Kensington Expert Trackball mouse” broke not long ago. After 5 years of heavy use it suddenly would no longer connect. I had grown so fond of trackball mice that I wanted a new one. I bought the Kensington SlimBlade Trackball Mouse:
The slimblade is a lot like the expert trackball mouse. But it is not as tall and it does not have the scroll wheel. Instead of the scroll wheel, you scroll by twisting the ball left or right. This works well and seems to make the scrolling more precise than what I could get with the expert version.
In recent years I started standing up at work and I bought a more ergonomic keyboard. I believe that variation is the key and standing up walking around once in a while is a great help. A great excuse I have for this is getting coffee or water. I also got myself a wireless headset so that I can walk away from the computer during meetings. I use a regular mouse at work and a trackball at home for variation (yes I even use the trackball for gaming).
Do you use a trackball mouse? Please share your experiences down in the comments below! If you have another type of trackball mouse I would love to add it to the list.