The PhoneBoy Blog


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Adesso Optical Trackball

I have always been a huge fan of trackballs. In fact, on my first Mac back in the 1980s, I had a Kensington Expert Mouse with an 8-ball as the actual trackball. No, you couldn’t buy them that way, but yes, the trackballs were big enough you could put an actual billiard ball in my trackball. And I loved it.

When Adesso’s PR firm asked me if I wanted to review their new Optical Trackball, I jumped on it. Yes, it has been some time since I’ve owned a trackball. 15 years or so. Not quite sure why I never picked one up in the years since. Mostly inertia, I guess, as I never found one I liked quite as much as my old one.

The trackball I was back in the late 1980s, well before mice and trackballs went digital. They had analog rollers that needed cleaning often. The trackball was also pretty big, meaning it took up a lot of room.

By comparison, Adesso’s Optical Trackball is smaller and lighter in many respects. It’s also digital, which means very tiny rollers that don’t require constant cleaning. The ball itself is much smaller than my old Expert Mouse, and it’s really light and easy to move around. It’s also much more accurate–800dpi to be exact. Never quite sure what impact that actually has on my day to day use, but I did have to lower the mouse tracking speed settings on my MacBook Pro or it’d be too easy to overshoot things.

The challenge with any new trackball is learning where the optimal spot is for your hand. The left and right mouse buttons are a little higher up than I would have liked, at least at first. It didn’t take long for my hand to find the sweet spot where those buttons are easily reachable. The scroll wheel is in a good location for my thumb, allowing me to scroll pages up and down easily.

I am finding this trackball delightful to use. At $30 from Adesso (or less if you shop around), it’s also a pretty fair price! Certainly cheaper than my old Expert Mouse. Compatible with pretty much anything that supports a USB mouse (i.e. Mac, Windows and likely Linux). No drivers to install, either. It just works.


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