6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Maddeningly flawed design,
This review is from: Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman - 910-000810 (Accessory)I was looking for a replacement for my treasured (and sadly out of production) Microsoft Trackball Explorers, which are now far too valuable to risk in an office environment. The Logitech looked like the closest match available, so I took a gamble on it, one which I'm rapidly regretting.
The hand position initially seems comfortable enough, but there are many annoying design flaws once you start to use it:
1) The device is to tall, and requires your hand to stay elevated. It could have been flattened, and the primary button put on the base, rather than half way up.
2) The scroll wheel is placed too far away from the trackball. Unless you've got freakishly thick fingers, your index finger will not rest on the scroll wheel, so you have to keep your hand stretched, or keep shifting your index finger.
3) The Logitech splits the three main buttons over three different fingers. This requires a distracting shift in attention from the trackball to the buttons.
4) The trackball axes are deliberately skewed by around 30 degrees, e.g. rotating the ball directly to the right produces a diagonal right-and-up motion of the pointer. You can't fix this by just rotating the device, since then your hand doesn't sit comfortably on it.
While the button and axis issues can be ameliorated a little by fiddling with the device settings (i.e. to put the three main buttons under your thumb, where they belong), it's unnecessarily annoying to have to do so. These are glaring design flaws.
Whomever designed this device must have been a freak, a sadist, or just someone who hates trackballs. Since the Microsoft Trackball Explorer was available a good decade ago, and had none of these issues, all Logitech had to do was to clone it to produce the ideal input device. Instead, they fiddled with the design and came up with something that's a pale shadow of the Microsoft device.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 May 2010 17:21:13 BDT
I reckon this reviewer has not used the directional adjustment settings to fix his issue with pointer movement. I do not see the problem with moving your index finger from the ball to work the wheel; I don't use the wheel very often, in any case. It sounds like he is using third and fourth fingers to move the ball, so no wonder he is having problems. I recommend using index and third fingers to move the ball. The fact that the hand position is angled actually makes a better, less straining position than a flat tool. The smoothness and lightness of ball movement is far superior to the MS Trackball Explorer, and so is every other aspect of its design.
Posted on 25 Jun 2010 00:10:02 BDT
Mr. P. G. Taylor says:
I bought this very same Trackball for the very same reasons - to try and replace my Microsoft Trackball Explorer (i had three, only the one i use at work still works, and the bearings are well worn on that one). I found the button layout to be rather cramped and the design not as ergonomic as the MSTE. I might have got used to it, but the wireless bit kept screwing up and somehow losing signal. If there had been a wired version i might have stuck with it, but i sold it on in the end. I've tried a few other Logitech devices, but they have fallen short of my MSTE - my last device was a Trackman Marble, which apart from freezing (requiring the ball to be jolted or lifted up then down to clear it) had ergonomic issues again, with the extra buttons being rather awkward and no seperate scroll wheel. I might try a Trackman Wheel Mouse, 'cept I notice its only got two buttons.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2010 14:04:47 BDT
Colin MacDonald says:
You reckon wrong, sir. It's not "my" issue with pointer movement, it's an objective observation that the axes are deliberately skewed by around 30 degrees. Yes, this can be fixed in software (good luck if you're not on Windows though), but it's an insane design decision which the user shouldn't have to fix in software.
You don't use the scroll wheel often? Bully for you - this review is for the benefit of those who do, and who will find it awkward to either move their index finger off the ball, or use middle and ring fingers to control it.
I'll grant that with longer fingers, the height of the device wouldn't be such an issue, but short fingered users cannot get their palm down while keeping fingers on the ball and button.
As I use the Logitech at work and the MS Trackball Explorer at home, I'll stand by my verdict that the MS device is 'far superior' in ever way.
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