Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Those who work using a computer all day long know that the wrist sometimes gets sore due to repetition of movements. This is reduced with the use of an ergonomic mouse, such as the trackball. But as this accessory is not so well known around here, we will help you to invest in the best model.

For that, we will show you the configurations and characteristics of this peripheral and explain the difference between the trackball and the conventional mouse.




Summary

  • The main difference between the trackball and a traditional mouse is the presence of a ball that is used to move the cursor.
  • The trackball is more ergonomic, requires less space and can be used as a control.
  • The available models differ in design, number of extra buttons and presence or not of a wrist support.

The Best Trackball: Our Picks

Buying Guide: all about the trackball

The trackball is still a new accessory among the Brasilian public. Mostly used by gamers, however, this peripheral can be useful for many people. In the Buying Guide that starts now you will find out that and much more.

Mão sobre um trackball e teclado ao lado.

The trackball is more precise and comfortable to use. (Source: Infilmity: 4461478911 / Flickr.com)

Trackball: What is it and what is it used for?

The trackball is a type of mouse that has a ball on top of it. With this, instead of moving the whole device to trigger the stroke on the computer or notebook screen, you just roll the moving ball.

Because of this, a trackball has the function of increasing the user's control over the commands on the computer, as well as allowing greater comfort in performing these commands.

In addition, as we will see in this article, today there is already a combination between the traditional mouse and the trackball.

What is the difference between trackball and traditional mouse?

As we have just seen, the main difference between a trackball and a mouse is in its structure. The mobile ball, with which we can activate and move the cursor on the computer screen, is what guarantees the advantages of the trackball.

Therefore, the trackball requires a smaller surface area than the mouse. After all, with the conventional mouse you have to move it on the table to direct the cursor.

The trackball, on the other hand, stays stationary because only the ball on the top is moved. Another advantage of the trackball compared to the mouse is that to control it we only need to use the fingertips, which helps in accuracy.

But more than that, the trackball stands out for its improved ergonomics, as its way of working ensures less pressure on the wrist.

This reduces the chances of the user developing repetitive strain injury problems (RSI). And this is especially important for those who work long hours using the mouse or playing videogames.

On the other hand, it is common for users of the trackball to initially feel some difficulty in using it.

Below, you will find a summary of the main differences between a conventional mouse and a trackball:

Trackball Conventional mouse
Structure It has a ball that activates the cursor It is necessary to move the mouse to activate the cursor
Functionality Needs little space Needs more space to move
Ergonomics Bigger Smaller
Commands More exact Less exact

What is the difference between the trackball and the trackpad?

Another doubt that may arise when you are buying the trackball is in relation to the trackpad. However, they are two different devices.

The trackpad is a touchpad type trackball, just like the mouse that comes built into the notebook. In addition, the trackpads are exclusive to Apple devices.

Purchase criteria: What to consider when comparing trackball types

OK, now you know the advantages of the trackball. Now it is time to choose the ideal model. For this, you will need to evaluate the following:

Model

The most common trackball model is the one with the command ball in the centre of the device.

However, nowadays there are options with the ball on the side. In this case, the device is a combination of a traditional mouse and a trackball.

Vários trackballs portáteis coloridos.

The portable trackball resembles a virtual reality control. (Source: Divulgação figatia/ Amazon.com.br)

This model has two buttons for clicking and a central scroll, and the sphere for lateral command.

Besides these two models, you can also buy the portable trackball, which can be held in the hand and is similar to a virtual reality controller XBox.

Wireless

Also take into account that you will find two types of trackball when it comes to operating mode: wired or wireless.

The portable trackball is the one with wireless technology. This is a practical and versatile option for those who travel a lot for work and for those who conduct external meetings, in addition to video game players.

You will also find models with both types of operation. In this case, the trackball can work via Bluetooth or with the USB cable.

Ambidextrous

Unlike the traditional mouse, the trackball has an ambidextrous design, and can be used with both the left and right hand.

The trackball has an ambidextrous design.

However, before buying your trackball, you must check this information as there are also specific models for left-handed people and the mouse with trackball, which may be for right-handed people.

In this case, the main difference, however, is in relation to the command buttons and the lateral location of the sphere.

Extras

Another point that you should consider when buying your trackball is that, depending on the model, the accessory may have extra features that will be very functional on a daily basis.

An example is the mouse that has the traditional function combined with the trackball, which has a side elevation. This feature allows you to adjust the height of your wrist position, between 0° and 20°.

This allows you to position your wrist higher or lower, inclined or not, which further increases comfort and ergonomics while using the accessory.

Another feature you may find is the wrist support. Some trackballs already come with this support attached to the device. With this, you can rest your wrist on it when using the trackball.

Summary

The trackball is a type of mouse. But what makes it stand out is that it has a ball with which you move the cursor around the computer screen. So, it needs less space on your desk and is even more ergonomic.

So, the trackball is the best option for those who spend long hours in front of the computer. To invest in the best model, it is worth considering the design, operation mode and extra features.

(Source of the image: eugenesergeev/123rf)

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