Optical Expert Mouse review

The trackball mouse is designed to be an alternative to the traditional mouse, with the cursor controlled by a large weighted ball. The ball itself is approximately the size of a snooker ball, finished in a sparkly grey effect. Nostalgic memories of furiously spinning trackball-operated 1980s coin-operated arcade machines got us excited about this intuitive-looking product.

Kensington claims the large trackball offers maximum control for precise optical tracking. We’re not certain if it’s really more accurate, but it’s certainly an option for those looking for an alternative to a standard mouse.

Surrounding the ball is a ring for scrolling, and two large assignable click buttons are positioned on the mouse’s sides. It’s equally suitable for left- or right-handed users thanks to its symmetrical design, and comes complete with a detachable, leather-effect, padded wrist rest that fixes to the base. Included in the package is software to configure the mouse’s setup.

The trackball itself is exceptionally easy to manipulate when navigating your desktop. It stays stationary when needed and moves easily when commanded, giving excellent precision and comfort. It felt instantly easy and intuitive to navigate, with the scroll wheel working well too – even if its action is far from the ‘super smooth’ navigation advertised by Kensington.

The ball pops out easily enough for cleaning purposes, and keeping the mouse gunge-free will be less of a concern than with some trackball models. Under the ball is a laser-style LED that ‘reads’ the motion of the mouse.

We would have liked the option to act out simple mouse-clicks by pressing the ball with the palm of the hand. But the facility to program any four of the surrounding buttons is a useful feature for tuning the Kensington to personal preferences, and most users will be able to find a hand position that suits them.

OUR VERDICT

We won’t be replacing our mouse with this trackball version for professional work, but those seeking an alternative hand position may rate the Trackball Mouse. It’s also handy when desk space is restricted.

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