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Anyone who works in an office or works with computers is familiar with a computer mouse. Without a mouse, all of us would find it quite difficult to navigate our way around the computer screen. While we’re all familiar with the regular mouse, a type of mouse that not all workers are familiar with is a trackball mouse.
A trackball is an ergonomic peripheral that’s mostly used by those who wish to prevent wrist injury or those who already suffer from wrist or shoulder troubles. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball. If you’re beginning to experience wrist issues or if you’d like to avoid any wrist discomfort, maybe this trackball will suit you.
Are Trackball Mouses Better?
A trackball mouse has several advantages over a standard mouse. While they perform the same tasks, trackballs work differently. Implied in its name, trackballs have rotating balls on the top or sides that a user rolls when they want their pointer to go somewhere or do something. Most trackballs are either operated by thumb or fingers, but there are also models that can be controlled using the palm of the hand.
Trackballs are great for both left and right-handed individuals as they can be used in the same way. All one has to do is to program the buttons to suit their needs, no matter which hand is used. A standard mouse can cause physical strain to the user. A trackball, on the other hand, only requires the user to move the large ball and not the mouse itself. Since one only needs to move the ball to operate the pointer on the entire screen, it remains in one spot, unlike a regular computer mouse. Additionally, because it doesn’t have to be moved around, a user doesn’t need to have a wide surface area despite the large size of a trackball.
Trackballs are also more favored by graphic designers due to their precision and accuracy. Due to that, a lot of artists have traded in their Wacom Tablet for trackballs. They’re also popular with gamers as they offer fluid consistent movement.
Is a Trackball Better For Carpal Tunnel?
While there are no products that can completely prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, there are items that can help reduce the risk and provide relief as well, such as vertical mice or trackballs. Unlike a regular computer mouse that needs your hand to move it across your workspace for you to reach your desired position on the screen, trackballs don’t require to be moved across the desktop.
A trackball is seen as less fatiguing for some tasks, allowing it to be used by people who have conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. By using a thumb-operated trackball or a finger-operated trackball, you’ll lessen the strain on your wrist and arm.
Are Kensington Mouses Good?
Kensington is a trusted brand that has been around for over 40 years. They’re known for making docking stations, computer cable locks, mice, trackballs, and other ergonomic products that have rave reviews around the globe. The brand prides itself on maintaining four core values, namely design, quality, support, and sustainability.
Kensington released its trackball product over a decade ago but it hasn’t dramatically changed any of its design aspects. Rather, the improvement of their products is found in subtle refinements, allowing them to evolve into mature and reliable devices that can be used by anyone.
About the Kensington Expert Trackball Mouse
Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball
|Product Dimensions||55mm (Trackball diameter)|
A trackball may look odd to anyone who’s never used it. After all, we’re so used to the standard mouse that has two buttons for clicking and a scroll wheel in the middle while a trackball is a mouse with a huge ball sitting either in the center or on the side of the body. Despite how odd it may look, a trackball can aid you in a lot of ways.
The Kensington Expert Trackball is an ergonomic alternative for those who suffer from wrist pain and other issues due to using a typical computer mouse. Many mouse reviews on the world wide web consider this as one of the best trackballs around. Let’s get into its specifics to find out why.
Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball Features
The first prototype of a trackball was invented way back in 1952 with a bowling ball acting as the control. Thanks to the development of technology, we’ve come a long way from having an immensely large ball to a marginally smaller ball that fits better with our hands. The Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless, with its bright, red ball that’s almost the same size as a billiard ball, provides relief from wrist strains and more. Check out its highlights:
The Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless is a rather large device, but don’t let its size deter you. It has an ergonomic, symmetrical design and a simple grid layout that allows you to use it in a natural and comfortable manner once you’re suited to your preferred hand placement. At the center of the mouse cradle sits the large ball, and it’s surrounded by a scroll ring and four buttons.
The big trackball, designed as a perfect sphere for exceptional precision, is smooth to the touch despite its size and weight. Its ambidextrous design allows it to be used by right-handed or left-handed people. Moreover, the Kensington Expert comes with a detachable wrist rest for extra support.
Great Build Quality
With over 40 years of expertise in the industry, it’s not a wonder that Kensington produced the Expert Trackball with excellent build quality. The Expert Mouse Wireless is constructed with premium plastic materials, making it a sturdy and robust wedge. It even has small rubber feet on the bottom of the base, ensuring that it doesn’t move across your desk when in use.
The scroll wheel is made out of solid rubber that turns very smoothly. There is also the detachable wrist rest that is comfortable yet firm, offering good support. It makes use of leatherette for its cover and while it may not be plush, it’s soft and thick enough to ensure that your wrist and hand stay in an ideal position to reduce pain, even during long sessions.
Four Programmable Buttons
The Kensington Expert Wireless features four buttons that you can program to your liking. The buttons are springy, unlike most mice out there. With the use of the KensingtonWorks Software, you can adjust things such as pointer speed, scrolling speed, command it to launch applications, and such. You can also set combination keys for the two top buttons and the two lower buttons, giving you a total of 6 button commands according to your preference.
For example, if you own a Mac, you can set the top two buttons to activate Mission Control or the Launchpad. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to press both buttons in the same second either; Kensington’s software is great enough at distinguishing clicks.
Dual Wireless Technology
While Kensington also has a wired version of the Expert mouse, the wireless model raises its usability to a whole nother level. The Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball has dual wireless technology, allowing you to connect via Bluetooth or through a 2.4GHz USB nano receiver. Simply toggle the switch on the bottom of the device to activate the Bluetooth mode.
As for the USB dongle, you’ll find it stored on the bottom of the device, behind the battery door. The receiver is plug-and-play and already paired with the Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball. Simply toggle the switch to 2.4GHz mode, plug the receiver into your computer, and install the two AA batteries included for it to work. Additionally, it features an auto-sleep mode that kicks in when the mouse is not in use, helping conserve battery life.
Pros and Cons of the Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball
|✔ Ergonomic ambidextrous design|
✔ Comes with a wrist pad
✔ Has four programmable buttons
✔ Also available as a wired model
|✘ Not portable |
✘ Ball can fall out when turned upside down
What People Are Saying About It
A lot of people switch to using trackballs to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury or lessen wrist pain that they already experience. An excellent trackball that you can use to replace your regular mouse is the Kensington Expert. This mouse is rather large in size, making it ideal for those with big hands or longer fingers. It also has an easy-to-use layout and a fluid operation. Your computer may take a few seconds to sync with it but it’ll be smooth sailing after that.
The buttons are springy when clicked, the ball is sleek and smooth to touch, and it has a scrolling ring too for an even better operation. Its body is quite robust, ensuring that it’s stable whenever in use. It comes with a wrist rest too, providing you with the comfort and support that your hand needs.
“The Kensington Expert is a great trackball mouse for office or multimedia use. It has exceptional ergonomics that should remain comfortable even during extended uses. Its large, programmable buttons are clicky and feel fairly durable.”
Where To Buy The Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball
The Kensington Expert comes in both wired and wireless models. Considering this trackball for your workstation? Head on over to Amazon to get the best deals and prices! Additionally, if you’d like someone to walk you through the usage of this mouse, Amazon offers free tech support over the phone.
Interested in other ergonomic peripherals? Check out our guide to the best ergonomic accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you use the Kensington Expert Trackball?
You might feel intimidated seeing the Kensington Expert and worry about using it but fear not, for this mouse is pretty user-friendly. Thanks to its ambidextrous design, the Expert can be used with either your right hand or left hand.
If you’re a new trackball user, it’s important to ensure that your hand sits in the right place on the wrist rest and your fingers in the correct position. With the Expert, the one position that you can do is to roll the ball using three fingers while your thumb and pinky rest on the two lower buttons.
Another way is to use it is to “claw grip” the top end of the ball and occasionally rest your index finger and ring finger on the two top buttons. Your ring finger can also be used to spin the scroll ring while your index and middle finger can control the ball.
What is the difference between a scroll ring and a scroll wheel?
A scroll wheel is a vertically-oriented wheel that can be found between the left and right buttons of a standard mouse. A scroll ring encircles a trackball. It operates similarly to a scroll wheel, allowing you to rotate it with your thumb or fourth finger while still in contact with the ball. With the scroll ring, you can move your cursor and scroll up and down simultaneously.
Are there alternatives to the Kensington Expert?
If the Expert isn’t available to you, fret not for there are other trackballs that you can look into. One of them is the Expert’s sibling, the Kensington Orbit. The Expert is a poor choice when it comes to portability; on the other hand, the Orbit has a smaller stature, allowing you to bring it wherever you want. It also features a ridged, rubber scroll ring around the ball.
Another one that you can consider is the Logitech MX ERGO. Part of the MX lineup, this mouse has its ball located on the side, making it ideal for those used to a palm grip. You can also look into the Logitech Ergo M575 that has a right-handed design and is well-suited for a palm grip or claw grip. Compared to the Expert, the Ergo M575 uses only one AA battery. Both the MX ERGO and Ergo M575 are compatible with the Logitech Options software for you to customize the mouse buttons.