Logitech's MX Ergo trackball provides ergonomics, multiple device control to Mac users

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Logitech is revisiting ergonomics on the Mac, with the new MX Ergo wireless trackball, allowing users to customize angle for maximum comfort.




The MX Ergo is Logitech's first new trackball in nine years. Users can increase the angle on the MX Ergo up to 20 degrees from default to improve wrist posture. A sculpted shape of the device gives the user full palm and finger support, and a soft rubber helps with grip.

Logitech claims that the 500 mAh rechargeable battery in the unit lasts for up to four months on a full charge. A one-minute charge gives a "complete day of work," according to the company.

The MX Ergo is compatible with Logitech's Easy-Switch and Flow features through the Logitech Options software, allowing users to switch between multiple computers, including macOS, with one keyboard and/or mouse.

Tracking ranges between 320 dpi and 440 dpi. Eight buttons adorn the device, and are configurable in software.

Connectivity is provided by either Logitech's USB-A Unifying Receiver, or through Bluetooth. Minimum system requirements for either are macOS 10.12 or newer, or Windows 8 or newer for Bluetooth.





The Logitech MX Ergo is priced at $99.99 and expected to be available at Logitech.com and select retail stores throughout the U.S. in September. A MX Ergo Plus is expected at Best Buy, but no information regarding differences is available at this time.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    The 90s called - it wants its trackball back. :)

    Using a trackball is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I tried one years ago and just couldn't adapt to it. After decades of computing, I still prefer a traditional mouse.
    slprescott
  • Reply 2 of 20
    I still use my Kensington trackball and found it to be great. With it the cursor can travel all over the screen (30 inch Apple Cinema Display) with ease.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 20
    zroger73 said:
    The 90s called - it wants its trackball back. :)

    Using a trackball is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I tried one years ago and just couldn't adapt to it. After decades of computing, I still prefer a traditional mouse.
    I have been using it for 20 years. Mouse is imprecise and requires arm movement. Trackbal requires fingertip movemement. If you write "zillion"s of lines of code or do publishing designs or engineering designs with CAD you may start understanding purpose of trackballs. Now smart mouse helps, but we are not talking about scrolling window, but rather about precise mouse pointer positioning without workout on a table. You have also other devices for this, but they are more expensive.

    It is not about expereince, but about practicality. Not everything that is fashionable is practical. I find some fancy solutions in todays world that do not cut for effective and productive work (tabbing is one of them as well).
    edited September 2017 pscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 20
    zroger73 said:
    The 90s called - it wants its trackball back. :)

    Using a trackball is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I tried one years ago and just couldn't adapt to it. After decades of computing, I still prefer a traditional mouse.
    I prefer a trackball.  It is more precise than a mouse. You can move the cursor far more quickly with very little movement with a trackball. You can't get carpal tunnel syndrome as easily with a trackball compared to a mouse.

    But the trackball should be moved with the index finger, not the thumb as in this new trackball.  We use our index fingers to point, not our thumbs. 
    Ergonomically it is far easier and more precise to use a trackball moved with the index finger. 

    I wish Logitech would redesign their trackballs to use the index finger not the thumb.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,056member
    zroger73 said:
    The 90s called - it wants its trackball back. :)

    Using a trackball is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I tried one years ago and just couldn't adapt to it. After decades of computing, I still prefer a traditional mouse.
    Not for me. I’ve been using trackballs since the 1980s. I would never use a mouse. What a pain. I can’t understand how anyone can put up with that constant moving around, and falling off the pad, or edge of the desk, or hitting something while trying to get to the edge of the screen.

    i also like knowing that it’s always where I expect it to be.

    no thank you!
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 6 of 20
    I have been using it for 20 years. Mouse is imprecise and requires arm movement.

    Fascinating that you said that, because my experience is the opposite: I've been using a mouse since 1980 and find it much more precise and intuitive than either a trackball or trackpad.  And my mouse requires only fingertip control, no movement of arms or hand.  Of course I respect your opinion -- it's just interesting that each person has a completely different experience.
    zroger73
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I went from mouse to trackball many years ago, never looked back, then I went ambidextrous with left hand prominent on track pad and trackball right hand, great for photo edit +. My father inlaw was a heavy mouse user and got shakey so the track ball keeps him steady now, just sayin thinking about the long hall you may be a switcher, as these do help fatigue +.I'm getting one even though I agree index finger control is preferable, maybe I can tilt it into submission.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    zroger73 said:
    The 90s called - it wants its trackball back. :)

    Using a trackball is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I tried one years ago and just couldn't adapt to it. After decades of computing, I still prefer a traditional mouse.
    I have been using it for 20 years. Mouse is imprecise and requires arm movement. Trackbal requires fingertip movemement. If you write "zillion"s of lines of code or do publishing designs or engineering designs with CAD you may start understanding purpose of trackballs. 
    Actually, I use AutoCAD daily at work. I also also use CoDeSys to write code for industrial PLCs, so I'm familiar with both CAD and coding. Personally, I find a conventional mouse to be the most effective and least frustrating input device. I know people who swear by trackballs, though. They just don't work for me.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    I spent many years happily using a mouse to work with AutoCAD. Then a colleague turned me onto trackballs, and I've never looked back. I don't miss having to push a mouse around, constantly having to pick it up to reposition it. Unlike some of the commenters, I prefer using my thumb. My index finger is busy with the scroll wheel and the buttons. I currently use a Logitech M570 wireless trackball. I also use a wireless trackpad because some actions are quicker on it (I use an iMac). I use a 3Dconnexion Space Navigator for SketchUp. But to each his own. There is no one right way, just whatever works for you.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    In the 80s and 90s, I did prefer trackballs over mice, finishing with the Microsoft Trackball Optical. Then I bought the Fingerworks iGesture multitouch trackpad. After that, the Magic Trackpad. Haven't looked back. Paired with Bettertouchtool, it gives me an incredible amount of options and control. And anyone who says trackpads are imprecise doesn't know how to use one. When you need to move the cursor just a bit, don't drag your finger. Roll it on the surface like you're being fingerprinted.
    pscooter63cgWerks
  • Reply 11 of 20
    I'm definitively going to get me one of these. I like to swap between mice, trackballs and specialist input devices in order to keep the dreaded mouse arm at bay. It's working for me.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    melgross said:
    zroger73 said:
    The 90s called - it wants its trackball back. :)

    Using a trackball is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I tried one years ago and just couldn't adapt to it. After decades of computing, I still prefer a traditional mouse.
    Not for me. I’ve been using trackballs since the 1980s. I would never use a mouse. What a pain. I can’t understand how anyone can put up with that constant moving around, and falling off the pad, or edge of the desk, or hitting something while trying to get to the edge of the screen.

    i also like knowing that it’s always where I expect it to be.

    no thank you!

    pscooter63macseekercgWerks
  • Reply 13 of 20
    maccad said:
    I spent many years happily using a mouse to work with AutoCAD. Then a colleague turned me onto trackballs, and I've never looked back. I don't miss having to push a mouse around, constantly having to pick it up to reposition it. Unlike some of the commenters, I prefer using my thumb. My index finger is busy with the scroll wheel and the buttons. I currently use a Logitech M570 wireless trackball. I also use a wireless trackpad because some actions are quicker on it (I use an iMac). I use a 3Dconnexion Space Navigator for SketchUp. But to each his own. There is no one right way, just whatever works for you.
    Totally agree, "whatever works for you"...For the half dozen engineers on my team, every one of them does things a bit differently, whether mouse or trackpad. Here's my experience:

    Many years ago, I tried the Logitech Trackman Marble FX with AutoCAD (http://xahlee.info/kbd/im/tb/logitech_trackman_marble_fx_trackball_box_back_37564.jpg ). Being able to manipulate the track ball between the thumb and index finger made it very precise for pointing, but like many other trackballs, the left-click is with the thumb, which seemed less direct to me for "point and click" operation. Drawing freeform clouds (or lassos with other apps) around objects was just a little harder too. I found that pan and zoom on a mouse (pushing the middle scroll wheel to pan and scrolling to zoom) was so fast and intuitive, that I abandoned the trackball. (I actually still have it in a drawer somewhere).

    I also set AutoCAD right-click settings in a way that gets me "repeat last" if no objects selected, "shortcuts" if object selected, and "enter" if command in progress. Obviously, these work with either mouse or trackball, but the right button on a mouse just feels more immediate.

    Now, with AutoCAD on Mac, I installed MagicPrefs to get the Magic Mouse middle area to function like a middle button/scroll wheel. It generally works, but sometimes there is a quirk where I have to start a selection window and release before I can pan holding the middle "button" down. I happen to have a Magic Trackpad on the left that I generally use for OS related navigation, but the trackpad always works to pan in AutoCAD without issue, so I have an alternate for that function. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 892member
    A trackball works for me. My very first input device was the Kensington Turbo 2.0, probably the best trackball ever made. Ok the 4-button Expert Mouse that followed it was even better.

    Over the years Kensington quality has lessened, but they still have some of the best customer service around. I've had several of their subsequent trackballs and like them, but the footprints are huge. 

    I've had to use a mouse from time to time and hated it. And hated it more when I got work to give me a big display. I brought an Expert Mouse Pro in and programmed it, and people were amazed and what it did for me. And very disappointed when I locked it away on days off and vacation. 

    This Logictech is something I've wanted for a long time— a wireless trackball with a small footprint. Not only good on a desk, this could be used when sitting on the couch.

    I'm not a big fan of their gear as I don't find it really well made or particularly durable, but I'm anxious to give this a shot. The one obvious downside is the thumb-controlled ball. I think this is tough on the thumb (having used a Trackman for a few months) and it doesn't offer both the speed and control compared to the much larger Kensingtons' ball.

    I am a fan of Apple's Magic TrackPad and used one since it came out. But I may make it a secondary device if this trackball works out.



    ARRRGGGHH! I just saw uses the dreaded micro-USB port for charging! I really hate micro-USB! I wish they used USB-C or even mini-USB. Oh well, still not a deal breaker.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 15 of 20
    As a coder and general computer user I’ve used them all over the years, including finger trackballs and logitech thumb trackballs like this one. there’s usually a ramp up period to get used to the input device, followed by adaptation and proficiency. they all have pros and cons. i still have my trackballs but haven’t used them in a while as they’re wired. a new wireless device like this is appealing. 
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Only right handed model. There are alot of lefties out there and more who switch between right and left hand at intervals - to these people this new trackball is useless.
    I hope they make a centre trackball model so I can use it with the same Logitech receiver I have for the mouse.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    macgui said:

    I brought an Expert Mouse Pro in and programmed it, and people were amazed and what it did for me. And very disappointed when I locked it away on days off and vacation. 

    I have the Kensington Expert Mouse Pro.  Still use it.  Just wished that Kensington would finally come out with updated drivers for Sierra and the new upcoming High Sierra.  Yeah, the top buttons doesn't work anymore.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,630member
    jameskatt2 said:
    But the trackball should be moved with the index finger, not the thumb as in this new trackball.  We use our index fingers to point, not our thumbs. 
    Ergonomically it is far easier and more precise to use a trackball moved with the index finger. 

    I wish Logitech would redesign their trackballs to use the index finger not the thumb.
    Bingo! I liked the Kensington 'Expert Mouse' style design, but with a useable scroll wheel, kind of like the Logitech MX Master has.

    slprescott said:
    Fascinating that you said that, because my experience is the opposite: I've been using a mouse since 1980 and find it much more precise and intuitive than either a trackball or trackpad.
    Different kind of precision and control. There are things I prefer about both. I haven't been able to find a trackball worth using for many years, so switched to mouse.

    charlesatlas said:
    After that, the Magic Trackpad. Haven't looked back. Paired with Bettertouchtool, it gives me an incredible amount of options and control. And anyone who says trackpads are imprecise doesn't know how to use one. When you need to move the cursor just a bit, don't drag your finger. Roll it on the surface like you're being fingerprinted.
    I might have to give one of those a try next. I'm not a fan of them on laptops, partly I suppose because they are too small.... and then too in the way on the new MBPs, I think. But, maybe I'd like a big one. My, relatively expensive, Logitech MX Master feels like the left-click micro-switch is already on it's way to failure after only 4 or 5 months. At least I got a couple of years out of its predecessor. :(  (My young son is also more used to trackpads and struggles with my mouse... so it's a good excuse to get one for him and I can test it too.)

    macgui said:
    Over the years Kensington quality has lessened, but they still have some of the best customer service around. I've had several of their subsequent trackballs and like them, but the footprints are huge.
    ...
    I'm not a big fan of their gear as I don't find it really well made or particularly durable, but I'm anxious to give this a shot. The one obvious downside is the thumb-controlled ball. I think this is tough on the thumb (having used a Trackman for a few months) and it doesn't offer both the speed and control compared to the much larger Kensingtons' ball.
    ...
    ARRRGGGHH! I just saw uses the dreaded micro-USB port for charging! I really hate micro-USB! I wish they used USB-C or even mini-USB. Oh well, still not a deal breaker.
    My problem with the Kensington's is the scroll wheel/ring, which I found pretty much useless. That's one thing Logitech really does right on their high-end mice. Too bad the rest of the units don't hold up well. I guess you could assign scroll to some button-ball combo?

    But, yea, I don't think it would be the same with thumb trackball unless that's what you like and are used to.

    re: micro-USB - For sure. That has to be one of the worst ports in a long time. I was really shocked when Sony put it on the PS4 (it's not a port for adults, let alone kids).


  • Reply 19 of 20
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,056member
    mike54 said:
    Only right handed model. There are alot of lefties out there and more who switch between right and left hand at intervals - to these people this new trackball is useless.
    I hope they make a centre trackball model so I can use it with the same Logitech receiver I have for the mouse.
    I’m left handed. Much of my work over the years involved using 12x18 Wacom tablets. But drawing and such requires my left hand. I found that using trackballs with a thumb ball is very easy to get used to. I never could use those trackballs with a huge ball in the center which you controlled with your palm. Your hand was all over the place, and so the buttons were never under your fingers. Maybe I was using them wrong, but I didn’t like them. I was using Microsoft’s trackball for years until they discontinued them. They were pretty good too. But mostly Logitech models. This one looks interesting. But my older model is working fine for me. My wife has one too, and since I could get them for about $38, I bought an extra which hasn’t been opened yet.

    but I’m trying very hard to find an excuse to buy this one.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 20 of 20
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,630member
    Today I ended up getting an Apple Magic Trackpad 2 (after watching a bunch of videos on it and research), to go with my Logitech MX Master mouse.

    My hope is that switching between them will help relieve some of the arm/wrist pain and stress. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a Kensington trackball to try out, though I'm familiar with them, having used them in the past. I went with the trackpad for a few reasons:

    1) I did try the thumb trackballs (such as the product being highlighted in this article), and I don't think I'd like it that much.
    2) The click is pretty silent on the Apple Magic Trackpad 2, which will be nice when recording tutorial videos (the distinct high-pitch click/snap of a traditional mouse is hard to exclude from audio recordings).
    3) My son is familiar with trackpads (having used mostly laptops for his non-iOS use), so he'll do better with this than a multi-button mouse.

    That said, I'm keeping both on my desk, as the trackpad is just plain sloppy and inefficient for certain kinds of work. Maybe I'll change my mind on that after more use, but I just don't see it ever matching the speed to get to a particular point on the screen or the precise control (maybe the latter will come with time). Also, as noted above, I want to trade between the two for physical reasons.

    So far, here's my impression with the trackpad:

    Good points - Mechanically, it's excellent. It *should* last many years as I don't think there is much (anything but the power switch?) mechanical to break. Some of the gestures are nice for everyday use. Being able to so easily scroll in any direction is quite nice. It will be easy to pack to take with my laptop.

    Bad points - While Apple tries with touch-rejection, it's a problem whether the independent trackpad, or the huge trackpads in the laptops. You have to hold your hand and fingers in such a way to have just one finger on it unless you intend multi-finger gestures. That's kind of unnatural and is another form of physical stress. You can use the old thumb-click and finger point... but then it gets choppy, even if you never lift your thumb. Getting back to where I was, for example to highlight/edit some text isn't as easy as it is with a mouse. If you just use one finger, click-drags become a bit difficult... so it seems like I'm switching between single-finger point and click, and thumb-finger click-drags.

    We'll see how things go as I get more time in on it, but that's my initial impression. So, now I have over $300 invested in my non-keyboard input devices... yikes!
    edited October 2017
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