Raise your hand if you want a bluetooth trackball

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Personally, I would be the first in line to buy a Bluetooth version of Logitech's Trackman Marble if they served it up. Unfortunately, Logitech's forums have been active for over a year with discussion of such a product and they have yet to release a BT trackball.



My view is that a trackball is a perfect Bluetooth product. It remains stationary wherever it's placed, so there's no concern about what type of surface it's used on. I would certainly keep mine in my bag with my laptop and wireless keyboard.



Am I really one of such a small number of consumers who want such a product?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Sorry.

    #1 I don't like trackballs I use a wacom, and

    #2 I'd prefer for Apple to use their Fingerworks iGesture Pad technology to come up with a new wacom style tablet for desctops. No more MIce.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    I'd prefer a bluetooth keyboard with built-in trackpad, but Apple's latest BT keyboard + a bluetooth trackball is a good alternative.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    I'd prefer a bluetooth keyboard with built-in trackpad, but Apple's latest BT keyboard + a bluetooth trackball is a good alternative.



    I want to have a physically stationary pointing device. I guess it's the couch potato in me. Moving my wrist around is just so much more exercise than moving just one thumb!



    Sincerely, though, it surprises me that trackballs haven't completely taken over the industry, especially with the optical designs nowadays. A wireless Bluetooth one, to me, would combine the best of 2 technologies.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CoolHandPete View Post


    I want to have a physically stationary pointing device. I guess it's the couch potato in me. Moving my wrist around is just so much more exercise than moving just one thumb!



    Sincerely, though, it surprises me that trackballs haven't completely taken over the industry, especially with the optical designs nowadays. A wireless Bluetooth one, to me, would combine the best of 2 technologies.



    Trackballs are less precise. I don't recall if they are harder to use.



    Vinea
  • Reply 5 of 17
    sllsslls Posts: 13member
    I've been waiting for a BT trackball for what seems like forever. I was hoping that the MacMice - The Ball trackball was going to be the answer (no such luck). I use a Microsoft explorer trackball currently and couldn't be happier (unless it was BT of course)... Unfortunately for everybody that wants one I don't see Apple producing it, a third party maybe but regardless I will never go back to a mouse, NEVER!
  • Reply 6 of 17
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    I do want to try a trackball sometime, but whether it's BT or something else isn't of interest to me.

    Can someone tell me what features an ideal trackball would have to be accurate, ergonomic etc.? And what on the market is closest to that? Assume mixed use, a little desktop stuff, a little accurate work, even a bit of gaming.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gon View Post


    I do want to try a trackball sometime, but whether it's BT or something else isn't of interest to me.

    Can someone tell me what features an ideal trackball would have to be accurate, ergonomic etc.? And what on the market is closest to that? Assume mixed use, a little desktop stuff, a little accurate work, even a bit of gaming.



    As I mentioned, I prefer the Logitech Trackman Wheel (the thumb trackball.) I don't understand why people feel it's inaccurate. I've always heard that, but I've never noticed an iota of difference between it, my trackpad, or any mouse I've ever used. The Logitech uses optical technology with a red ball that has black dots all over it - the black dots are "read" by a laser so no mechanical wheels are needed.



    Others, however, prefer the Marble Mouse - a trackball that uses the fingers. My best friend loved the Kensington trackball with all the buttons and the huge ball.



    Anyway, the USB versions are cheap enough that you can test one out. You can even order one from Amazon, try it, and if it doesn't meet your expectations you can return it for a full refund.



    I don't understand the point of the wireless trackballs that require corded radio receivers. The trackball is stationary - if you don't need to move it around, why should the cord matter anyway? This is why I feel Bluetooth is the only way to go with new trackballs.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gon View Post


    I do want to try a trackball sometime, but whether it's BT or something else isn't of interest to me.

    Can someone tell me what features an ideal trackball would have to be accurate, ergonomic etc.? And what on the market is closest to that? Assume mixed use, a little desktop stuff, a little accurate work, even a bit of gaming.



    The Microsoft Trackball Optical was pretty good, but no longer in production. It was better shaped and had more buttons than the Logitech models. That's for people who like thumb-operated trackballs, as I did. If you prefer finger-operated, I guess the benchmark is Kensington's Expert Mouse Optical with its optical tracking and scroll ring.



    Personally, I wouldn't go back to trackballs or mice, which would be my final resort. If I were to go BT, I'd want a wireless iGesture pad. Not that that's going to happen anytime soon. And I don't mind cords anyway. I'd rather deal with a cord on the desk than a dead battery.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,615moderator
    People who like trackballs can't raise their hands as they have RSI. I've used one for an extended period and I found it to be less accurate than a mouse (probably takes practice) and it hurts making so many small movements.



    I'd rather have a gesture pad as Kolchak said. That way I'd get two-way scrolling without a silly ball. I'd probably prefer for this to be attached to a standard mouse base though.



    It would be like a normal mouse but with one thumb button that engages the button sensor. Hold in the thumb button and then tap on the pad to determine the action. This way you can rest your fingers on the pad without engaging it. The Mighty Mouse design with the body rocking doesn't work too well on uneven surfaces.



    This way you could even make up for the lack of a numpad on the wireless Apple keyboard. Apple would probably have to print a 4x4 grid or something on the pad.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mi.../3287&cl=us,en



    Logitech just released the V470, a laser bluetooth mouse, but they're still ignoring us trackball users. Indeed, one of the two companies that has made a name for itself through trackball products has waited so long to bring one to market using BT technology.



    I would love to hear an explanation. Is the trackball market really that small? Why, then, do they sell 4 different models on their website?
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Me.



    I've an old Kensington Orbit ... 7 years and still works awesome... easily as accurate as any mechanical mouse (the Orbit is NOT optical).



    I'd buy the same thing in an optical/BT version tomorrow if they made it.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,615moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I'd buy the same thing in an optical/BT version tomorrow if they made it.



    What advantage does it give you though? I can understand a bluetooth mouse because it saves getting tangled when you move it but a trackball stays where it is so what possible benefit could it offer? I only see that you'd have the disadvantage of having to keep it charged.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    What advantage does it give you though? I can understand a bluetooth mouse because it saves getting tangled when you move it but a trackball stays where it is so what possible benefit could it offer? I only see that you'd have the disadvantage of having to keep it charged.



    I suspect your question is the same one posed by Logitech's skeptics in their design board meetings. (I use "skeptic" in non-judgmental terms - I believe it's very important to be a skeptic.)



    My only response - as someone who wants a BT trackball in spite of your logical argument - is that I feel a sense of freedom in being able to take my laptop out of my backpack, place it on the TV tray in front of my couch, take my keyboard out of its case and turn it on, take my trackball out of its case and turn it on, and, without plugging anything in, I'm using my computer's full functionality. There are no cables to trip over, and it's quite aesthetically pleasing.



    I also think it will be useful in classroom situations when I'm using my computer during lectures. I consider it a little rude to be using your computer in an obvious manner while the professor is speaking, but it will be easier to find a posture that allows me to pay attention and take notes simultaneously - with no cord from the computer to the input device in my hand. The motions I'm making with my thumb are virtually unnoticable, unlike someone who is using a mouse.



    Lastly, as a college instructor (I'm a doctoral student - taking classes, teaching classes) I believe it will be useful to have a trackball to navigate my OS on the large screen. This way I can place my computer in the corner by the projector equipment and sit in one of the seats around the seminar table with my students, without losing the ability to use the computer, and without a computer sitting in front of me. A mouse user would be fine with a BT mouse in this situation, but as I've made clear, I prefer just to move my thumb while my hand remains in my natural resting position.



    Those are my potential uses for a BT trackball. Maybe I'm one of a small number of potential BT trackball users - but I believe it's only a matter of time (hopefully not TOO much time!) before Logitech delivers.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    What advantage does it give you though? I can understand a bluetooth mouse because it saves getting tangled when you move it but a trackball stays where it is so what possible benefit could it offer? I only see that you'd have the disadvantage of having to keep it charged.



    Think about using a Mac Mini as an HTPC with a 1080p projector, projecting a 150" 1920 x 1080 image. You can sit on your sofa and not only use the mini to play movies and music, but also, with that size image, carry out more traditional "computer" tasks such as e-mail and web-browsing.



    However, if you are sitting/lounging/lying on your sofa, where does the mouse go? A trackpad built-in to your wireless keyboard is the best bet, but a wireless keyboard + wireless trackball is a reasonable alternative.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    I too am looking for a thumbwheel trackball with bluetooth. I've been using the Logitech one for years on my regular PCs. Both wireless and hardwired.



    I just don't get the apple mouse? It's not ergonomic for my hand and it looks more like a mini mouse for a laptop.



    I prefer a good thumbwheel, but does anyone recommend a good bluetooth regular mouse until our wishes are heard? This way I will only have the power cord coming out from the computer.



    Regards,



    David
  • Reply 16 of 17
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I'd love to have a Bluetooth trackball.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CoolHandPete View Post


    ... in being able to take my laptop out of my backpack, place it on the TV tray in front of my couch, take my keyboard out of its case and turn it on, take my trackball out of its case and turn it on, and, without plugging anything in, I'm using my computer's full functionality. There are no cables to trip over...



    Bingo !!!!
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