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Mouse, Trackball or Tablet?

What's your preferred screen navigation device?

     
8:26 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's come time to replace my grimy old Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000. I've been a die-hard Microsoft Mouse fan for many years, but their recent designs aren't all that attractive to me. They don't look all that ergonomic, and the samples I see in the store haven't wow'd me as they have in the past. I'm willing to look at other options.

While searching for a new mouse I've also come across very favorable reviews of trackballs and tablets. Now I'm wondering if I should expand my search.

I use dual monitors, so I have a lot of screen real estate to cover sometimes. I'm mostly using Office-type software with some light image editing thrown in on occasion. I'm not a gamer, and I don't have RSI issues. What would you suggest; Mouse, Trackball or Tablet?
8:09 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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mouse!

trackballs are OK once you get used to them, but i don't like them that much.

trackpad, heckkkkkkkk no i despise them on laptops.

tablet? i just think of some wacom thing which isn't really used for navigating your computer.
9:06 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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First pick: Microsoft Trackball Optical (no longer made, really hard to find)
Second pick: Logitech MX Revolution - First Version (no longer made, easier to find, but be careful because the new version isn't as good)

I hate trackpads. I always turn mine off on my laptop - my Lenovo has the pencil eraser which is much better, imho.
9:34 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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bill,

I'd stick with a mouse. I find trackballs and touch pads too difficult/pain in the as* when it comes to doing graphics and even simple copy/paste.

Besides, the mouse gives the cat something to play with :)

Marshall

Disclaimer - I don't own a cat.
9:38 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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the pencil eraser which is much better, imho.


yes I always look for those in laptops, your hands never leave the keyboard, much more efficient.

they used to not even come with an option...if you had the eraser thing that was it, now they come with both. Waste of space.
10:20 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Ultimately it will be your physical skill set (what's easier to use). I personally prefer a mouse and tablet... the latter more for graphics work and the former for everything else. That said, I use more keyboard shortcuts (some I've programmed) for the vast majority of my work. Depends on the application.
6:28 am on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The more I read about trackballs, the more I get the feeling that none of the current models are any good. It seems you have to find existing old stock to get a decent model. Are you using the thumb-ball or finger-ball type?

The idea of using a trackpad to make gestures sounds interesting, but I've never tried it. Some of the new Microsoft mice apparently work with gestures as well. Anyone tried them?
6:35 pm on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Trackballs! If you could see my desktop, you'd understand why! :-)

I started with Logitech TrackMan Marble models back in my OS/2 days
in the early 1990's and I've never looked back. I'm now using
The TrackMan Wheel models. I prefer the thumb-ball approach.
I am not inclined to try the new(er) finger-ball models.

Yes, I keep an eye out for the older TrackMan models when they show
up on Overstock, Compuvest, etc. I also keep the 'retired' ones
for spare parts, as I have the skills to swap out components for
repairs.
1:51 am on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My favorite mouse which I'm actually still using on the desktop is the Logitech MX Laser 20X. I prefer a wireless mouse that can be recharged and the beauty of this particular recharger is that it is a quick docking charger. Simply put it in place and walk away. The only negative for me is that when the charge goes dead you are without a mouse until a recharge meaning you'll need to plug in a backup mouse if you want to continue working. However, I must say that I've left it off the charger for days before requiring a recharge. Depends on use too, of course.

I guess that is the one feature that I would really like to see in my next mouse, the rechargeable dock. If I remember correctly there was only one on the Logitech product list last I checked, which was close to a year ago, and I wasn't overly impressed so I decided to break the seal on my Laser MX and fix it rather than buy something I knew I wouldn't like :P

Here is the closest model I see on their product page today, but no external docking station

[logitech.com...]

Anybody know of a product similar to the Laser model described earlier? (he said wishfully)
6:02 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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he only negative for me is that when the charge goes dead you are without a mouse until a recharge


this is the main reason i keep using wired devices, I don't like my keyboard or mouse stopping dead in its tracks.
2:24 am on Feb 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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i'm with jonesy - i've been using a marble for almost 15 years.
no need to move your arm to select something.
4:30 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I tried playing around with some of the trackballs in the store, but I couldn't get used to them in a short time. The thumb-ball models were particularly disorienting. I guess if I had given them more time I might have got used to it. I found myself trying to move the entire trackball unit like a mouse.

I went with the newer Logitech Performance mouse that coopster linked to. Although I've read the different reviews of this model I haven't run into many major issues. The USB plug lets you use the mouse just like a corded mouse while charging, so I can see why they got rid of the docking station. There's no interruption of your workflow that way.
7:37 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Logitech Trackman Marble -- all the way. Die hard devotee here -- so much so that I bought a few of them a while back to have in case they kill 'em off!
12:53 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I highly recommend the Logitech Performance M950 (a mouse). It is not cheap but as we spend most of our lives playing with the damn things then you may as well get the best. I also find it ergonomically perfect for long stretches at the computer.

Added in:

Just noticed that you already bought the above, which is great. I owned the earlier model (with docking station) too and this one is much better as it works on glass and you do not need to keep the docking station contacts clean. All you need it a USB - USB micro cable and you are done!
1:34 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I used to use a Logitech trackball, and yes, it did take getting used to. Once i'd got the hang of it i didn't want to give it up.
Sadly, one of the microswitches eventually failed. I never managed to find another trackball as good since then, so have resorted to a trusty wired mouse.
1:23 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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One of the things that threw me was that in Japan they can't use the name Logitech. They use Logicool instead. the packaging looks the same. When I was shopping I kept looking for the Logitech models that I had read reviews on. I thought all the Logicool models were Chinese ripoffs of Logitech. A few web searches finally put me straight.

The Performance M950 was not cheap, but it's the most frequently used piece of hardware after my keyboard and I didn't want to skimp.

That said, I didn't see the Logitech Trackman Marble in the stores...just the Wireless Trackball M570 which is the thumb-ball unit.
3:40 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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How long are you finding the mouse to last now before it requires connection for recharge? Is that menu button screwing you up when you try to use the back/forward side button?
3:54 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've let it go for about 2 weeks before the charge indicator pops up and tells me to plug it in. I need to look into the proper battery care for this unit. Does anyone know the recommended charging pattern for maximizing the life of this battery?

> menu button
Compared to other mice I've found the scroll wheel click to be a bit tough to activate. Therefore I've programmed the "zoom" button to act as a middle-click. That seems to have made things the most usable for me. I do sometimes hit the wrong button.
 

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