Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman Review

Logitech Cordless Optical TrackmanFrom the time I've used a PC, I've used mice, and never really thought about getting anything else. Having stepped up years ago to one of the most luxury mice on the face of the planet, a Logitech MX1000 cordless laser mouse, I didn't think I'd be getting anything else, ever. But all that was before my middle finger started feeling twitchy and one day just locked up. A painful experience, especially during a home renovation. Fortunately, it got better and never came back. Still, I wanted something else besides a mouse in order to avoid this ever happening again. A trackball seemed like a good idea, but most track balls seem to be thumb controlled. I'm not comfortable with that. Enter the Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman. It has finger control, and a lot of bells and whistles like a scroll wheel and forward/next buttons, all of which I use extensively on my MX1000.

Appearance - Black and silver are all the rage these days. The Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman is both, except for the actual trackball, which is a pleasant deep red color (actually red with small black dots). The body is black, and covered with the rubbery stuff known from other Logitech products, the space where the track ball is located is offset in silver plastic.

Comfort - The device feels nice and heavy and fits great in the palm of my long slender hands. The location of the golf ball sized trackball leaves you with three fingers to control it. This greatly improves precision while also reducing the time to adjust (from mouse to track ball) to almost zero.

Control - The ball feels extremely responsive. Precision is actually higher than I am able to achieve with a mouse, yet limited by my still inexperienced fingers. The ball is about the size of a golf ball and turns with the slightest amount of friction. Just right. The buttons are a different story and take a long time to get used to, and may even make you decide against the Trackman. The left-click button is not located at the index finger. Instead, it's under the thumb. If I were Logitech, I would have placed a separate button under the index finger and make the user decide which one to use. Having left-clicked with my index finger for 13 years in a row, this works annoyingly counterintuitive. I've resorted to assigning the wheel button as left-click.

If you decide to use the thumb button as a left-click, as I've done for some time, you'll find that the Trackman won't stay put on glossy surfaces. The thumb button requires a relatively fair amount of pressure, and if you don't have your hand placed firmly onto the body, it shifts a bit with every press. I stuck four soft foam tabs over the original rubber feet and now it stays put.

For the right-click button, it's the other way around. It's a bit too sensitive and you simply can't rest the tip of your ring finger of little finger onto it.

Wireless - Less wires is better. Period. Even for a stationary controller like a trackball.

Software - Anyone familiar with Logitech's Setpoint utility knows it to be very intuitive. It nicely lists both my MX1000 and Trackman, and allows you to reassign buttons and fine tune movement in every way imaginable.

Pros

  • First class software
  • Capable of very high precision
  • High degree of comfort

Cons

  • Left-click button under thumb instead of index finger
  • Shifts around too easily
  • Right button a tad too sensitive

Comments

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