Ergo: As evidenced by the name, MX ‘Ergo’ Plus, this trackball is designed to be more ergonomic than regular mouse devices. In fact, Logitech claims it’ll deliver 20% less muscle strain & reduced wrist pronation vs. a std. mouse.
Setup: Out-of-the-box setup was practically plug-&-play-level-easy w/my HP All-in-1 PC & Win10 OS, though this new trackball is equally compatible w/Macs. My mouse arrived w/plenty of charge to get started immediately.
Wireless Connectivity: Logitech’s unifying receiver—a tiny dongle USB key—is, as usual, very reliable & quickly pairs w/the mouse. You can connect via Bluetooth, but I prefer the 2.4GHz unifying receiver, which offers a 32-foot range & allows me to also connect my Logitech K750 wireless solar keyboard + up to 4 other wireless devices.
Trackball vs. Std. Mouse: As far as input devices go, we’ve been a mostly Logitech shop for many yrs. now, for both keyboards & mice. So, I’ve been looking forward to testing Logitech’s new trackball option, as it’s been a few yrs. since I’ve used Logitech’s last trackball mouse—the M570—which was released back in 2010. Though the trackball is clearly a viable alternative to the std. mouse & touchpad, it’s not for everyone, as evidenced by the fact that the overwhelming majority of pointing devices sold are std. mice, not trackballs.
While this new trackball provides a very good user interface, a word of caution to std. mouse users is in order. It takes a little time, in terms of developing your hand-eye coordination, to retrain your brain so that you can smoothly operate a stationary trackball mouse. When you’re used to moving the entire mouse vs. rolling just your thumb on a trackball, it’s an ADJUSTMENT. Once mastered, however, I find this trackball to be very smooth, sturdy, & easy to navigate. The stability is achieved because the trackball mouse sits in a stationary magnetic metal plate w/a non-slip bottom. This platform provides a clean, minimalist look on your work surface, as you’ll no longer need the clutter of a mouse pad.
Features: Buttons: You get advanced optical tracking w/a scroll wheel & 8 buttons, 6 of which are programmable, for customization, or you can choose default settings if you prefer. All the buttons are well-placed & have a pleasing, tactile response w/good haptic feedback.
Precision Mode: The precision mode button next to the trackball allows you to shift from speed to accuracy—dramatically slowing the tracking speed so that you can execute sensitive, micro-movements for pixel-precise, ultra-accurate cursor pointing. This is useful for photo editing, graphic design, & other tasks.
Scroll Wheel: The precision tilt scroll wheel allows 4-way scrolling—up/back (vertical) & left/right (horizontal), though I do wish the scroll wheel were designed the way Logitech’s ratcheting scroll wheel operated on the MX Master S2. The quick access to shortcuts & the middle click in the scroll wheel are nice conveniences.
Logitech Options Software w/Flow Technology: I like that the mouse can be used w/2 different computers via the Easy-Switch button on top, allowing you to switch seamlessly between devices w/o having to re-pair. Logitech’s new Options software (replacing the old SetPoint software), w/multi-computer FLOW technology, boosts cross-computer capability by allowing you to control & navigate content between computers, incl.: copying & pasting text, images, documents, & files—allowing data transfer w/o relying on cloud services or having to send yourself emails w/attachments. (Options software must be installed on both computers.) The free downloadable software also allows for app-specific settings, button & key customization, & notification & status.
Ergonomics: The mouse comes w/an adjustable, integrated magnetic hinge, or wedge, that you snap onto the bottom of the mouse which allows you to choose the best trackball angle for personalized hand & wrist comfort. (Choose 0°/flat or 20°, or even 30° w/the additional 10° plastic wedge that comes w/the ‘Plus’ model offered thru Best Buy.) The bottom of the hinge has a non-slip surface to keep the trackball in place. Regardless of position, the large, wide base of the mouse felt comfortable under my hand. While I preferred the 30° angle, my wife preferred the 20° angle for her smaller hand, in what she termed a ‘more natural hand position’, as she used the trackball for some extended digital video editing work. This is yet more evidence of the benefits of a customizable ergonomic mouse. In either case, we both liked the sculpted shape of the mouse which provides full palm & finger support, w/the soft rubber on top of the mouse offering a comfortable grip for extended work sessions. And the island keys offer a consistent, sturdy click feel that’s definite & sharp w/o being too crisp or staccato.
Charging: For yrs. I wondered why Logitech ceased offering a mouse recharging cradle like the one incl. w/my 2009 Logitech MX Revolution Performance Laser Mouse. But w/this new trackball mouse’s Li-Po (lithium polymer) battery, which Logitech claims can be recharged as infrequently as every 4 months, there’s really no need for the clutter of a battery recharge docking station on my desk, especially when the rarely required full recharge of the mouse now takes only a few minutes. Yes, the micro-USB recharging cord that connects to the front of the trackball mouse is cumbersome, but if it has to be broken out only once/qtr., where’s the rub? (And it sure beats the 1-week battery life I used to get between USB charges w/my previous Logitech MX Performance Darkfield Laser Cordless Rechargeable Mouse, purchased back in 2012 as a replacement for my worn-out Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Rechargeable Mouse.) I do wish, however, that Logitech had included USB-C technology, as they did w/their new Craft wireless keyboard. Logitech also claims that I’ll get up to a full day’s use from a 1-min. quick-charge w/this new trackball mouse, which provides a critical & welcome rescue if the mouse’s battery runs down at the worst possible moment, when I’m in the middle of 'crunch time' & pushing to finish a project or report w/a hard deadline.
Warranty/Durability: Logitech offers a limited 1-year warranty (not very inspiring or reassuring, but fairly std. for pointing devices which often take a lot of abuse). They also project that I should be able to get ~10 million clicks out of the left/right buttons; so, I expect that I’ll want to purchase a new mouse w/enhanced technology features well before this trackball mouse fails or wears out.
Bottom line: Overall, if you’re a trackball fan, you should be well pleased w/this mouse. But even after getting used to this trackball mouse, I still prefer a traditional mouse in a traditional work setting environment at my desk, even w/a trackball as well-engineered as this model. However, there are times when I’m using my laptop in other settings, incl. a limited-space environment on an airplane, or in a more relaxed, casual environment at home, when I’d prefer the benefits of a trackball mouse. In short, I’d like to be able to switch back-&-forth between a traditional mouse & a trackball mouse w/o having to change mice. Thus, I’d like to see Logitech develop & pioneer a hybrid, all-in-1 mouse that incorporates the benefits of both. Perhaps Logitech could do some market research on this concept & test to see if there’s a viable market, or at least a profitable niche, for such a hybrid mouse. With an increasingly mobile society that’s simultaneously migrating towards transportation modes that allow for increasingly productive commutes (think mass transit trains, Uber & Lyft ride-sharing, self-driving cars, etc.), many companies & workers would gladly pay more for a hybrid mouse w/superior flexibility vs. the status quo of frustrating touchpads & the age-old either/or, mutually exclusive, std.-vs.-trackball mouse dilemma.
-Good quality for the price
-Bluetooth or USB Unifying Receiver easy connect
-Very comfortable, solid, smooth form factor
-Precision button for slow, smooth, refined pointing
-Fast rechargeable battery lasts up to 4 months
-Customizable for max comfort
-You can toss your ugly mouse pad
-Easy-Switch/Flow software allows quick transition between 2 computers
-Windows & Mac-compatible
-Takes some time to fully transition from std. mouse to stationary trackball; thumb takes brunt of navigation effort
-Older USB cord