Logitech is introducing its first new trackball in years. The MX Ergo trackball claims improved precision compared to its predecessors, as well as eight buttons combining modern features with an older use model. The device is also one of the first products by Logitech that supports the company’s Flow technology that enables seamless switching and file sharing between different systems.

Trackball History 101

The trackball was invented in 1947, decades before mice and personal computers, for the British Royal Navy’s command, control, and coordination system known as Comprehensive Display System (CDS). In fact, a rolling ball along with four disks to pick up motion were used both for early trackballs and for early mice. However, mice were chosen by Apple, Microsoft, Xerox and others for their programs and computers featuring GUI in the late 1970s and the early 1980s possibly because of more intuitive design. Meanwhile, rolling balls inside mice were not always optimal for precision and other reasons, which is why trackballs became relatively popular in the eighties and the nineties primarily among graphics designers. After both mice and trackballs switched to optical tracking technology in the late 1990s to early 2000s, advantages of trackballs somewhat eroded and their adoption diminished. Nonetheless, there are loyal trackball users who continue to operate them instead of other tracking devices either for personal efficiency, comfort, or nostalgia. Only two main companies produce trackballs nowadays: Logitech and Kensington, with Logitech introducing its first new trackball in many years.

The Logitech MX Ergo (For Right-Handers)

The Logitech MX Ergo looks like a huge mouse, except it has a ball which has to be rotated by a big digit. As the 'Ergo' name implies, the ergonomics of the trackball can be adjusted. This is achieved by increasing the angle of the device from 0 to 20 degrees, just like the precision of the optical tracking, which varies from 320 dpi to 440 dpi. The device has eight buttons, some of which can be reprogrammed. The latest trackball also comes with an integrated 500 mAh Li-Po battery that can work for 'days or months depending on usage model'.

The new MX Ergo trackball from Logitech can use the company’s Unify wireless receiver (as well as Bluetooth) to connect to PCs. Moreover, just like Logitech’s latest mice, the MX Ergo supports the company’s Flow technology that allows to simultaneously control two computers (Macs and/or Windows) and automatically switch between them by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. In addition, the Flow allows transferring files between two systems wirelessly using Wi-Fi or Ethernet networks.

The tilt of the trackball in action

The Logitech MX Ergo trackball mouse will be available in the U.S. directly from the company, and from its retail partners starting later this month, for $99.99. Pricing and availability in other countries will vary. No word if a left-handed version will enter the market.

Related Reading

Source: Logitech

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  • Thrawn - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Glad to see any interest in trackballs. My wife would love this MX Ergo and might get one later.

    For myself I am hoping this succeeds because I need a replacement for my Microsoft Trackball Explorer https://www.gamingtrackball.com/pages/overview
  • Diji1 - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    I am eagerly awaiting the same product. So hoping this is a great product.

    These types of trackballs that use the thumb are unsuitable for gaming.
  • Red_Sun - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Completely disagree. Been using a trackball to game since the old microsoft trackmans, and I hold my own quite well. Especially in FPS games. It's all in what works for you.
  • Tams80 - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Elecom make a 'middle finger and index finger' trackball. It's on the cheaper side build wise and is on the small side, but hey, it's also cheap.
  • Diji1 - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    There's the L-Trac Laser from CST which is very nice
  • MadAd - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    If they'd make this a mouse WITH a trackball then it would be in a whole new league of controllers but as it is, sadly, its a niche device with limited use rather than a general use item with an addon.
  • lewisl9029 - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Wait it's not actually also a mouse? Well that's disappointing, because it certainly looked like an ergonomic mouse _with_ a trackball, and I was in the market for a super-ergonomic mouse, and the trackball can be a nice additional option for when my wrists get tired, but if it's just a trackball then that definitely limits its usefulness for me.
  • JackTheBear - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Looks just like their wireless trackball m570 that they've had for years, so I'm not going to buy this one either. Wish they'd switch back to the trackballs you roll with your fingers instead of your thumb. I'm still using a 15 year old Trackman Marble FX, and I guess I will continue to.
  • hexgrid - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Kensington's "slimblade", while stupidly named, is a decent trackball; it's been my "mouse" since about 2012 or so. Elecom also makes quite good trackballs, both "finger" and "thumb" varieties (with left handed models, too!), and those are available on Amazon. Both the Elecom and the Kensington trackballs can be bought wired, which means no juggling batteries or worrying about wireless interference.
  • hexgrid - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Oh, yeah, and Sanwa Supply also makes trackballs that are very reminiscent of the '90s Logitech trackballs. Sadly, nobody seems to make anything like the Logitech Marble FX.

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