Best trackball mouse 2024

Find the best trackball mouse for you with our trackball mouse guide, with wireless and wired models from Elecom, Kensington, and Logitech.

best trackball mouse

Are you searching for the best trackball mouse for your PC? Well, here is the place to be as we've picked out the finest ball-based pointers you can buy, including budget, premium, wired, wireless, thumb-operated, and finger-operated options.

Trackballs can be a great alternative to a mouse, as even the best mouse can become uncomfortable to use for very long periods. Plus, trackballs can be used in much more compact spaces, as they don't need a mousemat or any other space to move around – the ball does all the moving. Opt for a wireless model and you even free your cramped space of cables too.

There are just three main players in the trackball market: Elecom, Kensington, and Logitech, though a few other manufacturers do make them too, including ProtoArc.

You can get finger- or thumb-operated trackballs and we've included both in this guide. Finger-operated ones are generally better for accuracy while thumb-operated ones are more mouse-like and easier to get the hang of. For more guidance on how to choose the best trackball for your needs, check out the trackball FAQ at the bottom of this page.

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Here are the best trackball mice in 2024:

  1. Kensington Expert wireless trackball – the best trackball mouse
  2. Kensington Orbit Wireless with Scroll Ring – the best budget trackball mouse
  3. Logitech MX Ergo Trackball – the best thumb-operated trackball
  4. Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK – the most versatile trackball

Kensington Expert wireless trackball review 02

1. Kensington Expert wireless trackball

The best trackball mouse is the Kensington Expert wireless trackball.

Kensington Expert wireless trackball specs:

Weight 186g (without receiver or wrist rest)
Dimensions (mm) 63 x 125 x 39 (W x D x H)
Sensor Optical
Buttons 4 (left, right, back, forward) all programmable
Connections 2.4GHz USB dongle and Bluetooth
Extras Rubber wrist rest, DPI button on underside, 2 x AAA batteries
Battery life Up to 100 days

Pros

  • Class-leading trackball performance
  • Comfortable design
  • Effortless button operation
  • Clever scroll ring
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • A bit large for small hands
  • Limited number of buttons
  • Expensive

The Kensington Expert may look very simple but what it lacks in extra features, it makes up for with ease of use and accuracy, plus it’s more capable than you might think. Its large 54mm finger-operated ball makes for class-leading accuracy and stability, while its simple ambidextrous four-button layout is effortlessly intuitive to use, as is the clever scroll ring that encircles the ball to provide a scroll wheel-like function.

The key here is that the four buttons can also be pressed in combination with each other, opening up the option of several more pre-programmed functions. You also get wireless convenience with a battery that lasts months. Read our full Kensington Expert Wireless review for more detail on this monster trackball.

Kensington trackball

2. Kensington Orbit Wireless with Scroll Ring

The best budget trackball mouse is the Kensington Orbit Wireless with Scroll Ring.

Kensington Orbit Wireless with Scroll Ring specs:

Weight 186g (without receiver or wrist rest)
Dimensions (mm) 115 x 139 x 47 (W x D x H)
Sensor Optical
Buttons 2 (left, right) all programmable
Connections 2.4GHz USB dongle and Bluetooth
Extras Rubber wrist rest, DPI button on underside, 2 x AAA batteries
Battery life Up to 100 days

Pros

  • Solid trackball performance
  • Comfortable design
  • Great value
  • Very easy to use
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • Only two main buttons
  • Not as stable as larger trackballs

The Kensington Orbit is a fantastic, low-cost trackball. Its ambidextrous design is very comfortable and its trackball is effortless to use. Its smaller diameter ball means it’s not quite as easy to use accurately as the Expert but it’s still great for most uses. The Scroll Ring is also a great improvement over a scroll wheel for reducing RSI yet feeling totally intuitive to use.

The big downside here is you only get two buttons – left click and right click. You can program one extra function to occur when you press both together (we use it for ‘back’ in your web browser) but that’s your lot. You also get wireless convenience with a battery that lasts months. Read our full Kensington Orbit Wireless with Scroll Ring review for more detail.

Logitech MX Ergo trackball review 01

3. Logitech MX Ergo trackball

The best thumb-operated trackball mouse is the Logitech MX Ergo.

Logitech MX Ergo trackball specs:

Weight 259g (with metal plate, without receiver)
Dimensions (mm) 100 x 133 x 51 (W x D x H)
Sensor Optical
Buttons 8 (left, right, scroll wheel press, back, forward, easy-switch button)
Connections Micro-USB for charging only, 2.4GHz USB dongle and Bluetooth
Extras Wireless connection button, tilting scroll wheel
Battery life Up to four months

Pros

  • Comfortable shape for most hand sizes
  • Useful software features
  • Can pair with multiple devices at once
  • Familiar mouse-like layout

Cons

  • Thumb trackball is tiring for the thumb
  • Less accurate than multi-finger trackball designs
  • Not suited to small hands
  • Right hand-only design

The Logitech MX Ergo is a well-built device that will make for an easy transition for any mouse users thanks to its familiar layout – you get a normal left-click, scroll wheel, right-click layout. Its software features are also genuinely useful, allowing you to easily switch between connected devices and even copy and paste between computers.

However, the small thumb-operated trackball isn’t as easy to use accurately as larger finger-operated units (except for large horizontal movements, which are easier with the thumb) and puts all the movement strain on your thumb, plus the scroll wheel is more tiring/RSI-inducing than the Kensington Scroll Rings. Nonetheless, for those seeking a crossover device between a mouse and finger-operated trackball, it’s a great option. Read our full Logitech MX Ergo review for more details.

Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK review 01

4. Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK

The most versatile trackball mouse is the Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK.

Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK trackball specs:

Weight 260g (without receiver)
Dimensions (mm) 114.7 x 181.9 x 57.2mm (W x D x H)
Sensor Optical
Buttons 8 (left, right, scroll wheel press, back, forward, three extra programmable buttons)
Connections 2.4GHz USB dongle and Bluetooth
Extras Three extra programmable buttons, tilting scroll wheel
Battery life 235hrs (low energy mode) or 137hrs (high speed mode) while operating and 1,851 days in standby for both modes

Pros

  • Large, accurate trackball
  • Comfortable shape
  • Loads of extra buttons
  • Fantastic value

Cons

  • Button layout takes time to learn
  • Buttons can feel cramped for larger hands
  • Right hand-only design

The Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK is just as its name describes. The very large unit incorporated a long wrist rest at the back and includes a massive 52mm trackball at the front. So far, so like the Kensington Expert. Where the M-HT1DRBK really comes into its own, though, is the sheer versatility on offer thanks to its masses of extra buttons.

It has a total of seven standard buttons and a scroll wheel that tilts to offer two more buttons. There’s a learning curve to using this trackball and its button layout is actually best suited to smaller hands but it offers loads of utility for a great price. Read our full Elecom Huge Trackball M-HT1DRBK review for more details.

Best Trackball Mouse FAQ

What is a trackball mouse?

A trackball or trackball mouse is a pointing/cursor-moving device for PCs that, instead of tracking the movement of the whole device (like with a normal mouse), tracks the movement of a ball on top of the device. Back in the day, mice also used to have a ball on their base that would be rolled around when the mouse was moved, but modern mice just track movement using an optical sensor.

Why use a trackball instead of a mouse?

Trackballs have three main advantages over mice. The first is that they can help to reduce RSI as you’re not having to hold a mouse in an awkward position but (generally) can instead put your hand in a more relaxed position. Trackballs can also be easier to use for those with limited mobility or dexterity, as the ball can be manipulated without fine finger or arm dexterity. Finally, trackballs are great for confined spaces as the device itself doesn’t need to move around, unlike with a mouse needing a sometimes large mousemate. A trackball stays put and you just roll the ball around.

Are thumb-operated or finger-operated trackballs best?

There are two main types of trackball mouse: those where the ball sits on the top and can be moved by all your fingers or hand and those where the ball sits on the side to be moved only with the thumb.

Thumb-operated ones are easier to get used to for mouse users as they tend to be roughly the same shape and with familiar left/right buttons and a scroll wheel. However, they aren’t as good for accuracy or reducing RSI, as they still put a lot of strain on individual fingers (for button clicks and scroll wheel usage) and your thumb can tired from doing all the ball movement.

Finger-operated trackballs tend to be trickier for some mouse users to get the hand of as they inherently require familiar features such as left/right click buttons and scroll wheels to be moved. However, they offer more accuracy as you can use several fingers to move the wheel plus they’re generally much better for RSI as they allow a comfortable hand position and don’t rely on single fingers or thumbs to operate the device.

For more ergonomic mouse and office comfort ideas, check out our home office comfort guide. Also, why not complete your setup by finding the best headset or best mouse for you, or check out our best PC builds guide for more PC setup ideas.