What are Trackballs | Advantages & Disadvantages

What are Trackballs Advantages and Disadvantages

A mouse is an essential component of a computer whether you play games with your mouse online or do your work. You need to have a comfortable mouse that makes it easy to use your computer. If you have trouble using a regular mouse, a trackball is a great alternative.

These advanced mice are a great way to use your computer without taking too much space but are there any downsides of these mice if any.

Here’s a comparison of what are the advantages and disadvantages of trackballs? But, before that, let’s talk a little bit about what are trackballs?

What are Trackballs?

What are Trackballs

A trackball mouse is a type of mouse that mainly performs the same tasks performed by a regular mouse, except that it works a little differently. These mice are different in the sense that they have rotating balls on either the top or side that can be rolled when you want to do something or move the pointer/cursor somewhere on display.

Based on which model you choose, you may control it with your fingers (when the ball is at the top) or thumb (when the ball is on the side), or even with the palm of your hands. A trackball is more like an upside-down mouse that can rotate in its place within a set socket. You can roll the ball to move the cursor where and as needed on the screen.

What are the Advantages of Trackballs?

Using a Tracnkball with Thumb

With trackball mice increasingly being used for gaming, several benefits are offered by these mice. Let’s have a look at these benefits.

1. Take up Less Space

Unlike a regular mouse that requires a mousepad for proper operation, a trackball does not need a mousepad to work, reducing the consumed space.

2. Can Work on Any Surface

A trackball mouse can work on any surface. It does not require a flat surface to operate, so you don’t need a table or a desk or even a mousepad to use it. You can use trackballs on beds, legs, couches, or even hold and use them as a remote control. As long as you can roll the ball, you can use it, no matter where you place it.

3. Ergonomic Benefit

With a regular mouse, you may experience physical strain because using it requires you to make constant arm and hand movements that can be tiring. A trackball mouse, on the other hand, gives the benefit of reducing strain and unnecessary movements because you have to move the ball and not the mouse. Trackballs are deemed as being comfortable and safe by the Occupational health and safety administration. Trackballs, therefore, offer the ergonomic benefit of being less fatiguing and more comfortable for long and intense use like in games, and that’s why trackballs for gaming are much popular among gamers.

4. Easier to Operate

Another benefit of a trackball mouse is that they are easier to operate and can efficiently be used for different tasks from work to gaming. Because of the easily-operatable buttons and ball, the trackball mouse is much easier to use than a regular mouse. Moreover, you don’t have to move your hand around too much because you just need to move the ball.

5. Suitable for Left and Right-Hand Use

Trackballs are usually symmetrical in shape, making them suitable for left-hand and right-hand use by making slight changes in the system settings. So, both left and right-handed people can equally benefit from the trackball mouse.

What are the Disadvantages of Trackballs?

Using a Trackball

Regardless of all the benefits trackballs offer, there are some downsides to using them.

1. Limitations with Control

If you’re using a trackball mouse, you may feel that it doesn’t perform well in specific tasks and simple activities. For example, you may find it difficult to cut and paste, drag, and click with trackballs. In the case of a central trackball, combined finger clicks may seem a bit difficult than a regular mouse since one of your fingers will be on the trackball.

2. May Not be Suitable for Small Hands

The problem with a trackball mouse is that the mouse size is usually large, so it may not be suited for small hands. You may need to stretch your fingers, making it hard to control and use effectively. While they offer ergonomic benefits, using them for long periods can be problematic and challenging if you’ve small hands.

3. Availability and Cost

When you plan on buying a trackball, you’ll notice that there are lesser options available in the market than a regular mouse. This is because there are fewer manufacturers, therefore fewer options and higher costs. While a regular mouse can be bought with a few dollars only, a trackball mouse requires some more money.


Even with the regular mice being more in use, trackball mice are also used because of their benefits. Being easy to use, requiring less space, and being more comfortable, these mice are now the choice of many gamers.