Trackballs are an acquired taste. Some see them as quirks, but here’s a confession: I’ve been using a trackball for over a decade and find the arrangement comfortable and easy to work with. I also use an ergonomic keyboard, and have never had the slightest trace of RSI. Are the two factors related? Maybe, but I can’t know for sure. But I know the trackball as a format that appeals to me so to speak.
Logitech’s latest trackball, the Ergo M575, costs £ 44.99 (including VAT) or $ 49.99, and is available in off-white or graphite, both with a medium blue colored ball located on its left side where it will fall under your thumb (if you have reason- given; there is no left-handed version). The overall design resembles previous Logitech trackballs, such as the M570 and my own everyday trackball, the MX Ergo. It’s a good design, it works well, and Logitech hasn’t taken care of it.
The idea is for your palm to rest comfortably on the main body and your thumb to move the ball, which moves the cursor, while the first and second fingers address the dial and buttons. The wheel sits between two large knobs, with a pair of smaller knobs to the left, sitting proudly so they’re easy to find with the index finger. The main palm rest area of the Ergo M575 has a slightly ridged pattern, which Logitech says is a help with the grip. I don’t know about this: my MX Ergo is ridgeless, and I hang it very well. Yet even though the ridges don’t offer any use benefit, they do look good.
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One thing that the Ergo M575 which is present on the MX Ergo lacks is the ability to change the angle on the desk via a metal foot plate. I tend to use the most upright position, so working flat on the desktop with the Ergo M575 took a bit of getting used to, but anyone new to the trackball format won’t mind.
Computer connectivity is via Bluetooth LE or proprietary 2.4 GHz wireless – a USB dongle for the latter sits under a cover that also protects the trackball’s AA battery. It’s easy to switch between connectivity methods using a button on the base, while a switch next to the button turns the mouse off so it doesn’t drain the battery when it’s not. used. Interestingly, Logitech has reverted to standard battery power – the MX Ergo has a rechargeable battery. Logitech says the Ergo M575’s AA battery will last up to two years with the USB receiver, or 20 months with Bluetooth.
The laser sits in a recess in the cavity that houses the bullet, which over time will accumulate dust and other debris, reducing the freedom of movement of the bullet and causing jerky or unreliable motion. I have the same problem with the MX Ergo, but the ball comes out easily so the cavity can be cleaned. Logitech drilled a hole under the Ergo M575 through which a little finger can squeeze to push the ball out of its cavity. It is an easy job to do.
I found using the Ergo M575 to be a smooth and hassle free experience. The two large buttons provide a satisfying “click”, while the smaller buttons respond with a silent “shock”. You can fine-tune the precision up to 2000 dpi, although the default of 400 dpi is sufficient for most users. To change the tracking resolution and customize the buttons on the Ergo M575, including making custom settings for particular applications, Logitech offers free Options Software. This app offers more complexities than many of us are likely to need, while still being easy to use. Logitech also succeeds on the sustainability front, using recycled plastic in the product where it can and packaging made entirely of cardboard – even printing the Quick Start Guide on the inner packaging rather than a separate sheet. which is a good idea.
Logitech still sells the MX Ergo, but it costs £ 99.99 / $ 99.99 compared to £ 44.99 / $ 49.99 for the M575. The MX Ergo has two extra buttons and a few extra features, but the M575 is a great choice for an entry-level trackball.
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