- IntelliEye optical
technology - The IntelliEye optical sensor reads through dirt, dust and fingerprints.
- Five Programmable
buttons - Five programmable buttons make it easier to navigate the Internet or
access and use your favorite programs.
- Wheel for scrolling
and zooming - Scroll directly from your mouse without having to use scrollbars.
Zoom without needing to use menus or toolbars.
- Thumb controlled
accuracy - The Trackball Optical is designed for smooth accurate control.
- 15 MB of available
hard disk space
- CD-ROM Drive
- Mac OS 8.51 or later
operating system (excluding OS X or later); iMac also requires iMac update 1.1
- USB port
- IntelliPoint software
for Macintosh (included)
- PowerMac G4 / 867
- Mac OS 9.2.2
- 384 MB RAM
The Trackball Optical is easier on the wrist than a standard mouse, especially
for someone who is troubled with Carpal Tunnel. It is a bit different than other
trackballs in that it uses your thumb for all trackball movement (rather than your
palm or your 4 fingers). This can be difficult to get used to, and also confusing
if you switch between this and a standard mouse. I went from the Trackball Optical
to a standard mouse after using the trackball for only 30 minutes, and my thumb was
already looking for a ball to turn.
The trackball makes it very easy to roll the cursor to wherever you need it on the
monitor. The overall design of the Trackball Optical is more ergonomically suited
to the hand and more comfortable to use. With your thumb on the trackball, your other
fingers lay comfortably on the other controls: two main buttons, two smaller side
buttons, and a scroll wheel in the middle. My pinky didn't comfortably reach the
buttons, so I used the other 3 fingers for the button and wheel controls. The two
thin side buttons are adjacent to the main buttons, and distinguishing them from
the main buttons was sometimes difficult.
The Trackball Optical preferences can be adjusted using Microsoft's Intellimouse
software, which is super easy to use. You can program any of the buttons and the
wheel, as well as set all kinds of sensitivity levels.
The Trackball Optical is a very comfortable fitting device, utilizing your thumb
for the trackball, and providing 4 other buttons and a scroll wheel for your fingers
to control. It may be more difficult to get used to a thumb controlled trackball,
but once you do, the trackball will be much easier on your wrist than a standard
mouse. While the 2 small side buttons are a bit close to the primary buttons, the
overall design is quite good. For those mouse users who have wondered if they might
do better with a trackball, or those already using a trackball, I highly recommend
trying out the Microsoft Trackball Optical.
- Optical sensor reads through dirt, dust, and fingerprints
- Shape and design is ergonomically excellent
- Three year warranty
- Thumb controlled trackball a little harder to get
- Side buttons a bit small and a bit close to the
4 out of 5 Mice