Apr 21, 2007 /
The Kensington Expert Mouse - 1 Year Later

It's just over a year since I bought the Kensington Expert Mouse and wrote my last blog entry about it. I thought it might be a good time to give a progress update for those who're considering buying one, or just wandering what it's like to switch to a track-ball after years of mouse use!

The good news is that I'm still using the Kensington Expert Mouse and it's going strong! I've not had any issues with it at all really, it's still comfortable, and I don't get any aches and pains despite 10 hours a day usage. After a years usage, my hand finds it's place naturally on the mouse without any thought. The positioning I've ended up with is where my thumb rests on the left hand lower button, and little finger on the right hand lower button. The other three fingers rest on the roller ball and are used spin the ball around. I find that I quite often will spin the ball and remove my hand completely to let it continue spinning without resistance. I have a fairly large desktop (see below) and so this is great for getting the pointer across the screens in short times.

my desktop

As I mentioned in my last related post, there was a settling in period for about 2 weeks, during which things felt a bit weird, and I was definately a bit clumbsy with it. It probably took another three or four months to get the accuracy right. Even now, I still think that a mouse is easier to achieve accuracy with, for me at least. This may be due to the fact you need to slightly reorient yourself between typing and trackball usage. Regardless of this, I still find the trackball extremely comfortable, and I haven't found any tasks where I wish I was using a mouse again. Typical daily tasks using the Kensington are:

  • Browsing the web (tabbed navigation etc)
  • Developing in Visual Studio .NET (intricate Forms development etc)
  • Using Office applications (including zooming and scrolling)
  • Preparing images in Photoshop

I was initially worried that drag-drop operations might be tricky, or that certain Photoshop selection operations might be harder. It's all fine IMHO. Note that I still use my previous mouse on my music Laptop for Cubase, so it's not like I've forgotten what using one is like!

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