The Kensington Optical Expert Mouse trackball mouse is designed to be an alternative to the traditional version, with the cursor controlled by a large weighted ball.

The ball itself is approximately the size of a snooker ball, finished in a sparkly grey effect. Surrounding the ball is a ring for scrolling, and two large assignable click buttons are placed on the mouse's left and right sides.

The thought of operating a trackball reminds us more of fun than work with your normal ‘business' mice. Nostalgic memories of furiously spinning trackball-operated 1980s coin-op arcade machines got us excited to try this intuitive-looking product.

It's equally suitable for left- or right-handed users thanks to its symmetrical design, and comes complete with a detachable leather-effect padded wrist rest which fixes to the base. Included in the package is additional software for Windows or Mac PCs to customise its setup. Out of the box, without installing any drivers, the lowermost buttons on the left and right sides correspond to standard left and right click actions, respectively.

The trackball of the Kensington Optical Expert Mouse itself is exceptionally easy to manipulate to navigate your desktop. It stays stationary when needed and moves easily when commanded, giving excellent precision and comfort. It felt instantly easy and intuitive to navigate, with the scrollwheel working well too - even if its action is far from having the ‘super smooth' navigation that's advertised.

The ball pops out easy enough for cleaning purposes, and so keeping the mouse clean and gunge-free will be less of a concern than some models with ball tracking. Under the ball is a familiar laser-style LED which ‘reads' the motion of the mouse.

We would have preferred if the Kensington Optical Expert Mouse could have allowed simple mouse clicking by pressing the ball downward with the palm of the hand. But the facility to programme any four of its surrounding buttons is a useful feature for tuning the Kensington Optical Expert Mouse to personal preferences, so that most users will find a hand position that suits them.

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

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Kensington Optical Expert Mouse: Specs

  • Optical trackball mouse
  • four assignable click buttons
  • scrollwheel
  • USB wire connection with 1.8m cable
  • 130x 155x45mm
  • 344g (without palm rest)
  • Optical trackball mouse
  • four assignable click buttons
  • scrollwheel
  • USB wire connection with 1.8m cable
  • 130x 155x45mm
  • 344g (without palm rest)

OUR VERDICT

We won't be replacing our mouse with this trackball version for professional work, but for users seeking an alternative hand position this Kensington Optical Expert Mouse may be just the ticket. It’s also very handy when desk space is restricted.

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