(note: 8/29/17 HUGE is discovered by the noob)
Followup at the bottom 2 months in
There can be only one Microsoft Trackball Explorer! ... and that is kind of the problem. I love the Trackball Explorer.. Like REALLY love it, but mine died. Microsoft, in one of it wonderfully sad decisions, nixed the trackball explorer.
Microsoft Trackball Explorers go for ridiculous prices cause the demand is up and the supply is down. I saw one selling for $600 once. My inner cheapskate wont allow me to buy one at that price. For a little while, there was a little hope that we would see the trackball brought back from the dead. There was a community who were working to develope and recreate the trackball, but it too looks like it has faded. http://www.thetrackball.com/
Suffering from withdrawal and defeat, I decided to purchase a Logitech M570. I tried the Logitech Trackman Marbel and I realy did not like it. The M570 is not bad, but its not the configuration I like. I want a trackball which has a finger operated ball and has the thumb operated scroll wheel and left click. There are plenty of finger operated trackballs but none have this particular configuration.
The M570 is nice enough and I was well on my way to adapting to it permanently. Then the middle mouse button failed. I decided to chage the button my self. This isnt that hard, but if I'm going to be putting this kind of effort or money (if i replace the entire trackball) on a regular basis it looses its luster.
This got me longing for <best Gollum voice> my precious.. my precious.. microsoftes trixiy and takes itses from me. </best Gollum voice>
Right after I purchased my M570 I ran across a listing on Amazon that had a trackball with the configuration I was looking for. So when my M570 broke, I took the opportunity to check out the link. I figured worst case scenario Ill have the newly repaired M570 as a back up.
On to the Review:
I bought mine from amazon. The link above is for a M-DT1DR, but the one I purchased is a DEFT M-DT2DR model. I've been using it for about 3 weeks now. Initially there was a lot of muscle memory that I had to overcome. It took me about a week to make the switch from the M570 to the DEFT. Its feeling great now and I'm back into the swing of this configuration and am getting back to the pace of operations I was able to pull off with the other trackball. It doesn't quite feel like the trackball explorer as it doesn't have the wrist rest on it, but honestly not having that feature is not that big of a deterrent for me.
I was worried about the placement of the right click button. It is operated by the middle finger. Initially this didn't look like it would be in a good place. So far this feels great and my worries were unfounded. The Right click on the DEFT is different from the Trackball Explorer as the right click buttons were operated using ring finger and baby finger. This change is not bad so far.
I'm usually not concerned about all the extra buttons as the often are not utilized by me, but for the sake of those who might read this, there are 5 additional buttons (out side of the normaly expected buttons on this type of devicve) which can be programmed.
To take advantage of this you have to get the driver.... This is kind of an issue if you are not keen on the eastern languages. None of the documentation for this device is translated to western languages. Its fairly easy to get the driver, but if you are technically challenged, you might need to call for backup. Below is a screen capture of the associated program.
So long story short,
Its the closest thing to the Trackball Explorer that I've come across and this is really the only qualification I need to be pleased. But so far on its own merit its been a nice device.
One of the things that bother me is something called Tilt. Tilt is allows you to move the scroll wheel to the left or right to initiate an action. It seems like it would be a nice feature though often I hit the tilt button when I'm trying to hit the scroll click. Not a deal breaker but it requires some adaptation. A neat feature it has is a toggle for the cursor speed. This is nice if you want it to move slowly for some programs and faster for others. I have used it a couple time when I am playing around in spread sheets as opposed to the precision work in CAD.
The thing that worries me about this device is that after week 2 the scroll wheel started squeaking. This of course means there is some hard friction and will likely wear down the parts. So the jury is still out on weather or not this thing will stand the test of time. But for the immediate moment, I may have found a new favorite! If you are longing for a replacement of the Trackball Explorer and have around $50 to throw away, I would recommend checking it out. Ill be sure to update this review as the device ages.
follow up 2 months in:
All issues with muscle memory are gone and we are in full swing.
The battery that shipped with the device is giving signals that it is dying. Soon ill replace it with a good battery and see how long it lasts. If i only get two months out of the battery, thats not too bad, but still may be a little to fast a drain on battery life. Ill followup once i replace it and the next battery dies.
Follow up a week later:
So i procrastinated and didn't change the battery. It gave me the dead battery sines for about a week long. Figured that might be some useful info. Once you see the signs of a dying battery you have a week give or take to replace it.
Additional Follow up:
Does it have a Battery issue?.. not sure
So its tracking about 1 battery every two months.
Changed first battery in OCT
Changed second battery in the end of NOV (11/28/16)
Changed third battery begining of Feb (2/6/17) I probably could have gone a few more days with this battery
-I've also noticed a strange behavior where the controls are reversed, but i simply cycle the power and its fine again.
Follow up six months or so:
So on the last battery change i decided to go with a rechargeable battery. When I did this I set the power to high and it drained it pretty quick in about 20 days. From what i read this option just allows it to conserve power when its not in use. I'm not sure why that is an option but when one opts not to use it, it definitely draws the battery down about three times as fast. So I'd recommend leaving that switched to L.
Still in love with it, but i might consider a wired device if battery use is important to you. I'm thinking about purchasing another one just for back up and to have an additional device for my other machines.
(follow up: 9/25/17)
So I'm still am a fan of the DEFT but it has been dethroned. As mentioned at the top of this page the HUGE is discovered by the noob. Huge has taken the place of the deft on my desktop. That said, the HUGE stays on my desktop and the deft has replaced the mouse in my laptop bag. The DEFT is still a great device, but the huge has stolen my heart for the day to day.