Logitech Trackman. (trackball) (Hardware Review) (Evaluation)
by Bruce M. Bowden
The Trackman trackball from Logitech is a terrific alternative to a mouse. It looks something like a three-fingered hand, and for good reason: The widths of the buttons on this three-button device (the three "fingers") fit your real fingers well. The thumb is the trackball itself, which can be easily manipulated by your real thumb.
Of course, since your thumb must be trained to do what your whole hand (and arm) previously did, it takes some getting used to when quick pointing is required. Even so, for applications where moving the pointer isn't time critical, adaptation is almost automatic. Generally speaking, the ergonomic design is excellent. Of course, the real advantage of the Trackman--what Logitech calls a stationary mouse--is that it sits in one place, whereas a mouse needs room to move. Everyone with a crowded workspace should look closely at this product.
Because this trackball is as large as an adult hand (about 5 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches high), it may not be convenient for packing when space is tight. It might not work well for a small child, either. In most cases, however, size shouldn't be a problem.
The Trackman comes with the same versatile MouseWare software that accompanies all of Logitech's mouse products. This makes it adaptable to virtually any system configuration. Also included with the trackball is a 9-to-25 pin serial adapter, a 9-to-6 pin mouse port adapter, and a thorough and well-written manual.
If you're looking for a sturdily built, versatile alternative to a mouse, you might consider giving your hand to the Trackman.
LOGITECH 6505 Kaiser Dr. Fremont, CA 94555 (800) 231-7717 (510) 795-8500
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