Logitech is introducing its first new trackball in years. The MX Ergo trackball claims improved precision compared to its predecessors, as well as eight buttons combining modern features with an older use model. The device is also one of the first products by Logitech that supports the company’s Flow technology that enables seamless switching and file sharing between different systems.

Trackball History 101

The trackball was invented in 1947, decades before mice and personal computers, for the British Royal Navy’s command, control, and coordination system known as Comprehensive Display System (CDS). In fact, a rolling ball along with four disks to pick up motion were used both for early trackballs and for early mice. However, mice were chosen by Apple, Microsoft, Xerox and others for their programs and computers featuring GUI in the late 1970s and the early 1980s possibly because of more intuitive design. Meanwhile, rolling balls inside mice were not always optimal for precision and other reasons, which is why trackballs became relatively popular in the eighties and the nineties primarily among graphics designers. After both mice and trackballs switched to optical tracking technology in the late 1990s to early 2000s, advantages of trackballs somewhat eroded and their adoption diminished. Nonetheless, there are loyal trackball users who continue to operate them instead of other tracking devices either for personal efficiency, comfort, or nostalgia. Only two main companies produce trackballs nowadays: Logitech and Kensington, with Logitech introducing its first new trackball in many years.

The Logitech MX Ergo (For Right-Handers)

The Logitech MX Ergo looks like a huge mouse, except it has a ball which has to be rotated by a big digit. As the 'Ergo' name implies, the ergonomics of the trackball can be adjusted. This is achieved by increasing the angle of the device from 0 to 20 degrees, just like the precision of the optical tracking, which varies from 320 dpi to 440 dpi. The device has eight buttons, some of which can be reprogrammed. The latest trackball also comes with an integrated 500 mAh Li-Po battery that can work for 'days or months depending on usage model'.

The new MX Ergo trackball from Logitech can use the company’s Unify wireless receiver (as well as Bluetooth) to connect to PCs. Moreover, just like Logitech’s latest mice, the MX Ergo supports the company’s Flow technology that allows to simultaneously control two computers (Macs and/or Windows) and automatically switch between them by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. In addition, the Flow allows transferring files between two systems wirelessly using Wi-Fi or Ethernet networks.

The tilt of the trackball in action

The Logitech MX Ergo trackball mouse will be available in the U.S. directly from the company, and from its retail partners starting later this month, for $99.99. Pricing and availability in other countries will vary. No word if a left-handed version will enter the market.

Related Reading

Source: Logitech

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  • stargazera5 - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    I used to love the old logitech trackman wheels that had the red marbles. They were among the best thumb-based trackballs ever made, IMHO. Unfortunately the the follow up M570s never seemed to have the same precision or control. I also burned through batteries like crazy. if Logitech offered this as a wired mouse and a couple of months ago, I probably would have given it a try. However I just bought an ELECOM M-XT3URBK which is fitting my needs.

    I'd also highly recommend the Kensington Expert Trackball, sadly I broke mine as it was just slightly too tall for the keyboard tray I use and I finally broke on of the bearings it rides on.

    However, I should note that trackball manufacture seems to have a recent upsurge as there are a number of models from Japanese manufacturers like Elecom and Sanwa that came out in the last few years. So the article should be updated to reflect this as they are readily available on Amazon, meaning you aren't limited to Logitech or Kensington.
  • Red_Sun - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Just bought the wired Elecom to replace my aging m570. This logitech looks to have fewer features. Too little, too late in my book.
  • CaedenV - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Sees Title:
    YES!!! I'll order 3 of those please!

    Reads $100 price tag
    Ok... maybe just one X-)
  • twtech - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    I already have an order in for one of these, and I hope it turns out well.

    Excluding a few cheap Chinese models that don't work that well, this is the first major thumb trackball release in about 7 years since the debut of the M570.
  • boozed - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    My mum will be thrilled.

    (No joke!)
  • ianmills - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    God damn I really wish they would update their marble mouse to a dpi that is actually usable with large monitor
  • kubi - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Ugh, thumbball. I'll be sticking with my Elecom Deft for now.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Good to know that after my wife's M570 dies and the second M570 we have as a backup dies, maybe she can get this one in 2025.
  • Icehawk - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    Pretty excited, I love me some thumb ball action. Too bad there aren't a few more buttons and higher dpi though.

    Anyone know what the difference is with the Plus model?
  • groundhogdaze - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - link

    I have enough spare m570's to last me till Armageddon. I was excited about the announcement of a new Logitech trackball but the $99 price and legacy micro-usb port are a real wtf...

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