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Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball Review

productnumber K64325

Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball

What owners say
The reviews of the Kensington Expert Mouse are very positive, with 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. 75% of the reviewers gives it 4 stars or more, but some people said the scroll wheel could be better.
4 stars
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best-price-180LOWEST PRICE:
$79.97 »

SUMMARY: The Kensington Expert Mouse trackball is one of the trackballs that I used most in the past 15 years. Yes, it’s one of my favorites, so expect nothing but praise! This is a winner, especially for professional users.

Compare Kensington Expert MouseUpdate 2016: the Expert is now also available as a Bluetooth wireless trackball

OUR VERDICT: Outstanding Read full review below

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Kensington $89.99 See it

Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball Review

The Kensington Expert Mouse is one of the best trackballs available, if not THE best. Even though Kensington has named this the Expert Mouse, it really is not a mouse. This is a Trackball with a capital T.

I have been using this wonderful device since 2002 and it has been by my side ever since. The years before my Expert, I have used a Logitech Marble, another great trackball. But once you start using an Expert, there’s no turning back.

Kensington Expert Mouse Review

Design

Let’s start with the overall design. When you take the Kensington Expert Mouse trackball out of the box you might be surprised by the size. It is a large device, wedge shaped, with a huge, dark grey metallic trackball placed in the center. The largest ball of all the current trackballs (together with the Kensington SlimBlade which has the same ball, but in red) is surrounded by a black rubber scrollwheel and four large buttons. If you have very small hands, this one might be too big for you (then I would recommend the Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring), but most people will be able to use the Expert properly.
The ambidextrous design is exactly symmetrical so the Expert can be used by right-handed and left-handed people.

The materials feel good, although a bit cheaper than the nice materials of the Logitech Cordless Trackman trackball or the Kensington SlimBlade. Just like any other trackball or mouse, the buttons will show signs of use after a few years of intense use.

The Kensington Expert Mouse comes with a soft wristrest that can be attached to the trackball device. I never really liked the wrist rest, but some people prefer to have the extra support. This also depends on the position of your arm, chair and desk, so it’s nice to have the option of adding or removing this wristrest depending on your situation.

Buttons

The four large buttons can be programmed to do whatever you like if you download Kensington TrackballWorks software on the Kensington website. You can even set an action for if you click the two top buttons at the same time or if you click the two bottom buttons at the same time. The bottom left button is best for left-click, the bottom right button best for right-click. The top buttons can be set to for example back / forward, media player functions, launching applications or documents etcetera. If you have an Apple Macintosh computer you could set up the top buttons to activate Mission Control, Launchpad or other Mac related options, something I really like to use them for.

Scroll Ring

The large rubber scroll ring is really a great addition to this trackball. The ring makes scrolling (and therefor using your computer) easier, quicker and more accurate. The scrollring has a solid rubber grip and turns very smoothly. The only trackball that offers a better scrolling experience is the Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring, which has an incredibly smooth and accurate ring.

Ball

The large trackball of the Expert might feel very heavy at first, but once you get used to it, you will love how accurate and solid it is compared to smaller trackballs. As mentioned earlier, the only other trackball that offers a ball this big is the Kensington SlimBlade. The ball is resting in its cradle but is not ‘fixed’, so when you would hold the Expert upside down (for example while it is in your bag while traveling) the ball can fall out. Of course during use on your desk the ball will never be able to fall out. Every now and then you need to take the ball out and clean the surface below to keep the rotation smooth. The cleaning only takes a few seconds.

Finger-operated trackball offers ideal finger setting

The Expert is a finger-operated trackball which means you need your middle fingers to control the ball (as opposed to thumb-operated trackballs, where you use your thumb for the ball and other fingers for the buttons and scrolling).

The Expert offers in my opinion an ideal layout for efficient use of all the fingers. Never are the fingers in each other’s way or will you need to move your fingers to access certain functions (unless you want to use the top two buttons). I like to scroll with my ring finger, which allows my index finger and middle finger to control the trackball, and my thumb to click the left button and my pinkie to click the right button.

The position of your hand is quite comfortable as it is resting on the device or the wristrest. Even after hours of use, my hands never get tired of controlling this trackball. Compared to regular mouse this is a joy to use. I really can’t understand why anyone would use a normal mouse, while this Expert is available to make your computer experience so much better.

Conclusion

Outstanding 4.5 / 5 Outstanding

The Kensington Expert Mouse is my favorite trackball, and I would recommend especially professional and heavy users to get this one. It might be a bit more expensive than other trackballs but it operates in another league. Truly professional, accurate ball, great scroll ring and an ergonomic design make this a winner. The large ball rolls smoothly and allows for fast movement across the screen with very small movements. The ergonomics are fantastic, saving you wrist strain after hours of use. The four large buttons can be programmed to do exactly you want, all making for a simple and effective workflow with minimal movement from your hand and arm.

Alternatives
I would find it very hard to give up the comfort and accuracy of the Expert for another finger-operated trackball. The only competition, in my opinion, is the Kensington SlimBlade (looks better, same size ball, but more expensive and scrolling is not as good) or the Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring (much cheaper, scrolling is better, but two buttons less and smaller ball than the Expert). Another good alternative is the Clearly Superior Technologies CST2545 (I’ll post a review of this one soon).
Update: in 2016, Kensington released a wireless version of the Kensington Expert. The first bluetooth trackball, also comes with a 2.4GHz USB receiver. With a red ball and slightly updated body design, you can consider the Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball a proper alternative.

where to buy Logitech M570

Review notes

Pros

Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball

  • DiamondEye Optical tracking for superior accuracy
  • Award-winning Scroll Ring for precise fingertip scrolling
  • Exceptional comfort for ultimate productivity
  • Large ball for maximum precision and control
  • Detachable wrist rest cradles hand in comfort
  • 4 Buttons
  • Buttons can be customized via TrackballWorks Software
Cons
  • Might be big for people with small hands
  • Not wireless (but now there’s a wireless version)
  • Some users have complained about the quality of the scrollwheel, but I have had no problems with it.

See more features and specifications on the Trackball Comparison page

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13 comments

Like the reviewer, I’ve used the Expert for a long time – about five years, in my case. I now use an old Logitech Trackman Pro because I lost the Expert Mouse in our last home move.

I’m on a low budget, so I’m waiting for the moment to be able to go back to the Expert Mouse. Once you’ve touched this device, there’s nothing else that will meet your expectations. Nothing. Sounds silly, but it’s absolutely true.

I did have trouble when one of the buttons got a little shaving of plastic caught under it, and in trying to extract it without disassembling it (four Philips screws in the base) so I didn’t void the warranty, I accidentally twisted the button. So while I got the plastic out, the button never worked the same.

The left button definitely got worn after two years or so, but it’s just cosmetic – the glitter coating is only a couple of microns thick.

The scroll ring is what I miss the most. I dream about having a scrolling ring…. hmm, too much information…

This is truly the best trackball out there. I’d prefer a red ball, the grey one makes the whole thing look a bit industrial and unfriendly, but then I like red balls too.

Hope this helps someone wondering!

I have a major love/have relationship with this mouse. I purchased it about 4 years ago to replace my Microsoft trackball (this was flat out the best mouse ever, sadly no longer made, and cost on the hundreds used).
This mouse has an unbelievable feel in the hand, the huge ball is effortless to move, it is easy to clean, the scroll wheel works flawlessly, and the wrist pad makes it very comfortable to use for many hours.
Why I hate this mouse:
Kensington actually publicly announced they would not support Win8 because (it was too hard to code for), until they had to cave into consumer pressure. Kensington hates MS, and will hate you if you use Windows.
The software (trackball works), is total complete crap. It takes forever to load, and introduces a huge lag in button response speed, something like 1/4 of a second lag. You have to hove the mouse for a moment, press the button, then you can proceed. The mouse is 100% useless for anything requiring rapid point and click actions.

Some Unregistered Punk

You don’t need to use Kenginston software to alter the settings of your mouse.

There is third party programs that are available that do a better job in a windows environment.

I use X-Mouse button control located at http://www.highrez.co.uk/ This software doesn’t introduce the lag that joshua43214 talks about. The software also allowed me to set up different setups for different programs and different setups for one program. It is very useful for me.

I have used this for a logitech trackball as well with the same results.

Just got this trackball… the scroll ring is NOT well designed. It has a very rough feel and catches at points during its rotation. My first thought was that I had a faulty unit, until I did a search. Turns out that this is a common complaint; too bad that I read the praise for “smooth scrolling” on this site, and didn’t do more searches on the subject =(.

I’m going to give it a few more days, then it goes back to B&H Photo for a refund.

IMO, the best trackball was the MSoft Trackball Explorer; mine is long in the tooth, and I was hoping to find a alternate for when it bites the dust. Can’t believe they don’t make it any more.

The search continues…

Same here, John!

When I worked in recording studios out in LA, this was THE mouse in virtually every control room. So when I saw it during the Amazon Prime Day sale for $40, I pounced on it.

However, once I received it and set it up, I noticed that the scroll wheel was incredibly loud and rough. I thought (and still kind of think) that I got a defective unit, but apparently this is widespread amongst just about every unit. I don’t remember it being this loud from my audio days, but that was 5 years ago and I’ve slept since then, so I probably forgot about it.

One enthusiast by the name of “ripster” took this trackball apart to figure out why the scroll ring does not work smoothly. It appears that Kensington in their wisdom wanted to have it moving in small steps so they introduced a magnet. This magnet can be taken out and then there is smooth scrolling. I have worn out about four Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring’s – the switches give up too early. If the trackball feels “sticky” (does not move around freely) I clean it and wipe it with a small amount of uMicroLubrol Ultimox 226 and then all is well again.

Too bad it’s not wireless. I don’t have a desk, I have a piano keyboard, rack of audio outboard gear, etc. and have made an attachment to my chair arm. It’s basically a shelf running along my right chair arm and a cable won’t work. I’ve been using a Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan for as long as they’ve been out and never had problems with the signal (except when batteries are low) and that’s with several monitors, powered speakers, wireless computer keyboard, lots of wiring and audio gear surrounding my chair. My right click is wearing out and I would have thought I’d be able to get a great modern wireless trackball with programmable buttons, but no! Why would anyone use a regular mouse? I hate them. I love the design and functionality of the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro Wireless, but it’s not for 2D. Boo hoo!

Why is it so expensive?

Hi, I love my expert wired trackball, but the scroll wheel changed sensitivity on me. It now scrolls 1/2 page at a time. How can I change it back to scrolling slower or line by line, or whatever setting it had that didn’t go 1/2 page at a time? If I’m on a site, I just want to scroll down the list, stopping here or there, but now it jumps past stuff. Thanks for suggestions, Trish BTW it’s a Kensington Expert Wired TrackBall # K64325RR

Hi, where can I download the soft ware to program the four buttons & scroll wheel & scroll ball? Thanks, Trish

Hi,
Can the ball be removed ?
I mean locked so noone can steal it .

Regards

No, the ball is not locked. If you keep the Kensington Expert upside down, the ball will fall out. If you’re looking for a Trackball with a locked large ball, then the CST is a very good option.

I’m thinking of buying a Kensington Expert but based on this review and its comments I’m afraid it would not be comfortable to use without customizing the buttons. I work in a big organization and I cannot install anything on my computer. Can somebody explain what is the basic out-of-the-box functionality of each button? Can I somehow customize the buttons to have back/forward functionality without using software? Maybe I can use RegEdit or modify some .ini/.conf files?

Many thanks!

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