Sanwa Supply Wireless Trackball Pro Review
SUMMARY: The Japanese Sanwa Supply Wireless Trackball Pro MA-WTB40R is not the most pretty device in the lineup of trackballs, but not a bad choice for someone who wants a large and wireless trackball. Only available in Japan, but via Amazon and eBay you can get your hands on one. The same model is also available with a USB cable instead of wireless (modelnr. MA-TB38) and in the colors Red (MA-WTB40R / MA-TB38R) or Black (MA-WTB40BK / MA-TB38BK).
OUR VERDICT: Read full review below
This red monster is created by the Japanese company Sanwa Supply. It looks quite impressive and cool, but unfortunately, it’s not as ergonomic as most trackball mice and has a terrible scrollwheel.
The Sanwa Supply Trackball Pro is one of the only trackballs that is available in several colors. Just to have it be different from the rest of my collection of Trackballs, I put it all on red. The paint looks like a metallic kind of dark red which is quite nice, and it matches the metallic look of the trackball. If your not as adventurous, you could go for a black body with red or grey ball.
I bought the wireless version, but the same model Sanwa Supply Trackball is also available WITH a wire (USB cable, instead of the wireless USB 2.4Ghz connection). This review could apply to that trackball as well, since the only difference is the wire/wireless connection.
Sanwa Supply Wireless Trackball Pro Red: MA-WTB40R
Sanwa Supply Wireless Trackball Pro Black: MA-WTB40BK
Sanwa Supply Trackball Pro Red: MA-TB38R
Sanwa Supply Trackball Pro Black: MA-TB38BK
The trackball is not available everywhere so you would need to find a trusted seller on eBay or Amazon. I live in Europe, but I got mine from eBay seller Shinobu Itagaki in Japan without any problems.
The Sanwa Supply Wireless Trackball Pro comes in quite a cool packaging, especially since it’s all Japanese text. The device looks at you from its cage, as if it is saying, dare to take me out!
The box contains the trackball including detachable wrist-rest, 2 AA batteries, the USB wireless receiver and manual/warranty information.
Wireless 2.4Ghz USB
What is clear, even from the Japanese box, is that this trackball is wireless, a feature that must be applauded, and is definitely a plus, since there are not many wireless trackballs around. But alas, not Bluetooth, as many of you (and me) would like to see one day. As indicated on the box, the wireless signal is a 2.4Ghz, and you need to plug in the very small USB receiver to your computer.
Take the device out of the box, put in the two AA batteries (included) and you’re ready to go. The wireless USB receiver plugs in my USB hub and the mouse is instantly recognised on my Retina Apple MacBook Pro 15”. The cursor is a little sensitive from the start, but this can be adjusted in the normal mouse settings.
After using this trackball for several weeks, the wireless connection has never failed me, which is how it should be, but as the Logitech wireless trackballs show, not always how it is. The signal sometimes takes a few milliseconds to register, so after some downtime it might have a very short delay before the cursor moves.
As mentioned earlier in this review, the same model trackball is also available with a standard USB cable connection, modelnumber MA-TB38).
The design of the trackball is not as modern, ergonomic and curved as most Microsoft, Logitech and Kensington trackballs, but it has a “Transformers”-style quality with its bold square shapes and lines that some might appreciate.
The Transformers link is even stronger when you take apart the wrist-rest. With two slides (which are very reminiscent of 1980s toys) you unlock the black wrist-rest and can slide it off, to find two black arms (see image) which then can be slid into the trackball device. As I said, Transformers fans can have a blast.
The device has four large buttons, positioned in a similar way to the Kensington SlimBlade and Kensington Expert, in squares around the centred trackball. Each button can of course be programmed to your needs, and the bottom left works already out of the box as the left click and bottom right as the right click.
The little scrollwheel is also a button when clicked, so in total that makes five buttons for the this Sanwa trackball.
The large 55mm ball is exactly the same size (and color) as the ball of the Kensington SlimBlade (my favorite trackball as you might know). I have exchanged the ball between these devices and they fit perfectly.
The location of the ball is different: due to the large body, the ball is positioned very high compared to the SlimBlade.
When I first started to use the trackball, the ball doesn’t move smoothly but after just a few minutes it starts to loosen up and after half a day, it’s turns perfectly, giving a nice feeling and control. The ball is exactly the same size as the ball in the Kensington Expert and Kensington SlimBlade. I’m a fan of large size trackballs and think they deliver more accuracy and control. If you want a smaller size, take a look at the Kensington Orbit with Scrollwheel.
The biggest disappointment of this trackball is the scrollwheel. Yes, it is included on the device, which is great, but the location on the device is odd, to say the least. The scrollwheel is located basically exactly underneath the palm of your hand, which means you will have to move your thumb under your hand to make it work. Which is possible, but a bit of a stretch, even for my long fingers. And the control, a sort of sideways scroll with the top/side of the thumb doesn’t give the proper control and comfort you might expect when scrolling.
Another downside is the height of the device. It is too high to be comfortable. You would really need to set your chair much higher if possible so you can put your arms at a straight angle. All other trackballs are much lower than this one. It’s really 2 cm (3/4 of an inch) too high in my opinion. The Kensington SlimBlade is much more ergonomic and comfortable, with its smooth and low curved shape.
This is a Japanese product, easier to find in Japan than in other countries, but thanks to some sellers on eBay and Amazon you can still get your hands on this trackball. The downside is that the price is quite high as a result, making this one the more expensive trackballs, together with its competition the Kensington SlimBlade and Kensington Expert.
|2,5 / 5|
The Sanwa Supply Wireless Trackball is a cool addition to the few trackballs that are currently available, but it’s definitely not the best.
The pros include the wireless feature, large ball and removable wrist-rest, and its Transformers-like bold square design.
The cons are the badly positioned scrollwheel and the high body.
Of a similar size and layout, the Kensington Expert and Kensington SlimBlade are better alternatives to this Sanwa Supply. The Expert features a fantastic scrollring around the ball, while the SlimBlade looks and feels the best, and has a unique feature of scrolling by turning the trackball.
Do you have the Sanwa Suply Trackball Pro? Please share your experience in a comment below or contact me!