I own what could be the best trackball around. But it isn’t the Elecom Deft Pro Trackball. It could have been, but it wasn’t around when the Microsoft Trackball Explorer hit the market in 2001. That is when I purchased my Explorer and have carried it with me across multiple house moves, across country three times, and thousands of hours of use without issue.
Because I think the Trackball Explorer is the best around, I didn’t want it to ever fail. Think of it as a car that you want to put limited miles on because the lower the mileage, the more it end sup being worth. Well, the MS Trackball Explorer is selling on Amazon for around $200 at this time.
So, the MS Trackball Explorer looks like this:
It allows you to use the two buttons on the Left side with your thumb, as well as a scroll wheel. The other two buttons could be tapped with the ring and pinky fingers. It is a great trackball and I recommend it if you love a good trackball.
Then I heard about the Elecom Deft Pro. It’s not the HUGE version. It is about the same size as the more bulky part of the Trackball Explorer. It looks like this:
The Elecom has three buttons on the top, four on the thumb side and can support Wired, Wireless 2.4, and Bluetooth. Everything is programmable, but the reason I’m writing all of this is due to one thing…
Quality Control. On the MS Trackball Explorer, it worked out of the box without issue or complaint. I don’t like mice as an input device. I have to slide all over the place and lift the mouse up… a lot.
I joke that when I hit the end of my desk, I have to stop, move my desk, and then keep scrolling. The biggest issue with the Trackball Explorer is that its so expensive to replace and it isn’t being produced anymore. It never suffered from “Sticktion” which is when the ball sitting on, in the case of the Elecom Deft Pro, ruby spheres that suspend the ball and are supposed to make it easier. Well, these ruby spheres are not fabricated to a high degree and they actually act like sandpaper. They create start and stops as you roll the ball. As you slow down, the sticking becomes more obvious.
To remedy this, I ended up taking apart my Elecom Deft Pro. It was just two day sold. I purchased these 2.5mm ceramic bearings of zirconia oxide. They can be found here:
I found these because others have done similar. It has made the Elecom Deft Pro superior in all ways but one. It has updated software. Highly programmable, and with the replacement ceramic spheres, the trackball is smooth and has no sticktion. It does suffer from one thing that bothers me, and I’m sure there is a remedy, such as making it wired.
The transmitter turns off extremely quick. One second it works, and the next, it disconnects from transmitting and you have to click a button to reactivate.
If you stumble across this post and are interested in a great trackball. The Elecom Deft Pro is what I use now and I’ve stored my MS Trackball Explorer so that I can always have access to it if the Deft Pro fails. They just don’t make it like the MS Trackball Explorer anymore.