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The MicroTrac Trackball from Clearly Superior Technologies offers a surprising degree of performance packed into a small package. The diminutive housing means the MicroTrac can easily fit in the palm of the hand, potentially reducing fatigue by reducing the need to reach for a mousing device. Users with average or larger hands may well be able to perform all functions with a single hand, using the thumb for button activation and trackball control. Those with smaller hands will easily be able to perform all functions with two hands since reaching with the thumb may not be sufficient. Alternatively, the MicroTrac can be placed wherever desired and used as a traditional trackball, with rubber feet ensuring secure positioning. The exceptionally compact design also means this device can be used by those with very limited range of movement or even by small children and yet users with large hands can still achieve reasonably effective control without feeling overly constrained by the compact size.
Although the MicroTrac trackball has minimal mass and is therefore unable to 'spin' freely as do its larger PC-Trac and L-Trac cousins, the built-in dynamic motion enhancement provides single-pixel control while still offering rapid movement over greater distances. Rolling the ball faster exponentially increases the cursor speed across the screen, move the ball slowly and you get single pixel accuracy. This three button trackball requires no special drivers or software. The middle button can perform both Drag-Lock and Scroll-Lock functions. An indicator LED notifies users when the Scroll-Lock mode is activated. Load balancing between hands is encouraged by the ability to simultaneously press all three buttons to switch them between Right and Left format.
With the MicroTrac you can work precisely and comfortably for hours at a time. The Drag Lock feature makes this product more comfortable by eliminating the need to hold down a button to highlight or select items. Simply tap the Drag Lock Button and the button stays 'locked' until hit a second time. The MicroTrac also far outperforms similarly-sized trackballs by offering much smoother movement combined with the superior control provided by the Dynamic Motion-Enhancement.
Uses Less Space Than Conventional Mice
- The compact size and stationary nature of the MicroTrac trackball also allows the user to conserve space on their workspace. It is ideally suited for space restrictive environments, narrower keyboard trays that can accommodate a keyboard with only a few inches extra to spare, or simply to just hold in the hand.
Reduces Strain on Arm, Elbow and Shoulder Muscles
- Like a touchpad, MicroTrac Trackballs are stationary mousing devices. (Moving the ball with the fingers moves the cursor on the screen.) Limiting the repetitive movements of the arm and shoulder can greatly reduce the potential for injury and inflammation in these muscle groups. The housing of a trackball can also be angled in any direction, allowing the user to keep the elbow, wrist and hand in a straight line, and to limit ulnar and radial deviation. Learn More About Ulnar Deviation
Reduces Strain on the Hand, Wrist and Arm
- Trackballs effectively counter any tendency the user might have to grip the pointing device too hard. This often inadvertent static grip can cause pain and injury to the muscles and soft tissues in the back of the hand and in the wrist and forearm. Trackballs, by requiring a simple spinning motion accomplished with the fingers, eliminate static grip entirely. Learn More About Static Grip Force
Reduces Reach for Buttons
- The MicroTrac Trackball clusters the buttons to the top and sides of the trackball, ensuring that they are easily accessible to any user.
Hardwired Drag Lock Feature Reduces Finger Fatigue
- The hard-wired Drag Lock feature allows users to activate drag-lock by simply clicking on the middle button. This eliminates the need to hold down the button while dragging the selected item on the computer screen. This will simplify using applications that require significant click-and-drag actions.
Scroll Lock for Ease of Scrolling
- The MicroTrac also has a scroll-lock feature that allows users to horizontally and vertically scroll without having to hold down a button. Scroll Lock is activated by holding the middle button down for 3 seconds. An indicator light in the upper right notifies users when the Scroll Lock function is activated.
Enables Load Balancing Between Left and Right Hands
- The MicroTrac Trackball features an ambidextrous design and can be placed on the left or right side of the keyboard in the traditional desktop layout. They can also be used between the two modules of a separated keyboard, on the arm of a couch, or wherever else the user might find convenient and comfortable. The ability to distribute the workload as desired allows the user to reduce the strain on the muscles of the dominant side. The MicroTrac has a special 'Ambidextrous Trackball' feature which allows fast switching from left to right-handed use by simultaneously pressing all 3 buttons, without the need to change system settings.
Smooth Rotation of Trackball
- The 19 mm ball on the MicroTrac does not possess a mass significant to support 'spinning'. However, the movement is smooth and tracking is surprisingly accurate.
Dynamic Acceleration Reduces Repetitive Movement
- The Dynamic Acceleration feature incorporated into the MicroTrac is especially beneficial to users working with large high resolution screens or those who need to rapidly move the cursor across greater distances while still retaining fine control. This feature ties the distance travelled to the speed with which the ball is rotated. For example, a 1/4 rotation of the ball at a rapid rate will cause the cursor to cover a substantially greater distance than the same 1/4 rotation performed at a slow rate. Traditional fixed acceleration trackballs require a greater degree or number of rotations in order to accomplish these larger movements, resulting in an increase in the amount of necessary finger movement.
- Smooth Trackball Movement: Most small trackballs are known for their rough movement and high resistance. The MicroTrac wins on both of these by providing smooth movement and limited resistance by employing bearings rated for 10 million rotations.
- Middle Button Hardwired for Drag-Lock: The middle button defaults to drag-lock - this means that there is no need to hold a button down to highlight, select or drag an item. This is a real plus for individuals with trigger finger, who constantly have to click, or for those with motor skill difficulties.
- Middle Button in Scroll-Lock Mode: The middle button can also act as a scroll-lock. To have the button perform a scroll-lock (instead of the default drag-lock), press and hold the button for 3 seconds. An indicator light in the upper right notifies the user when Scroll Lock is activated. To leave scroll-lock mode, press any button.
- Ambidextrous Design: The MicroTrac trackballs encourage ambidextrous use with a special 'Ambidextrous Trackball' feature which allows fast switching from left to right-handed use by simultaneously pressing all 3 buttons, without the need to change system settings.
- Dynamic Acceleration: The Dynamic Acceleration feature incorporated into the MicroTrac overcomes one of the issues associated with small diameter trackballs. This feature ties the distance travelled to the speed with which the ball is rotated. For example, a 1/4 rotation of the ball at a rapid rate will cause the cursor to cover a substantially greater distance than the same 1/4 rotation performed at a slow rate. Users are able to set their mouse pointer speed high enough to achieve practical control, while still retaining exceptional cursor control by slower rotation of the trackball. The Dynamic Acceleration also ensures that covering larger than average distances can be achieved by a rapid rotation of the trackball without the need to reset point speed settings. A fixed acceleration trackball would require a greater degree or number of rotations in order to cover these larger movements, resulting in an increase in the amount of necessary finger movement.
- Universal Compatibility: The universal compatibility of this design means it works well in a multi-user environments with a range of individuals. Surprisingly, in spite of the small dimensions of the MicroTrac, it can be easily controlled by users with any size of hand.
- Wired Reliability: The MicroTrac Trackball employs a wired USB or PS/2 (adapter included) connection which eliminates the potential for wireless to 'drop out' at a crucial moment. It also ensures the fastest communication - eliminating any potential for lag from wireless.
- Small Dimensions: The small size of the MicroTrac makes it well-suited to handheld use or for those with very small hands.
- Portable Design: The small design of the MicroTrac makes it ideal for laptop use since it will easily fit into any nook or cranny of space. It is also a better choice than traditional mini-mice which require gripping and pinching by virtually any use.
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- Width: 2.0" (5.1 cm)
- Depth (front to back): 2.75" (7.0 cm)
- Height: 1.2" (3.0 cm)
- Diameter of Trackball: 0.75" (1.9 cm)
- Button Rating: 5 million actuations
Material: Dupont TM Delrin TM
Maximum Load Rating: 2 Ib. operating, 5 Ib. static
Lubrication: PEFE I PTFE base
- Bearing rating: 10 million revolutions
- Resolution: 300 CPI (counts per inch)
- Drive Ratio: 5.2 - 1
Housing: Hi Impact ABS Plastic
Hub Material: Brass Alloy
Shaft Material: V-Groove Brass Alloy
Material: Dupont TM Delrin TM
Maximum Rated Load: 2 Ib. operating, 5 Ib. static
Lubrication: PEFE I PTFE base
PC: Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7
Mac: Mac OS 9 (or later)
Linux: Most versions
Other: any HID 1.0 compatible operating system (e.g. Sun Solaris)
- Interface: USB 1.1 (includes USB toPS/2 adapter)
- Warranty: 1 year
- Package Contents: Microtrac Trackball, USB to PS/2 adapter, Paper and CD User Guides.
- Adjust your Operating System Pointer Speed to achieve optimum performance with the MicroTrac. The small 0.75" diameter of the trackball means that a slow pointer speed will require too many rotations of the trackball to be effective. The dynamic acceleration feature ensures that you will retain fine control of the cursor, even at higher pointer speed settings and still have access to the rapid movement by a quick spin of the trackball.
- If you are new to a trackball expect that it will take a while to get accustomed to the different style of control. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of time you use it in the first while. Rather, build up to longer periods of usage by interchanging with a different mousing device or by Load Balancing (see next point).
- Load Balance Your Use: The freedom of an ambidextrous trackball lets you easily switch between left and right handed use. Make a point of using it with your non-dominant hand. Not only is this good for your dominant hand, which gets a break from working, it can slowly build dexterity and endurance which your non-dominant hand generally does not have. As a bonus, it is also a way of stimulating the other half of your brain, which is never a bad idea. The MicroTrac trackballs encourage ambidextrous use with a special "Ambidextrous Trackball" feature which allows fast switching from left to right-handed use by simultaneously pressing all 3 buttons, without the need to change system settings.
- Take Regular Breaks: If you find that you are experiencing discomfort in your fingers, especially in the learning stages - that is a good sign that you may want to take a break by switching to a different device or by swapping to the other hand. As with any device, make an effort to regularly change your usage, take breaks, and perform stretches. Some users find that the fingers can benefit from occasionally flexing them through a full range of movement, both extending and contracting them fully.
- Employ the 'Dynamic Acceleration' feature to reduce unnecessary repetitive rotation movements when needing to move across large distances. Moving the ball quickly will cause it to cover a much greater distance than it will if rotated slowly for the same amount of rotation (i.e. a quarter of a rotation at a higher speed will cover a much greater distance than a quarter of a rotation at a slow speed).
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