Perixx PERIMICE-520 trackball
I am one of the weird people who like trackballs. Not for some ergonomic reasons people in various sub-reddits will tell you about. Not for the space savings having a stationary unit. Moving a ball instead of moving your whole hand is space efficient. With a tripple screen setup it is far more comfortable to move the cursor from the far left to the far right. And once I got used to using one I was sold on the concept.
For most of the last 20 years I used Logitech trackballs. Great build quality, plug and play and thumb operated. Which is the list of things I expect from a trackball. Seems pretty short, doesn’t it? Yet it is not easy to find one to check off all three points in 2022.
Logitech went all in on wireless. The MX Ergo is a great trackball. But neither the USB receiver nor bluetooth work reliable on my Mac Pro or my Macbook. I am not sure who is at fault here. Other bluetooth products, including mice, work as expected. While the trackballs work well on my Lenovo X1. That aside, I do not want wireless products. Cables rarely fail, they are easy to repair and did I mention that they rarely fail?
With Logitech out of the picture I started doing some research. There are a few lesser known brands who seem to have decent thumb operated trackballs. In the end I decided to give Perixx based on a recommendation and some good reviews I read.
I placed an order through Perixxs online store. One of the benefits of Perixx being a German brand - being able to buy from the vendor itself. Also quick and easy delivery, if their post office would not have had some issues. Their customer support reached out and let me know about the issue. After all the PERIMICE-520s arrived 4 days later. Yes, plural. I ordered two. One for my workstation and one for my laptop when stationary. In the end I can return them if they were not to my liking, but I would not get the same seasonal deal again.
The first impression was not very good having used Logitech Trackballs and mice. The cable feels kind of cheap. The plastic does not feel nice. And it weights near anything. But this is also the complete list of things I can complain about. The ball rolls smooth after using it for an hour or so. The key switches feel solid and have a good sounding click. Precession is fine, but not as smooth as the MX Ergo for short movements. You do not need some random software making your life miserable and computer slow. As far as I know you can program macro keys, but I will never know for sure.
I wish Perixx would release the exact same trackball. But make it 40€ more expensive and use more premium feeling materials I would buy two more. The challenge I faced was getting over the fact that I do not like things with bad haptics. And this trackball does everything in its power to not appeal to that side of me.
This said said, I am pretty much okay with them and they will stay on my desk for now. The price of 35-ish Euro fine for what you get. The trackball works as expected and appears to be repairable if you can get the right parts.