Input Devices: Mouse, Jog Wheel, Touchpad, Pen Tablet, Trackball, Joystick

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .


logitech mx master wireless mouse-s
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse amazon

Mouse, the classic input device. Modern ones features laser tracking, and thumb wheel.

Apple's Magic Mouse

Apple magic mouse
“Apple Magic Mouse”, on the right. Apple Mouse 〔photo by Ben Dodson.

Apple Magic Mouse. The entire surface is smooth. No buttons. No scroll wheel. It works by touch sensitivity, like a touch pad. And you can use “gestures”. For example, to left click, tab on the left side with one finger. To scroll, move your finger on the surface up or down. To zoom, touch the surface with two fingers and widen your fingers.

Is this good mouse? No. If you want to impress your friends, yeah. If you want it for industrial use, ➢ for example: heavy gaming, long hours in image-editing or editing in 3D Modeling Software, it suck badly. Tire your fingers, rub your skins off.

Apple Magic Trackpad

Apple magic trackpad 2
“Apple Magic Trackpad” Apple Magic Trackpad 〔photo by Tom Carmony. image source

The Magic Trackpad is just a large trackpad. That's all.

Rub your fingers on metal. Rub rub. Rub rub.

Every few years, Apple comes out with shiny and novel toys. Actually i don't recommend them. If you are a casual computer user, yeah Apple's input devices look great and work well. If you are in any way using the computer professionally, such as serious gaming, PhotoShop or visual artist, creating 3D Models, or programing (heavy Emacs or keyboard Macros use), Apple's creative input devices are usually less efficient and less ergonomic than the humble homely standard ones.

See also: Apple Keyboard Reviews.

Pen Tablet

Now, if you do a lot image editing or drawing, you need a pen tablet, absolutely. This is something i can recommend.

Pen Tablet

Best Trackball

Kensington Expert Mouse and Slimblade
Best Trackballs

Jog/Shuttle Control

shuttle pro 2 controller 2014
“Contour Design's Shuttle Pro 2” Contour Design Shuttle Pro

See: What's Jog-Wheel? What's Shuttle-Wheel?.

3D Controllers

Many gaming and 3D modeling software can use a specially designed input device. ➢ for example: Second Life, Google Earth Mouse Navigation and Keys, Flight Simulator, and other 3D Modeling Software.

SpaceNavigator 3d Mouse

Best Keyboard