Microsoft Trackball Explorer

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The best trackball ever, ever, is the Microsoft Trackball Explorer. This is made by Microsoft in 2001. Discontinued. But can be bought on amazon, from $200 used to $500 new.

ms trackball explorer-5
“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon Large ball. Heavyish. Spins! image source

In a trackball device, the one thing you want, is large ball and with the least amount of friction. So that, you could spin the ball. However, in almost all trackballs i've tested at store, doesn't matter how much force you try to spin the ball, as soon as your finger leaves the ball, the ball stops within a second. The only exception i know of is the Microsoft Trackball Explorer.

ms trackball explorer-3
“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon
ms trackball explorer-4
“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon

This trackball have rave reviews all over the web. However, for business reasons, Microsoft stopped producing trackballs, citing that vast majority of people buy mouse. If you search the web, you'll find several avid fans who have written about how they wrote to Microsoft to ask them to bring this device back, but Microsoft basically said “sorry, no.”.

ms trackball explorer2
“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon

You can see how the demand/supply of this trackball is going crazy. Amazon have sellers selling them from $200 to $500. Right now, there's a seller selling new ones for $500. That's more expensive than a whole computer. On Ebay, you can see several starting at about $200. And there's even repair service for this device for $45.