Microsoft Trackball Explorer

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This is Microsoft Trackball Explorer. It came out in 2001.

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

The is the best trackball ever. Discontinued. But can be bought on amazon, from $200 used to $500 new.

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.

Microsoft Trackball Explorer is the first trackball that can spin somewhat (but not actually spin, as if using ball bearings.).

〔➤see Trackballs That Can Spin

ms trackball explorer-3
“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon
ms trackball explorer-4
“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon
ms trackball explorer 90149
ms trackball explorer 90230

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 explorer box 7 ms trackball explorer box 5
Microsoft Trackball Explorer box. 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.

video of using Microsoft Trackball Explorer. The keyboard is Ergodox.

Size Comparison

trackballs logitech cordless opt trackman  elecom deft  ms explorer 2016-01 19348
Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman trackballElecom DEFT Trackball • Microsoft Trackball Explorer 〔image source

Trackball Sizes Comparison

Ball Size

Ball diameter: 38 mm.