What is Trackball? Function, Use & Types of Trackball in Computer!

A trackball is a pointing input cursor control electronic device that is used in many notebook and laptop computer to increase the efficiency, better accessibility and helps to avoid injury. So, in this article, we will explain all possible things in detail about what is trackball and its function, use; involving with different types of trackball in computer with ease. After reading this post, you definitely will be learnt about What is Trackball without any hassle.

What is Trackball​?

Definition: Users can also use the trackball with alternative to mouse. If you have not little bit space for placing the mouse then you has trackball is best option to mouse. The trackball use for taking full control over the cursor (pointer) that is flow on the screen of desktop and laptop. Mostly, Trackball placed on the keyboard and down to space bar key.

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For moving the cursor of pointer, user traces the finger on the surface of trackball’s socket. Two buttons are also embedded with trackball socket, for selecting any object or text as well. Now these days, mostly some computer like as Macintosh PowerBook and Laptop are come with inbuilt trackball system.

What is Trackball Tutorial Headlines:

In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:

  1. What is Trackball?
  2. History of Trackball
  3. Types of Trackball
  4. Function of Trackball
  5. Use of Trackball
  6. Trackball vs Mouse
  7. Trackball Advantages and Disadvantages
  8. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • What is trackball in computer?
  • What is a trackball used for?
  • Is trackball input or output device?
  • Is trackball an example of input device?
  • Which type of device is a track ball?
  • What are the 5 uses of trackball?
  • What is the main function of a trackball in the computer?
  • What are the different types of trackball in computer?

Let’s Get Started!!

History of Trackball

The trackball was developed by two Canadian engineers in 1949, and whose name was Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff. In actually they were working for introducing the target data displayed on the radar system CTR display screen.  Then “DATAR” trackball has been developed with having several weight pounds. But after some time that project was destroyed, and new idea was arise for how to select any object on the computer screen with using visible cursor.

In 1960 to 1970, trackball had more costly, and was using in the industry processing control components and military radar fire system. Now, In trackball include various interfaces like as Apple ADB, IBM PS/2 and USB for reducing some issues, and to enhancing the performance. Today, “Plug and Play” trackball are available in the market means connect to computer and use smoothly without any interruption.

Types of Trackball

Trackballs are developed for various types of computer interfaces. There are two types of trackball such as serial and parallel interface trackball. In serial interface, use the serial data flow model because in this model transmit all data in serial format like as one by one, when one data is processed then permission allows to other data for entry in processing room. Some serial interface examples are RS232, RS422, RS485, and other universal serial bus (USB).

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Parallel interface trackball opposite to serial interface, because in this model use parallel transmission model such have permission to execution multiple bit data at once without any waiting pool of pending bit. These types of trackballs have more speed compare to serial interface trackballs model. In parallel interface use general-purpose interface bus (GPIB). Two technology companies have proprietary support – Sun® Microsystems® workstations and the IBM® Personal System 2 (PS/2).

Here, some other types of trackballs are –

  • Kensington Orbit Wireless Trackball Mouse (K72352US)
  • Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball-(Certified Refurbished)
  • YUMQUA Y-10W 2.4 GHz Portable Finger Handheld Mouse Wireless USB
  • Kensington Expert Trackball Mouse (K64325)
  • Kensington Orbit Trackball Mouse with Scroll Ring (K72337US)
  • 3Dconnexion 3DX-700040 Space mouse Pro 3D Mouse
  • Logitech Optical Trackball Marble Mouse
  • Logitech Trackman Wheel Optical
  • Tonor Portable Finger Handheld 4D UBS Mini Trackball Mouse Wired
  • Kensington SlimBlade Trackball Mouse

Function of Trackball

While Working of Trackball various many functions are performed as well, here we explain – In Trackball, use the optical sensors that fetch all movement of ball surface of rubber ball. Trace the direction while moving the ball, and optics help to transform the all activities of ball into moving cursor on the computer screen.

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Traditional trackball had roller or wheel that to fetch all activates (movement) of the ball. When ball got motion, then it was recorded all X and Y axis direction movement. That ball was connected with wire and produced the signals while rotating ball, with the help of computer’s circuit those signals converted into pulse to cursor movement.

In past, this trackball was used in some mobiles such as BlackBerry, and T-Mobile Slidkick 3.

Use of Trackball

Every user, one question will be created in their minds that what a trackball is used for? So here we will discuss about all areas where to use trackball.

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Scrolling Enlarge DocumentIf you have enlarge document, and want to navigate it then trackball is best option for you because this device can spins very rapidly while simple flick your finger, and can be produced scroll much longer while giving your hands.

Games: Trackball plays very eminent role in game area because trackball more useful for some specific games like as golf, baseball and bowling, in these game user moves their pointing terminals to strength of throw otherwise hit.

While muscular dystrophy, user cannot use their hands on the table but can use fingers then trackball is best solution here.

Graphic Areas: With the help of trackball, user can draw 2d or 3D images in quickly without more movement of trackball device. There are some graphics softwares, where to use of trackball such as Corel draw and Photoshop etc.

Trackball also play vital role for air-traffic controlling system and other drafting equipments etc.

No Physical Limitation: The trackball can be used indoor and outdoor areas because no need any surface place for operating trackball device as well as more flexible.

Trackball vs Mouse

  1. User get mouse while buying computer but buy trackball externally as need of user.
  2. Every user can operate mouse without massive training but before using trackball user must be known about some instruction about trackball.
  3. Mouse has cost effective but trackball may be costly to mouse.
  4. Need flat surface area for operating mouse but no require for trackball because its ball fit in his socket, and this socket can be used any areas.
  5. Trackball have more accuracy compare to mouse accuracy.
  6. Trackball has good speed to mouse.
  7. Trackball can be operate any indoor and outdoor space without hindrance because this input device no bound to flat surface area but mouse need smooth place for using.
  8. Professional designer give first preference to trackball for designing task and second priority on mouse.
  9. Trackball device more comfortable to mouse because users get pain on their palm while operating mouse but not in trackball.
  10. Mouse needs service on regular basis but trackball do not more service compare to mouse.

Trackball Advantages and Disadvantages

Each users must be known about numerous advantages and disadvantages over trackball.


  1. Trackball provides to users for accessing 4K-5K high resolution screen compare to other traditional devices.
  2. More comfortable for user’s wrist and palm.
  3. Trackball has more speed.
  4. No need more services.
  5. Most suitable for playing game.
  6. Having ergonomic merit because for performing task only move ball instead of entire socket.
  7. No required more space for positioning of trackball.
  8. Trackball’ buttons are well designed that provide rest while performing task by this device.
  9. No need for any track pad like mouse need mouse pad.
  10. Trackball is more suitable if users are ambidextrous because trackball can be used very easily with any hand either this is right hand or left hand.
  11. Have good disability.


  1. More expensive because trackball cost may be vary up to 20 $ to 100$.
  2. Not easy to use because trackball’s cursor performs more activities while spinning ball with lightly because it has more accessibility.
  3. Need accurate control over the ball with one finger or thumb because can be got more difficulties to cut, paste, click and drag.
  4. Physical Limitation – if your hands have small than user can face more difficulties to operating this devices.
  5. Not comfortable to fast pace games.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is trackball in computer?

The trackball is a computer cursor control electronic device that is going to use in various notebook and laptop; and it is mostly embedded at the front of keyboard toward the users.

What is a trackball used for?

If you use the trackball instead of mouse then it offers the enhanced efficiency, better accessibility and helps to avoid injury as well. While using a trackball, you can perform many task with increasing efficiency like as If you have enlarge document, and want to navigate it then trackball is best option for you because this device can spins very rapidly while simple flick your finger, and can be produced scroll much longer while giving your hands.

Is trackball input or output device?

The trackball works as input device; and it is used to insert motion data into computer or another electronic devices. A trackball acts as a mouse, but it is designed along with a moveable ball on the surface that can be moved in any direction.

Is trackball an example of input device?

Yes! A trackball is a best example of input device because with helping of it, you can also enter the motion data into your computer and notebook.

Which type of device is a track ball?

The trackball is an pointing input device with consisting of a ball that is embedded at the surface containing sensor to detect a rotation of ball with two axes such as upside and downside with an exposed protruding ball.

What are the 5 uses of trackball?

A trackball can be used to perform many tasks with increasing efficiency, better accessibility and helps to avoid injury as well. In this article, already we have been explained several uses of trackball; you can read them.

What is the main function of a trackball in the computer?

A trackball is an input device that is upside-down mouse that is getting to rotates in place within a socket. Then, you are able to roll the ball to direct the cursor to your own place over the screen. It also offers the enhanced efficiency, great accessibility and assists to avoid injury as well.

What are the different types of trackball in computer?

There are two kinds of trackball, which are using in your computer like as serial interface trackball and parallel interface trackball.

Final Remarks

Make ensure that you have fully educated about what is trackball and its function, use; involving with different types of trackball in computer with ease. If this blog post is useful for you, then please share it along with your friends, family members or relatives over social media platforms like as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

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Happy Learning!!

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