Trackball or Tablet/Pen?

Mike Hollingshead

Well thanks to my bad RSI I've been reading around for the best option. I've hit a wall with these two as they are both praised over the use of a normal mouse. I can't figure out which would be better though. I know some on here love their trackball, but have any used the tablet/pen things and/or used both options? It seems like the pen edges out the trackball a bit from the several links I've read.

Whatever the case....if you do much photo work, or use a mouse a sounds like you should get rid of the mouse asap. You don't get much warning before your hand is half toast. Then you can read how much better trackballs and pens are and how they might have saved you some extensive annoyances with your hand/wrist. From what I can tell, rest doesn't do a whole hell of a lot for RSI once you have it.

If you have used the pen method, what size of tablet? That sounds like another mess of figuring out what to get. Some swear by the smaller A6.....others swear it's too small and you need A5. Does it work good enough for browsing with? The small ones are $100 so I figured I'd ask some on here if you had any experience with them.

Thanks for any insight.

I use a trackball, though it's one of the cheaper solutions. The Logitech Marble Mouse. I used to use the Gamer Trackball until it finally gave up the ghost. I'm seriously looking at spending the cash to get one of the nicer Kenningston Trackballs. I like them as they I do't have to make massive movements to get the cursor to get long distances. Desk real estate is at a premium for me with all the space pretty well taken by Audio monitors and mixer board.

I've talked to a couple of people that use the Wacom Tablets and like them quite a bit. I've used some of the drafting board style with the 4 button mouse, but I don't think they are quite the same.

-- John
pen tablet


I am a somewhat graphics artist and i make signs and banners for one of the small companies i own. I have a decent sized 10 inch aiptek pen tablet and i use it for almost everything. It's a little older (about 5 years) and is still actually on origional batteries in the pen. But anyway, the only 2 negatives i might have about this specific tablet is the actual size you need on a desk to use one of them (since the are bigger than a mouse) and you have to make contact with the tablet just right or the pen wont work, like it wont recieve signal. I'm sure things like that would be fixed with newer models, but i've got what i got. Over all, i havnt really used a track ball much, but the pen tablet really does come in handy for graphics and pictures, and now adays they put hot keys on them to make things like web browsing and email buttons faster to access.
Hope this helps,