Microsoft Trackball Explorer

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

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

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[image source]

Ball diameter: 46 mm [see Trackball Ball Sizes and Replacement]

Marketing blurb on amazon (around year 2001):

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[image source KIDの徒然趣味日記, 最近はトラックボールの記事が多いと思います。あしからず(笑) 2013-03-31(Sun)]
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ms trackball explorer [image source [2021-03-22 ]]
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ms trackball explorer 20200618 XfcSh
ms trackball explorer 20200618 XfcSh [2022-05-22 image source [] by habada]
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ms trackball explorer 20200618 NjPdM [2022-05-22 image source [] by habada]

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]

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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.”.

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer box.
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$500 on Amazon

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Microsoft trackball explorer on amazon 2019-05-04

Buy at 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.
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
Jun 14, 2015
David Kolibáč

See also: