The trackpad may well dominate the land of the mouse in the laptop world, but with the few people who still have desktops, optical and laser mice reign supreme. Is there any room for something else?

Kensington sure hopes so because it’s bringing trackballs back.

Remember trackballs? If you were using computers in the 90s, you’ve probably seen them before, even if you didn’t know what they were.


By itself, the trackball does nothing. Except look cool.

Around the time ball-based mice were popular, the trackball uses the mouse on the other side, letting your hand hold the ball and using the movement to track a mouse position on screen.

They were never super popular, but they’ve been in quite a few variations of mice including some made for graphics and video work, while a laptop or two sported the concept as well. There were even arcades with trackballs.

Trackballs did even try to evolve, with the optical trackball being the next step, relying on a red ball with dots all over it to track position, but they never really gained enough momentum to beat an optical or laser based mouse, let alone the influx of trackpads.