Playing CAD and Mouse

30 Nov, 2013 By: Heather Livingston,Robert Green

Cadalyst Labs Report: Cadalyst Labs navigates the maze of input device options for users of 2D and 3D computer-aided design.

Corded trackball
Overall Grade: A

Pros: Excellent stability; sturdy build; great ergonomics, producing almost no hand or arm fatigue; no batteries required; CAD zooming and panning supported; ambidextrous design.

Cons: Expensive; too large to carry in a laptop bag.

Price: $149

ITAC Systems | 800.533.4822 |

Highly RecommendedITAC's evolution MOUSE-TRAK (eMT) isn't going to win any awards for beauty; it looks like a cross between a trackball and a mouse on steroids. But if the idea of a large, easy-to-actuate trackball with six easy-to-click buttons appeals to you, you'll likely love it.

The device is sturdily constructed of ABS plastic, measures approximately 4.5" x 8" x 2.5", and uses a 1.5-meter USB connection cable. The six-button trackball installed flawlessly on both test machines, and the symmetrical design makes it 100% ambidextrous.


ITAC's evolution MOUSE-TRAK offers great ergonomics.
ITAC's evolution MOUSE-TRAK offers great ergonomics.

The large size of the unit (as large as my outstretched hand and weighing a full pound), along with a pronounced hump for the indentation of the user's palm, made the device very comfortable to rest my hand on; all the buttons fell comfortably under my fingers with only minimal arching. The ball of the unit is huge compared to those of other trackballs I've used, making the motion feel more linear than curved. Rubberized nonskid feet make it stay put on the desktop.

The eMT has three left-hand and three right-hand buttons that can be customized using the default Windows pointer driver, so no custom software is required. The unit covers the usual CAD zooming and panning functions serviceably, very much like other trackball controllers I've tried.

A full warranty covers the eMT for two years, after which ITAC Systems will handle repairs and refurbishing for up to five years through its RMA procedures. Returns are accepted within 30 days of purchase.

The eMT's size, cost, and unusual appearance will probably relegate it to niche status, but trackball lovers — particularly those who would like a larger unit for a more relaxed arm and hand feel — should give it a look. Highly Recommended.

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