The Adrenaline Vault heeft een uitgebreid verhaal geschreven over twee nieuwe trackballs van Microsoft: de Trackball Explorer en Trackball Optical. Het verschil tussen de twee is dat laatstgenoemde met de duim wordt bediend ipv met de vingers. Wel maken ze allebei gebruik van een verbeterde optische techniek waardoor er 33% meer beeldjes worden gescand dan normaal. Dit resulteert in een zeer prettig 'muisgedrag' en maakt zeer snelle reacties mogelijk zonder haperingen:
Ball movement in both units is the smoothest we have ever encountered in a trackball. Execution of all movements were uniformly flawless. The difference between the Microsoft units and those from Logitech and Kensington is very, very noticeable. One of the most annoying things about mice and trackballs is when they do not respond as smoothly and accurately as we would like. There was no such issue with either of these units.
We used the trackballs in Windows, Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena, Links 2001, Space Invaders, Kyodai, Freecell, Corel Draw, AutoCAD, Paint Shop Pro, Word, Excel, Publisher and many more applications, and both units performed without fail. Not once did the ball stick or hesitate: It was consistently smooth. This is definitely the first time we can say such a thing without reservation. We were just blown away; cleaning was not needed at any point during use. Now this is what optical technology is supposed to be like!
We also noticed a marked improvement in accuracy over previous optical technologies. The new scan rate of 2000 scans per second is 33% above the previous high of 1500, and the difference was easy to see. Previous implementations had trouble keeping up with fast mouse movements. We could start at the left of the mouse pad and move it quickly to the far right side, but the on-screen cursor did not always keep up. It happened with Logitech and Microsoft products alike. However, this second generation optical engine demonstrated no such problems during extended use. The 33% increase is more than just hype -- it actually is a great improvement.
Overigens werd de goedkopere Optical Trackball prettiger bevonden dan de duurdere Trackball Explorer, die te kampen had met minder fijne knoppen en slechte afwerking rondom de ball. Meer hierover vind je bij The Adrenaline Vault.