Logitech Ergo M575 test | PCMag

The Logitech Ergo M575 Wireless Trackball at $ 49.99 is the answer to a seemingly obvious question: what if our peripherals were designed to take advantage of the fact that most of us have opposable thumbs? Instead of relying on wrist movement, which can irritate a joint that was never intended to be used in this way, the Ergo M575 relies on thumb handling of a glittering blue trackball. That way, it can provide precise pointer control while providing better ergonomic grip than a traditional mouse, at least in theory. If you’re ready to give it a try, you might find that the Ergo M575 performs surprisingly well, but a few trivial details keep us from giving it our highest recommendation.


At a glance, you might mistake her for a mouse

Logitech designed the Ergo M575 for right-handed people; left-handers will have to look elsewhere for an ergonomic input device. Without the prominent blue trackball, the Ergo’s shape might pass for a standard Logitech mouse. Standing 5.3 inches tall with a 3.9 by 1.9 inch footprint, it features a flat gray color scheme, two primary mouse buttons, and a rubbery scroll wheel. The other main difference between this mouse and other mice is the inclusion of two secondary front and back buttons on the left mouse button side.

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

Oh, and the Ergo M575 doesn’t have the same rubber feet as traditional mice, either. Rather than using smooth PTFE rubber designed to glide across the surface of a desk or mouse pad like a penguin sliding across snow and ice, the M575 is the polar opposite. It has the most grippy rubber feet, so trying to move it around the desk is like watching a penguin collapse on gravel – it will move, but it won’t be a pleasant experience. Better to just let the device stay in its designated resting place.

Top Logitech Ergo M575

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

The Ergo M575 fits in other ways. It works with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux computers using either Bluetooth or the included Logitech Unifying wireless dongle. The latter uses a radio frequency (RF) connection that supports multiple Unifying devices on a single dongle. (It can also be used with an iPad via Bluetooth.) Switching between Bluetooth and RF is as easy as pressing a button at the bottom of the device. The trackball uses a single AA battery, which Logitech has a lifespan of 20 months with Bluetooth and 24 months with the Unifying USB receiver. It’s a shame that it doesn’t support wired connections, however.

The Ergo performs well out of the box, but optional Logitech Options software can be used to customize various aspects of the experience. Most of this customization happens through the ability to set the functions of the secondary buttons or the scroll wheel. You can also swap out the left and right mouse buttons, although I’m not sure how useful that would be given the shape of the device.

Logitech Options Personalization App

Mac users may be concerned about this type of swap page, however. That way, you can invoke Mission Control in macOS by pressing the upper secondary button, for example, or minimize the active window by pressing the button below the scroll wheel. The sensitivity of the trackball (nominally 400 dpi) can be adjusted using a slider.


Practical opinion: every inch is good

So here is the most important question: What does using the trackball look like? I expected to hate it, but in fact I found it to be quite a pleasant experience. I notice less pain in my hand after using the Ergo M575 compared to a standard mouse or touchpad, which is exactly why the product exists. Perhaps it’s the familiarity with analog sticks offered by countless gamepads; maybe it is my thumb that is fortunately being put to good use. But anyway, it’s nice to find respite from those all-too-familiar wrist aches.

Logitech Ergo M575 Profile

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

But this design will not be for everyone. I still haven’t adjusted to using the secondary buttons with my index finger after weeks of using the M575, for example. And often, I’m thankful that my cat is the only witness to my attempt to shake the device to wake my sleeping PC. Decades of muscle memory are hard to break using more traditional pointing devices. Don’t expect to fully adapt to the Ergo M575 overnight.

Unfortunately, the Ergo M575 doesn’t quite work for me from an ergonomic standpoint. I spend a lot of time reading, which means I use the scroll wheel a lot, and I haven’t yet found a way to comfortably rest my thumb on the trackball while my middle finger is on the trackball. scrolling. This means that I have to regularly move my grip on the device, which is just disturbing enough that I notice it while I am working. This usually results in me keeping my hand in an awkward position.

It’s also a shame that I can’t quite get the precision of this trackball that I can get from a conventional mouse. It’s no surprise when it comes to gaming – no, I didn’t expect to be able to play first-person shooters with the Ergo M575 – but it also shows up when selecting text. Either I select too few characters, forcing text to be retyped, or I end up highlighting almost everything on the page. No outcome is desirable.

Side view of Logitech Ergo M575

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

But it should be noted that these are largely personal issues. Someone with different sized hands who rarely need to scroll through a lot of text and select a small portion of it will not experience these issues. The Logitech Ergo M575 doesn’t disappoint me because it’s a dismal failure; it’s more of a frustration that it’s so close to being something I would love to use whenever I’m not playing a PC game.

As for who should consider the Ergo M575, if you’re a right-handed office worker who has experienced wrist or elbow discomfort after long sessions with your PC, it’s worth taking a look. . The M575 is more affordable than some of Logitech’s other ergonomic products, and it’s a solidly built device that didn’t give me any issues from a wireless connectivity or customization standpoint. The four general-purpose stars come from the “royal us” of PCMag; my hands would also give it an opposable inch and a half.

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Margie D. Carlisle