What are the advantages and disadvantages of the trackball mouse? I've never used one myself.
Compared to a mouse:
+ Doesn't need much of desk space, so it may be good for e.g. using from sofa and such.
- Costs more than a mouse.
- Takes some getting used to.
- Less precise for games.
Note that there are mainly two kinds of trackballs, those where the ball is on the top and you control it with your index and middle fingers (I think) and then the buttons somehow else, and then there is e.g. Logitech M570
where you control the trackball with your thumb, and other fingers control the mouse buttons and the wheel like with a normal mouse.
I have a M570, I don't have much experience with the other kinds of trackballs where the ball is on the top. I like how it feels in hand somewhat like a mouse (the only difference is that you don't move it around with your arm, but roll the trackball with your thumb; other fingers work the same way as with a mouse), so it is probably easier to learn.
I feel it is pretty good for desktop use (even copy&paste operations), but for high-speed FPS games, it certainly feels more awkward than a proper mouse. Then again many play FPS games even with a gamepad, so I guess it is doable. I just recall when playing Far Cry 2 (single-player) with the M570 trackball, it felt fine when things were relatively quiet, but when action got serious and I got startled or something, I kept missing my targets etc. I'm sure it was partly also about lack of practice, but not only about it.
To elaborate a bit more, the thumb trackball feels pretty fine for horizontal movement even in FPS games (where you roll the ball sideways with your thumb), but for vertical movement where you need to kinda flex your thumb a bit to roll the ball up and down, that is somewhat awkward IMHO. If it is a high speed game, sometimes I feel my other fingers have moved away from the mouse buttons and the wheel as I've been rolling the thumb ball so vigorously, moving my whole hand.
If you were thinking of buying a trackball, for what reason?