Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 132 / AUGUST 1991 / PAGE 54

ProHance Trackball. (evaluation)
by Jill Champion

The best thing about using the ProHance trackball is that you don't have to worry about room to maneuver your arm. On the other hand, my thumb got a real workout, and my wrist didn't suffer any less.

If you're right-handed, you'll find the ProHance effortless to move with the flick of a thumb, and the buttons simple to press. Hand position was comfortable overall, but constantly moving the ball with my thumb was somewhat tiresome.

If you're accustomed to using a mouse left-handed, be prepared for some problems. My little finger wasn't nearly as flexible as my thumb when it came to rolling the trackball left-handed.

Difficulty of control is probably the biggest drawback--you have to watch the screen closely, and it's hard to get a real feel for moving the pointer around. You're allowed to set resolution anywhere between 50 and 800 dots per inch (dpi), although changing it from the default (200-400 dpi) didn't give me a better feel.

The ProHance is available in serial and PS/2 versions. The serial version is compatible with a two-button Microsoft mouse or a three-button PC mouse.

A disk included with the package contains, along with the mouse driver, pop-up menus for 14 nonmouse programs, including WordPerfect, WordStar, DOS, and EDLIN.

Also, for those who can't live without a mouse or trackball device for everything, you can use the menu builder to create your own pop-up menus for nonmouse programs. MENU.DOC contains the instructions, along with a tutorial to help simplify the process for nonprogrammers.

The ProHance trackball is a nice piece of equipment if space is short and you really don't like dealing with mice--and if you're right-handed.