Kensington Expert Review – One Size Fits All


The Kensington Expert is a large ambidextrous trackball mouse that screams bold professionalism in a minimalist design.

Let’s see if the Kensington Expert trackball will get the job done for you.

The Verdict

angled view of Kensington Expert trackball
  • Strong wireless connections
  • Comfortable wrist rest
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Great for big hands
  • Scroll ring inconsistent smoothness
  • Trackball not secure
  • May place added strain on wrist

The Kensington Expert trackball mouse is a large top-mounted ambidextrous design that comes in both wired and wireless models.

Despite having a heavier and larger ball, the operation is very smooth thanks to its three large bearings, but the trackball itself is not secured into the device.

Encircling the ball like rings of saturn is the scroll ring, orbited by 4 large buttons.

The buttons are easy to access, but the scroll ring can be inconsistently smooth.

The overall design is comfortable, even for large hands, and the wrist pad provides support while still being fairly plush.

The built-in angle of the device, however, might strain your wrist.

As the flagship trackball mouse from Kensington, the Expert trackball can be an excellent choice for some.

Is The Kensington Expert Comfortable?

side view of Kensington Expert being used

Overall, the Kensington Expert is a very comfortable mouse with one caveat: the angle of the device, added with the height, may mean added stress placed on your wrist.

You may feel it especially in the top of your wrist.

The centrally located trackball is indeed smooth despite being so big and heavy. This makes the Expert very easy to roll.

No need to ask, it’s a smooth operator.

The most comfortable position seems to be rolling the trackball with three fingers, while your thumb and pinky rest on the two lower buttons.

Another way is to “claw grip” the north end of the ball, with your index and ring fingers occasionally resting on the two top buttons.

Your ring finger can spin the scroll ring.

The symmetrical design and simple grid layout make casual use very natural and comfortable once you find your preferred hand placement and layout.

The sheer size of the Kensington Expert does mean you will still need to use side to side wrist movement, which may plave even more strain on your wrist.

The height and angle mean it is best to use the provided foam and pleather pad, unless you like wrist pain.

Ease of Usage

Even as a right-handed person, using this with your left hand still feels natural and easy for general use purposes.

Intense gaming may feel clumsy at first, but more casual games should be no problem.

Make sure to turn on acceleration for more precision and accuracy with smaller movements.

You can set commands for each button, as well as combination keys for the two top buttons, and two lower buttons, for a total of 6 unique button commands.

While this works well in theory, in practice you may be inconsistent in your double-button presses, instead registering a single-button click that activates an unwanted command.

You might rotate the trackball slightly when using the scroll wheel, causing the cursor to select something and the scroll function to stop working. In fact, the scroll ring may become unresponsive for no reason at all.

Though larger hands and longer fingers may have no problems whatsoever using the Expert, a smaller hand may find the large ball obstructs you from accessing all the buttons and using the scroll ring without more movement.

The simple grid layout, coupled with the large ball, make the Expert very easy to use. You can even roll the ball all five fingers if you wanted to.

Accessibility

One of the best things about having such a large top-mounted trackball with simple ambidextrous design is that you don’t even need to roll the ball with your hands or fingers.

For those that simply don’t have the dexterity or fine-motor skill required for using a traditional mouse, vertical mouse, or ergonomic trackball, the Kensington Expert could provide all the accessibility you need.

Build Quality

The Kensington Expert is very large and very sturdy, and won’t be moving around at all while using it.

The Expert measures at 15cm x 13cm x 7cm tall in the back end, or 5.8″ x 5.1″ x 2.7″.

Weighing in at almost 1 pound or 450 grams, this absolute unit is solid enough to support even the largest of hands.

Something strange about the Expert is that the trackball does not actually snap into place like other models do.

The scroll wheel relies on a metal ring, a magnet, and an infrared sensor. This means inconsistent smoothness, wobbly scroll ring, and inconsistent tracking that could be affected by dust and fuzz.

There is no access hole on the bottom either. Instead, the ball lets gravity do the work, and to remove the ball you simply grip it and lift, or just turn the whole device upside down and let the ball fall out.

Style

Close up of Kensington Expert trackball
BALL 9000

The Kensington Expert’s styling is simple, yet bold and sophisticated. From the side, a simple triangular wedge and semi-circle.

From the top, a circle within a square – or trapezoid to be more exact.

The deep red orb is reminiscent of a watchful eye, like one seen on HAL9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey or the Sentinels from The Matrix.

The design is also quite functional. With the trackball in the center, a scroll ring encircling it, and 4 large buttons arranged in symmetry, the Kensington is both effective and efficient.

The different panels and surface breakups, and especially the notched texture of the scroll ring, give the Expert a uniquely high-tech feel, reminiscent of dystopian cyberpunk aesthetics.

The black-and-silver colorway of the wired version, and black and red “bred” colorway found on the Kensington Expert Wireless are both perfect for most setups, and especially for the office or anyone a fan of the “bred” colorway and red accents.

Goes very well with a “Dolch” keycap set and red LED’s.

Connectivity & Software

In terms of connectivity, you have two options with the Kensington Expert: a wired model a and a wireless model.

The wireless model is dual-mode, and gives you the chioce of Bluetooth or 2.4ghz wireless modes.

Bluetooth

To activate Bluetooth pairing mode, you simply toggle the switch to Bluetooth mode, which is found on the bottom of the device.

Once in bluetooth mode, press all 4 buttons to enter pairing mode. You should see a flashing light to indicate pairing.

The Bluetooth connects fairly quickly, and does not have any noticeable lag with casual use.

For gaming, you may want to stick with the wired version, or 2.4ghz mode.

2.4ghz Wireless

The 2.4ghz option is much more direct. On the bottom of the device, behind the battery door, you will find the storage compartment holding the 2.4ghz wireless receiver.

This reveiver is plug-and-play, and is already paired to the Kensington Expert.

Just toggle the switch to 2.4 mode, plug the receiver in to your computer, install the 2 included AA baterries to get rolling.

The 2.4ghz mode is strong and provides low-latency, but you try to keep a direct line of sight with the reciever or else you may experience an unstable connection.

This goes double for using USB 3.0 ports and multiple wireless devices, which are notorious for causing signal interference.

Kensingtonworks Software

Kensigntonworks is the software used to customize your device.

You can set button assignments, scrolling speed, DPI/tracking speed, and set application-specific layouts.

Kensingtonworks is a relatively light and simple software to use, but may be buggy at times.

You are able to set commands for individual buttons, as well as combination commands, such as the top two or lower two buttons pressed simultaneously.

Why You Should Trust Me

Over the last ten to twelve years, I have used just as many trackballs.

After using so many trackballs over such a long time, you start to see the differences and the similarities between designs and functionality.

While many ambidextrous designs have come and go, the Kensington Expert has outlasted most of them.

The reasons are easy to identify: easy to use layout, simple but sharp design, and smooth operation.

Conclusion

angled view of Kensington Expert trackball
  • Strong wireless connections
  • Comfortable wrist rest
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Great for big hands
  • Scroll ring inconsistent smoothness
  • Trackball not secure
  • May place added strain on wrist

While the Kensington Expert is easy to love, it’s also hard to admit that it might not be as perfect as it looks.

Though it is big, bold, and beautiful, the Kensington Expert trackball has many agreeable features, but also a few that could prove to be a real pain.

If you’re looking for a large ambidextrous trackball with premium features and a simple design, maybe the Kensington expert deserves a place at your right (or left) hand.

To find out whether or not the Expert is the right fit, you may just have to feel it out.

You can find the Kensington Expert on Amazon.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to stretch!

Randall Jue

Randall is a longtime tech enthusiast and relative newcomer to the mechanical keyboard hobby. He has a background in philosophy, art, and design, and has a passion for research, education, and communication. He wants to share his knowledge and experience to help guide others down the deep rabbit hole.

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