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Manufacturer: Logitech
Min OS X: Any Version    Requires: USB Port

Cordless Optical Trackman
October 3, 2002 | Ken Leyden

The Cordless Optical TrackMan is one of the more recent additions to Logitech's trackball line. Perhaps best described as the fusion of the Cordless TrackMan Wheel and Marble Mouse products in terms of general hardware specifications, the Cordless Optical TrackMan (hereafter "COT" for short) offers optically-tracked fingertip cursor movement combined with the ease-of-placement in your gaming space only possible with a wireless device, all at an attractive price. Logitech's COT is a feature-rich device — a good all-around right-hander's trackball and an excellent web-browsing tool — but this product may not be a great fit for all games or gamers.

The COT is roughly (American) football-shaped (6.25 inches long x 2.50 inches high x 3.75 inches wide). There is a well-defined concave scooping for your thumb, which allows access to three of the unit's buttons (the left, back, & forward buttons - see below for details). The remainder of the buttons frame the rolling ball itself, which is well-placed for use by your index finger. The whole unit fits nicely under my average-sized adult hand.

The RF receiver unit is shaped like the toe-wedge of a shoe-horn, nearly three-inches on the longest side and just over one-inch thick. The receiver's four-foot cable allows for plenty of flexibility in placement. I hid the receiver completely by placing it on the window sill behind my computer desk under the curtains.

There are a lot of features to appreciate with the Logitech COT. Like most USB-based pointing devices operating under Mac OS X (specifically, v10.2.1 on this reviewer's G4 Cube), even before the software is installed you have access to basic "point-and-click" functionality. After installing the Logitech Control Center for Mac OS X (v1.0.2), you have access to as much customization as you would expect from an eight-button trackball (including the clickable scroll-wheel):

• Thumb (aka "Left") Button
• Right Button
• Wheel Button
• Thumb Back Button
• Thumb Forward Button
• Drag Lock
• Cruise Up Button (above the scroll-wheel)
• Cruise Down Button (below the scroll-wheel)
I encountered no problems installing or configuring the Logitech Control Center software on my Mac, nor did I encounter any game-specific software glitches. Most recently, I've been playing the first-person shooters Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Clive Barker's Undying, Aliens versus Predator Gold Edition, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein.


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