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Old 08-21-2006, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The TRACKBALL navigation system.

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I am pretty curious how those of you who have tried 8100's, find the trackball on this phone. The trackball is rumored to be a part of future BlackBerries, including QWERTY models, so this is an interesting point of discussion.

I prefer trackwheel over joysticks. But the 8100 "pad" is no joystick: It's a like a tiny mouse trackball! A trackball is a very different concept of using a cellphone; most use joysticks.

While I have not yet tried a trackball, I wonder if the engineers at RIM are geniuses because of obvious trackball advantages over trackwheel:

- It still behaves like a trackwheel (moreso than a joystick) except it's closer to the center; so you can alternate between typing and scrolling faster;
- You can easily scroll faster or slower very easily; much like a trackwheel;
- You can easily scroll in two dimensions, easily move cursor in two dimensions;
- Theoretically make it easier to select links in a web browser;
- Theoretically can be used as a mouse pointer (i.e. for web browser);

Or I wonder if it becomes an uncomfortable downgrade to us hardcore trackwheel users. Thoughts?

Time will tell.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its a joystick with a TrackBall, it only goes up, down, left, right, and push to select. Trackwheel on side was much better...
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boygenius
Its a joystick with a TrackBall, it only goes up, down, left, right, and push to select. Trackwheel on side was much better...
So very similar to the SK3 trackball interface then?
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know its somewhat of a trivial question, but in all seriousness, how does this effect the gameplay of brickbreaker?
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah just like SK3 interface, its a pain in the ass because there is a dedicated option button to the left, and back button on the right and they are extremely close together..oh well
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boygenius
Yeah just like SK3 interface, its a pain in the ass because there is a dedicated option button to the left, and back button on the right and they are extremely close together..oh well
BG, is it much more closer than the dedicated talk/end keys near the front shortcut key on the 8700. Becuase that is pretty close and I was wondering how bad it would be
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sure it's been said before, but what I like most about the trackwheel is that you can easily navigate the BB with one hand. With a joystick or mouse ball, or whatever...you'd have to hold it with one hand, and manipulate the controller with the other. Not good IMHO
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Old 08-22-2006, 09:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIdad
I'm sure it's been said before, but what I like most about the trackwheel is that you can easily navigate the BB with one hand. With a joystick or mouse ball, or whatever...you'd have to hold it with one hand, and manipulate the controller with the other. Not good IMHO
I don't see how that is true at all. I use the trackwheel with my thumb, not my index finger as some. and I'll be able to do the same with the stick with one hand just as easily. If you are used to using your finger on the trackwheel and want to use it on the stick as well then yes you'd have to use two hands but IMO it was always a clusmy act to use your finger on the trackwheel.
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Another point is the 8100 is much slimmer and a little more slender than the other Blackberries currently on the market. Still Im a track-baller thru and thru.

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Old 08-22-2006, 11:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inphektion
I'll be able to do the same with the stick with one hand just as easily.
Really? Show me how you're going to be able to do that while holding the phone up to your ear while talking, or by moving it away briefly from your ear to quickly access something. The normal grip when you're talking results in the trackwheel falling directly under your thumb naturally. Not so at all with the center trackball, you'll always have to completely change your grip to do anything, then change it back when you start talking again - very awkward with one hand, and a great opportunity to fumble and drop the phone.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasFlier
Really? Show me how you're going to be able to do that while holding the phone up to your ear while talking, or by moving it away briefly from your ear to quickly access something. The normal grip when you're talking results in the trackwheel falling directly under your thumb naturally. Not so at all with the center trackball, you'll always have to completely change your grip to do anything, then change it back when you start talking again - very awkward with one hand, and a great opportunity to fumble and drop the phone.
That's a good point about using the phone. With the trackwheel I can easily change the volume while I'm on a call (and I don't miss any of the call, or have to say "wait a sec while I turn up/down the volume"). How will that work with the trackball?
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I could be wrong, but in the pictures, it looks like there is a volume control on the side. BG, any insight?
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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how much are the 8100's gonna go for?
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasFlier
Really? Show me how you're going to be able to do that while holding the phone up to your ear while talking, or by moving it away briefly from your ear to quickly access something. The normal grip when you're talking results in the trackwheel falling directly under your thumb naturally. Not so at all with the center trackball, you'll always have to completely change your grip to do anything, then change it back when you start talking again - very awkward with one hand, and a great opportunity to fumble and drop the phone.
I have to disagree. I can grip my 8700 right now and without changing my grip at all, easily move my thumb from the trackwheel to where the front convience key is. I'm not holding it with my finger tips, basically my palm is holding it. And as someone else mentioned the 8100 would be smaller so I assume even the next full qwerty BB without the trackwheel will be at least a little thinner than the current one. I just don't forsee any problem at all with a center stick/trackwheel and will welcome 4 way motion as opposed to up/down only from thumbwheel unless you are using two hands to hold alt.

Plus in our company the first thing that starts to wear is the thumbwheel, either the clicking or scrolling aspect. It seems the stick could be much more rugged.
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inphektion
I have to disagree. I can grip my 8700 right now and without changing my grip at all, easily move my thumb from the trackwheel to where the front convience key is.
<shrug> Well, yes, I can move my thumb from the trackwheel to the front convenience key too, but as for the "easily" - I'll guarantee that if BlackBerry users sometimes get sore thumbs from the trackwheel, it will get MUCH worse if they try to use the trackball on the 8100 from that position. That's not a natural position for the thumb at all, and if you try to exercise the trackball from that position, I think sore thumb muscles will happen very quickly.
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So what's going to happen with fluff, grease from your fingers, etc etc over time. I presume the ball can't be removed for cleaning, or can it? Is it an optical device? RIM *must* have thought this through... ?

I realise the track wheel isn't perfect - I'm about to get a five month old 8700g replaced as it's beginning to 'skip' as I scroll and occasionally the cursor hops in the opposite direction to the 'scroll' direction
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah there is dedicated volume up and down buttons on the right side where the trackwheel once was, R.I.P.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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No joystick?! Bah! There goes my idea for a mobile online flight-sim!

I bet the trackball makes navigating Google Maps easier without having to old down the alt key. (Although I've been able to get to the alt button with my right pinkie while thumbing my trackwheel.) Begs the question, how fast is GMM?

Oh, Missle Command, anyone?

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