Kensington Orbit Trackball Review

by Reads (16,355)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Design
      • 8
      • Features
      • 7
      • Total Score:
      • 7.50
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Wireless
    • Comfortable to hold
    • Ease of use
    • Nice design
    • Accompanying software

     

  • Cons

    • Buttons make the click-clack sound
    • Requires two batteries

The Kensington Orbit mobile wireless trackball is a mouse with an ambidextrous design and touch scrolling. Check out our full review of the trackball to find out if the combination of its design, ease of use and value are worth the price tag.

Kensington Orbit Trackball Specifications:

  • Wireless w/ USB nano receiver
  • Ambidextrous
  • 2.4 GHz
  • Plug-and-play
  • Requires two AA batteries
  • Package dimensions: 2″ (L) x 6″ (W) x 7″(H)
  • Package weight: 0.60 lbs
  • Compatible with Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • MSRP: $59.99 

The Kensington Orbit comes boxed with the trackball mouse itself, a nano receiver and two AA Energizer batteries. Its release was announced by Kensington on June 21 of this year.

Build and Design
The Orbit is first and foremost a trackball mouse, meaning it has a stationary ball design rather than a movable mouse design. The ball itself is in the center of the device, is a glossy red, and can be easily popped out of place for cleaning with a microfiber cloth. The outside of the trackball is smooth, black and glossy, and features the company name on the bottom-center. Its design is stylish, but the glossy surface will collect dust and fingerprints easily. It is wider than most mice but about the same size as other trackballs in the market, with curves bending inwards from the top to the bottom. The mouse easily fits the natural form of fingers and will be easy to hold onto even if you are left-handed.

On the sides of the trackball lies the rather large left and right-click buttons with a matte surface. On the bottom there is a sliding on/off switch, several rubber pads so the device does not slide around, a tiny hole to push the ball out, and a cover to insert the AA batteries and nano receiver.

In Use
The Orbit is comfortable to use and decently easy to control even if you’ve never used a trackball before. I can say this with a great deal of confirmation, as the last time I used one was back in grade school. The ease of use is due firstly to the overall build and design of the device — i.e., its comfortable grip. Secondly, the ease of use can be attributed to the ball. The ball provides the right amount of traction needed to provide a user-friendly experience without chafing on the area in which it lies. And, since it has a smooth glossy surface, it will not really deteriorate over time.

The touch scrolling on the trackpad to both the left and right of the ball also works very well. They are both very responsive, and are located in the most convenient place I can think of on the device. Having two of them (one to the left and one to the right) also keeps the mouse in line with the ambidextrous design. Some people, however, may find that the trackpad is a bit too responsive and seeing as the middle finger will most likely rest on the scrolling pads at all times, some may find that there might be some inherent scrolling going on when there shouldn’t be. I did not find this to be a major problem in the few days I spent using the trackball.

Drag-and-drop actions should also not be a problem as the buttons are not hard to push down upon. The only complaint I have with the left and right-click buttons is that they do make the slightly annoying “click-clack” sound when pressed.

The overall comfortable build, precise capacity, smooth movement, and ultra responsiveness of the trackball also convinces me that could act as a good choice for gamers. This, however, is going to be based partly on opinion. Most would probably greatly prefer a movable mouse for gaming as opposed to a stationary device.

The accompanying Trackballworks software allows users to customize mouse actions if downloaded. This software is free to use. Version 1.1 includes the following new features:

  • Inertial scrolling
  • Program text paste options
  • Create customized left and right-click commands
  • New Trackballworks icon in Control Panel

Conclusion
If you are in the market for a new wireless trackball mouse for the home or office, this could be the right choice. The trackball has gained our recommendation due to its responsiveness, smooth and comfortable build, ease of use, and design. It also helps that Kensington has thrown in the free software and 5-year limited warranty. The device is also decently durable–it would be able to withstand many falls and the ball itself is not likely to deteriorate over time. The trackball does require two AA batteries. The Kensington Orbit mobile trackball is available now through Kensington, Amazon, and other major retailers for $59.99. It will work with Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS.

Pros:

  • Wireless
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Ease of use
  • Nice design
  • Accompanying software

Cons:

  • Buttons make the click-clack sound
  • Requires two batteries


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