The Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring is a great trackball mouse with scroll ring around the mouse and two buttons to replace your typical mouse for surface free cursor control.
Ease of Use, Performance: 20/25
Look & Feel: 22/25
How much I enjoy 23/25
The Kensington Orbit Trackball with the Scroll Ring takes the minimum features needed of a mouse and places it straight onto an input device that you can hold or use on a table. The Orbit Trackball is a trackball that uses a 1 3/4 inch ball and optical sensor in the base of the trackball to move your cursor without having to move the entire base.
If you have never used or even seen a trackball device the concept is almost identical to a ball mouse of years gone by, a ball moves and the sensor tracks the movement. Old ball mice used resistors and small wheels to sense when the ball on the bottom of the mouse was moved and the trackball just turns this principle over.
The trackballs large ball covered with its blue glittered surface is easily read by the sensor that sits in the base of the Orbit. Three small ball bearings inside the center hold and allow the center ball to roll smoothly in the socket so the cursor moves smoothly on screen as well as the ball feeling smooth under your fingertips.
Like all new mice or input devices switching from a typical mouse or device and using a new one takes some getting used to and this type is no different. Once you do get used to using a trackball you will have an advantage over regular mice with the ability to not have to move your arm around as well as not having the trackball on a mouse surface.
The Kensington Orbit comes with the trackball, a rubber wrist wrest that attaches to the trackball and an instruction guide with drivers and control software available from the Kensington website. The drivers and software for download is a set of drivers and a trackball program called TrackballWorks that controls scroll speed, button function and pointer speed.
The software installs easily and is much like mouse control software where you can control aspects of the pointer like pointer speed, acceleration, single axis movement and snap to default. The other parts of the program control button assignments so the two buttons can be used for anything you want and you can even have both buttons pushed at the same time for an additional function.
The scroll works well and has speed and the ability to switch the up/down direction with the TrackballWorks software but does not have a scroll wheel button like mice do. The software controls every aspect of the trackball so the device is fully configurable and the best feature is the double button extra assignment.
The assignment of both buttons being pressed at the same time works well and you do have enough of a leeway between pressing both buttons. You can press both buttons and even hit one a little before or after the other within a decent amount of time and it works just like pressing a single button.
Default setting for this two button press is back for pages and browsers and works just fine as an extra button that makes a great additional feature for the Orbit. The scroll wheel works great for scrolling and the Orbit trackball in general makes a great trackball for computer use.
If you have problems using a mouse because of wrist pain like carpal tunnel or fatigue a trackball may just the be the answer for keeping your wrist more stationary when using your computer. You can also have a need for a trackball if you often find yourself lifting your mouse and having to move it in mid air to get your cursor to other parts of your screen due to small work space.
Using a trackball for an input device allows you to use your computer without the need to move the mouse around so you don’t need any space other than to set the trackball on. The Kensington Orbit can be used for regular web browsing, gaming and image editing as well as things like word editing and website updating.
I have used the trackball for all these things and gaming is about the hardest to get used to but you can, my only problem is I have to use other mice for reviewing. The Kensington Orbit Trackball is a great trackball and with the scroll ring that is easy to use makes a great input device to use instead of a mouse.
I have been using the Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring for several weeks and have only had one problem with using the scroll wheel. At times when scrolling to the top of a page or document the page or site will skip down some when you hit the top if your spinning the scroll wheel fast.
I have had this happen the entire time I have been using the scroll wheel and I have also seen this with other mice scroll wheels so it is not something just with this device. I am not sure exactly why this happens but I am pretty sure it is because I am spinning the wheel or ring fast and not allowing it to keep up with the sensor.
Other than this small problem, it really is not a big deal at all, I have had no other problems with the Orbit trackball and have enjoyed using it.
The Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring works well, costs about $30 and I highly recommend it for a great input device.