Kensington Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball
Compact; improves workflow for specific tasks
Not suitable for everyone
The Orbit Trackball from Kensington lets you quickly and efficiently scroll through web pages and documents without the hassle of laborious navigation and clicking that comes with a standard desktop mouse.
Whether you have a particular use for a trackball is another matter; it really is a product (regardless of brand) that you’re either going to need, and like, or not.
First of all, let’s talk looks. The Orbit is a smaller model than most trackballs in dimension, although given the nature of the beast, it does take up significant desk space. Where it trumps the mouse, is the fact that it stays fixed on your desk, unlike a mouse that requires a lot of movement. If you have a lot of papers and other desk ‘obstacles’ lurking around (guilty as charged) this is a bit of a bonus.
The aesthetic side of things is pretty sparse; reddish trackball, black body. There’s not a lot of room to dress up a device like this. It’s built for pure functionality. But sitting next to my brushed, silver MacBook Pro I did get to thinking that other colour options would be a nice touch.
What I appreciated most about the design of the device is the fact that it is ambidextrous. Being left-handed, it can be frustrating to discover that most gadgets are built with the right- hand majority in mind. The Orbit also features a ‘centred ball’ design, which provides added comfort and speed.
An added extra – if you’re anything like me and get easily annoyed with the mess and clutter of cords, you’ll like the fact that the unit is cable-free, hooking up to your computer via a 2.4 GHz wireless connection with storable nano receiver. This also gives the device better portability and convenience.
In terms of actual performance this is where the Orbit really stands out from the functions of a standard mouse; there’s just no comparison.
I do a lot of reading and browsing through web pages as part of my daily routine, and this souped-up the process like you wouldn’t believe.
Before testing, I’ll admit I did not use a trackball for work or home. But the more time I spent using the Orbit, the more I realised it was a device that I could successfully integrate into my day-to-day tasks for improved workflow and productivity.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
The Orbit is a time-saver for reading web pages and documents quickly and without fuss, and it does include some pretty great design features. However, its niche functionality means that it won’t be a suitable device for everyone.