Kensington Orbit Trackball £20
22nd Feb 2010 | 10:30
An affordable trackball that isn't completely rubbish
The idea, according to the simple, multilingual marketing spiel on the front of the Orbit Trackball box, is 'comfort meeting control'.
Having only ever used a trackball in abortive attempts to enjoy the odd Missile Command cabinet, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but I've actually been pleasantly surprised.
Now I'm not about to ditch my wireless li'l Sidewinder for this glossy-balled pretender, but I was far more comfortable using the Orbit than I expected. It's responsive and the optical sensors are set at a high enough dpi rating that even on a 1,920 x 1,080 desktop I wasn't hammering the ball just to get across the other side of the screen.
It is actually comfortable to use as well, so long as you ditch the rubber codpiece-looking, wrist-rest.
Once the expected mouse-related RSI really takes hold I'll switch to the trackball, but I don't expect the trackball's wrist-rest to offer up yet another strain…
The button placement and scrollwheel encompassing the ball itself though are all neat, responsive and functional; in fact the only real problem I had came down to the really fine movements.
Despite the fact the sensors are indeed optical they still rely on the smooth movement of the ball itself; and if that ball ain't shiny as Darth Vader's dome, hitting a small target with the mouse pointer is a devilish exercise in frustration.
Still there's always the age-old problem for us gamers; you're always going to have to switch back to a mouse for any twitch-based gaming. That said I did manage a five kill streak in a MW2 Hardcore Team Deathmatch…
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