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Kensington Orbit Wireless Trackball with Scroll Ring Review


Reviewed for Colin Hewitt

Although it’s still the summer, thoughts of going or returning to University are at the forefront of many students’ and parents’ minds. So is there an ideal techie gift (or if you are a student, a present to yourself) something not too expensive, practical but not boring? Having spent some time using this device, I would say the Kensington Orbit Wireless Trackball with Scroll Ring fits the bill perfectly and is potentially a must-have item for University life.

My University days are long gone; however, since the dreaded Covid lock-downs, I’ve been working from home so regularly that I’ve often felt like a student. As a result, the wired mouse I’ve used for years is starting to show its age. Therefore it seemed very timely when I was kindly asked to try the Kensington Orbit Wireless Trackball with Scroll Ring.

Throughout this review, I was using a PC with Windows 10 installed. However, the device is fully compatible with Windows, Mac or Chrome. If you intend to use this Trackball with a laptop and don’t want to use the wireless dongle, you can also connect it via Bluetooth.

When the Trackball arrived, I was pleased to see that the packaging was predominantly cardboard with minimal plastic. The device provided for the review was White/Grey; however, a Black/Red version is also available.

What was in the box?

i) The Kensington Wireless Trackball
ii) A palm rest/wrist support
iii) USB Wireless Dongle – to enable connection to your PC.
iv) Two AA Batteries
v) User Documentation (Instructions/Warranty Guide etc)

I followed the basic instructions e.g.
Fitted the AA Batteries into the device, plugged the small wireless USB dongle into a spare USB port on my PC – and that was it – basically, the Trackball was fully functional minutes after removal from the box.

I then downloaded the associated Kensington Works for Windows software from the Kensington website. This was when I truly started to see the benefits of using the Trackball.

As you would expect, within the Kensington Works Software, you can precisely adjust the pointer’s speed and the speed of the scroll ring. You can even reverse the scrolling orientation of the scroll ring if that makes it more comfortable for you to use.

The Left and Right buttons can be programmed to perform specific functions depending on what process you are performing (e.g. word processing, editing, web-browsing, even video conferencing). In addition, the role of pressing both buttons simultaneously can also be programmed. I spent some time setting this up with my most used programs, and I can already see that this will save me quite a bit of time when editing large documents.

The Kensington Orbit Wireless Trackball with Scroll Ring is an excellent device for general office use or study. It’s reasonably sturdy and ergonomically very comfortable to use. If you require some additional wrist/palm support, it’s supplied with an attachable rest (I must admit, I didn’t make use of this, and the device, for me, was far more comfortable to use without it).

The standout features were the scroll ring and supporting software. The scroll ring was highly smooth (I think some would prefer some sort of ‘click’ feedback, but I liked the smoothness), and the software was intuitive and highly customizable.
My only minor criticism of this device is that it does not have a horizontal scrolling function. While this wasn’t a problem for me, it might be if you want to use it for extensive video editing.
Will it replace my trusty mouse? With a bit of practice, I think it will. Even from the initial plug-and-play, everything seemed highly intuitive. I use my PC primarily for writing; however, I also do some occasional video and sound editing, but not enough to merit a specialist device; therefore, this Trackball will be an excellent and economic compromise for use with a wide range of software.

Rating: A well-deserved 4 out of 5

(I’ve only deducted a point because of the lack of horizontal scrolling – which may be necessary to some users, if it’s not a function you require, this would definitely be a 5 out of 5 review.)

RRP: £54.99

This product can be purchased here.

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