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Orbita Mouse
Written by Scott Harness   
Sunday, 29 March 2009 19:00

chargepoint1.JPGOrbita Mouse

The Orbita Mouse from Cyber-E-Sport isn't just a circular mouse. It's Wireless too. And Rechargeable. Oh, did I mention it can do 360 on-the-spot 'Jog-Wheel' scrolling?

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The humble mouse has been around since the early 80's. At first, it was thought they would be just a fad but that's quite obviously not turned out to be the case. The overall premise and design of the mouse has remained quite faithful over the years, although obvious improvements have been made as time goes on, along with much needed additional functionality. In 1995 the Genius EasyScroll appeared, which was designed to take advantage of the feature that many operating systems of the day had had for quite some time, in direct response to another growing 'fad'; the World Wide Web.

Aside from the scroll wheel, we've seen more buttons, mouse ball to IR tracking, greater DPI, multiple scroll wheels, wireless connectivity, motion reaction control and varying designs in the shape. But I have to say that today's review item, while perhaps not immediately apparent at first glance, is a bit of a jump up the evolutionary ladder when it comes to scrolling. Or perhaps a skew. Or you could say it's just plain weird.

The isn't all that it first appears to be. We've seen round mice before; the Apple Puck mouse has probably sprung to mind for a few, and one of the first reviews I did for Viperlair was for a circular gaming mouse called the . however has one big party piece; as it's name suggests, it can do 360 degree rotation on the spot like a jog wheel as it's scrolling function. Gimmick? Revolutionary? Evolutionary? Bottom line, does it work? Let's find out.

 Features

  • Revolutionary continuous scrolling
  • Ergonomic cylindrical design
  • Ball bearing base
  • Vertical and horizontal scrolling
  • Rechargeable with smart battery management
  • All buttons and movements software mappable*
  • High performance long range 2.4Ghz Wireless
  • Full compatibility with a 3-button scroll mouse
  • Windows® Vista Enhanced Wheel Support (Smooth Scroll)
  • Can be disassembled for cleaning

Specifications

Compatibility (mouse) USB 1.1+ standard scroll mouse compatible
Compatibility (software) Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.3.9+
Buttons Push (left mouse)
Squeeze (right mouse)
Jog Dimple (scroll mode / middle mouse)
Calibrate / Orientate
Power, Reset
USB USB 2.0 Full Speed, High Power
Mouse sensor 800DPI wireless optimized optical sensor
Rotation sensor Electronic compass;
256 Counts Per Rotation (CPR)
Wireless 2.4GHz 10m frequency hopping
Battery Lithium Polymer inbuilt rechargeable
Report rate 10ms / 100 Hz
Scroll resolution 16 ~ 256 CPR
Calibration Semi-automatic
Package Contents Orbita Mouse
Base Station
Travel pouch
User Manual
Quick Start Guide
CD-ROM
Additional low friction feet ring
Software Languages English
French
German
Spanish

It's quite plain that the main party piece on the is it's ability to rotate on the spot to scroll like a jog wheel. It's pretty hard to describe but the video below should give you a better understanding.

Daniel only gives a quick overview in that video, so I urge you to .

 

box box box box

The Orbita Mouse comes in this rather neat square package which opens diagonally to reveal it's contents. The box itself, as you would expect, offers you all the pertinent information and some quick views as to the uses you can put it to. Opening the box diagonally shows the mouse held in a clear moulded plastic support. The other included items are also held in this half with the other half of the box holding nothing more than an insert for the mouse. 

box box box box

Included with the mouse are a quick start guide, user manual, spare feet ring, software CD, docking/recharging base station and a travel pouch. The pouch is made from a stretchy mesh and has a Velcro seal under the rubber logo. You can easily carry the Orbita, it's docking station and the second feet ring within it.

dock dock dock

The docking station comes with the USB cable wrapped and inset around it while the USB plug sits underneath and within it's own slot.

mouse mouse

The Orbita mouse itself is very well constructed. It does feel rather delicate because of the sensitivity of the side buttons, but it is in fact quite tough. The outer white rubber cover gives the Orbita a Mac meets Wii look which the pictures are unable to truly convey.

charge charge charge charge

Underneath the mouse, you can see there are two charge points which match up with the docking station. Also on the docking station is a shaped nipple (easy now, it's just a mouse) which corresponds to the shape of the inset 'eye' on the mouse itself; this allows you to perfectly align the mouse on the docking station for recharging. While charging, the silver dimple button up top pulses it's outer ring in blue while the mouse itself gives a high pitched but low decibel audio indication that it has started charging/has finished charging.

buttons buttons

You'll be forgiven for thinking that the silver dimple button is a mouse button, but it is in fact a third or middle mouse button. The actual mouse buttons are the entire top of the mouse and all around the outer edge, the left and right mouse buttons respectively (user defined in the software). The silver button can be used to dictate horizontal scrolling amongst other things. Another button also resides up top which may not be immediately apparent; the triangular orientation button. This button tells the mouse which way is up and also gives an audible indicator.

Image Image Image Image

The Orbita is designed to come apart for a few reasons. The first is that Cyber-E-Sport provide you with two different feet rings. The default Red ring is the n00b's ring; it provides more grip to allow you time to get a handle on the fact that this mouse goes around in circles under your hand. The second ring is a Blue expert or fast ring. This is the one I prefer but I did have to go back to using the Red ring for a little while longer as I did find I was moving the mouse ever so slightly when rotating by accident. You get used to it eventually but it does emphasize the delicate nature in which you have to handle the mouse. If you have a 4 key keyboard which you mash with your meat hooks, you can probably stop reading now and go back to your cave; the Orbita may have a rubber outer covering like a Wiimote, but it's still going to hurt when you throw it at someone out of frustration.

Image Image Image

Speaking of the rubber covering, once you've removed the feet ring and the bearing ring below it, you can then peel off the rubber covering. This allows you to clean the Orbita, which no doubt is something heavy users will want to do over time. It also allows us to get a good look under the hood. Rebuilding is a reversal of dismantling and takes less than 30 seconds.



 
 
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