Out of the box, you need to do some prep with the Orbita. The whole package includes the mouse itself, a USB receiver which doubles as a charging dock, a carrying pouch, instructions and software CD. The wireless mouse is Windows and Mac compatible, so all we had to do was plug it in for it to be recognized like any other mouse (though the CD, and Cyber Sport's website have drivers if you need them, and also contain more in-depth configuration techniques). Anyway, the mouse needs to sit on its dock undisturbed for about three hours to juice up to a full charge. We used the opportunity to take some photos of the device.
After it has a full charge, two things need to happen before you can use the mouse: it needs to be calibrated, and it needs to be told what direction is "up" for you. It's really simple: to calibrate you press the small button directly opposite to the larger, silver one, hold it down for two seconds, then rotate the mouse 720 degrees within ten seconds before pressing the same button again. It beeps, you're done. We like a super-speedy mouse, so we tweaked that a bit too. Once calibrated, you place the mouse where you'd normally use it (we like ours to be just to the right of our terminal) with the same triangular button you just used for calibrating facing "up," press it once again, and you're done.
Getting used to a new mouse
We'll be totally upfront with you: we weren't looking for a better way to mouse. Honestly, at this point, it's like looking for a new way to wear pants -- there might be better options out there, but we're pretty happy with what we've got. That said, the Orbita mouse takes some getting used to, and the learning period is a little frustrating. The mouse is comfortable enough in the hand, and its operation is not completely unlike a traditional mouse, but it's different enough to be annoying when you're trying to continue about your regularly scheduled day while getting used to it. There's a lot of accidental clicking at first, shooting you off to zany ads you'd never normally click, or old, disused bookmarks -- because the entire surface of the mouse is a right-click when pressed. Not fun, but part of the process. That said, the company claims that the mouse makes more a more "freestyle, revolutionary" mousing experience, so we stuck with it.
The Orbita doesn't really need to be gripped or furiously clicked the way an old hat mouse does, and a light touch is called for here. The silicone surface feels quite nice in your hand -- though a lot different from most mice. The clicking sound that the Orbita makes is also quite pleasing to our ears. The basic configuration (which can be customized) we found to be the most intuitive with repeated use -- you push down on the surface of the mouse for a left click, rotate the entire mouse to scroll, and squeeze it for right clicks. The scroll feature is a standout -- it's far more comfortable than you'd think -- and makes for a much faster experience than traditional mice. Once you've spent some time with the mouse -- we suggest giving it a full day, at least -- you really can begin to feel the advantage of it.
We'll admit that when we got busy in the midst of day one, we threw the Orbita back onto its dock to our left and reverted back to our old standby, just for the sake of getting things done in a quicker, more comfortable manner. By the second days of use, however, we were really zooming around with the Orbita, and were able to stop thinking about how to use it. And we'll admit it: we were fairly impressed with it in action. There is also a wide array of customization possible -- different profiles for different tasks, and the 3-axis control over 3D objects is impressive. Where it shines, however, is surprisingly as an every day, regular-use mouse. The mouse never once died on us despite hours of usage -- partially due to the fact that it automatically shuts down after about five minutes of idle time, so we figure this isn't likely to be an issue for anyone.
There are a few drawbacks to be considered -- it's not the cheapest mouse, at around $99. If you're not into re-learning how to do things you already know how to do, maybe you want to leave well enough alone. The hub / charging dock needs to be plugged in during use, of course, and it's not exactly small, so this mouse isn't particularly awesome in on-the-go situations, either, and it's probably not going to be big with gamers. Still, if you're a fan of new things, and you don't mind laying down the cash, it may be worth checking out -- but don't blame us if everybody laughs at your crazy new-fangled "mouse."