Author Topic: SHOWDOWN: Logitech Trackman Marble vs. Kensington Orbit Optical  (Read 13413 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CreamyNutButter

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
  • Trackball Gamer
The Logitech Trackman Marble and the Kensington Orbit are in direct competition as the entry-level $25-30 trackballs.  Both are ambidextrous in design with the ball in front.  They both have two main buttons (the Marble has two additional small ones which are mainly for forward-back web surfing, but can be reconfigured using Logitech SetPoint) and both are the cheapest trackballs offered by their manufacturer.  Even the balls are the exact same size (The Marble's ball will work fine in the Orbit but not the other way around).  I will compare them in several categories to determine if one can prove superior to the other.

1. Setup
     Both trackballs are USB devices, and both support PS/2 plugs with a simple adapter (the plug changer kind).  However the Orbit had many issues after I plugged it in.  Windows refused to recognize the trackball, and I fiddled with the plug for a few minutes until it began to work.  I installed the Kensington TrackballWorks software and the trackball actually stopped working.  I continued to screw with it until I gave up and attached the PS/2 adapter and used it that way without problems.  The Trackman Marble was perfect in this regard.  The Marble worked the first time, perfectly, with or without the SetPoint software.  The Marble was my main mouse until I bought the Orbit and it never has had even a slight issue with compatibility.

2. Function
     The Orbit and the Trackman Marble are very similar and I was expecting almost identical function between the two.  The Orbit was much more sensitive than the Marble and seemed jittery at first.  It was fine later on, but I was still annoyed by the tendency of the ball to pop back and forth if the fingers are in front of the ball.  The Marble's ball doesn't pop around and it is more secure than the Orbit's.  The Orbit had some issues but it is still just as good as the Marble overall.  If you so wish, you could put a 1.5 inch clear or glowing ball in the Orbit since it works with any ball, but the Marble still can only function with the red ball with black dots.
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 48113[/ATTACH] [ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 48114[/ATTACH]
3. Gaming
     While playing first person shooters I did notice a major difference between the Orbit and the Marble.  Much of this was due to the differing sensitivity between the two, but the Orbit did seem better for quick reaction time and the Marble seemed more precise.  The annoying quirk I had with the Orbit didn't affect the gameplay in any way besides being annoying for my hand.  After getting used to the Orbit it also became accurate and I started getting a slight advantage over the Marble.  For example, in Team Fortress 2 the Orbit was excellent when playing quicker classes like Scout or Medic, but as a Sniper or a Soldier I did better with the Marble.  All this incredibly unnecessary in-depth analysis confirmed my prediction that neither would make any major difference.

4. Conclusion
     Despite the annoying hardware problems with the Orbit (which only occurred on one of the multiple computers I tried it on), it was a worthy replacement for the still perfect Trackman Marble.  My final verdict is, as I was expecting, a tie.  Just pick which one looks cooler or costs less, or maybe try another trackball, or maybe even a regular mouse.  In any case, using one of these is a far better idea than buying a Microsoft Trackball Explorer for a couple hundred, and they are both a lot better than my old crappy Mouse-Trak which I now despise.  My second conclusion is that I really don't need to write reviews since I go overboard with them, and that this will probably be my last since I am satisfied with what I have for the time being.
Trackballs: Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring and Logitech Marble
Keyboards: Who cares?

Offline jwaz

  • * based mod
  • Posts: 2070
  • #geekhack on freenode
SHOWDOWN: Logitech Trackman Marble vs. Kensington Orbit Optical
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 11 April 2012, 22:33:53 »
Nice review, I'm really interested in trying a trackball and these entry level models seems the best place to start.

It's encouraging that you're happy with these as I am never satisfied with my input devices... around here especially :P
« Last Edit: Thu, 12 April 2012, 02:53:00 by JesuswasaZombie »

Offline iindigo

  • Posts: 99
SHOWDOWN: Logitech Trackman Marble vs. Kensington Orbit Optical
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 11 April 2012, 22:59:09 »
Nice review.

I've owned several Marble Mice through the past five or six years. While they're great to use (comfortable, smooth, accurate, etc), they have a --terrible-- problem with buttons wearing out. All three of the ones I went through started having problems with the left button not clicking correctly (double-clicking or not clicking at all) after some time between a year and two years worth of use. My brother had the exact same problem with the two or three he's used.

Back in the early 2000's, I had an earlier-model orbit with a more rounded beige body and clear sapphire-blue orb (which looked awesome). It worked great until the dog chewed its USB cable in two. My only complaint with it was that the buttons were kinda loud.

I just got a Kensington Expert Mouse in the mail today in search of a trackball with better durability than Logitech's Marble Mouse… With its price, it'd better be more durable or Kengsington will have an unhappy customer knocking on their door!

Offline CreamyNutButter

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
  • Trackball Gamer
SHOWDOWN: Logitech Trackman Marble vs. Kensington Orbit Optical
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 12 April 2012, 19:50:16 »
Thanks, I'm not usually in the habit of reviewing things but I desperately wanted to compare the two.  I have been interested in the Kensington Expert Mouse but it is too expensive for me to be consider purchasing.  The Orbit and the Marble are both very satisfying.  My interest in trackballs largely stems from FPS games which I do well with when I use one of these.  I did end up using the Orbit because I was a bit more fond of the look and I thought it would be interesting to put a small acrylic glowing ball in it.  The buttons on the Orbit do in fact seem louder than the Marble's.  The Marble seemed durable since I have had it for quite a while.  After using these, I can't understand why a crappy old Microsoft trackball sells for hundreds on Amazon.
Trackballs: Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring and Logitech Marble
Keyboards: Who cares?