Installing drivers before plugging in a new mouse is generally the recommended way of doing things, but the Orbita is a bit different. Upon inserting the CD it prompts you to plug in the base station first.
After the software is installed there are two tabs available – basic and advanced. On the basic tab, you can assign buttons to whichever functions work best for you as well as change scrolling options, pointer speed, and double-click speed. One important feature to note is that by default, holding down the dimple button and rotating is how to do horizontal scrolling. The button's behavior can be changed on this screen if you wish.
The advanced tab has further options for customizing the way the Orbita behaves. It is optional to modify any of these settings, but they are necessary for setting up a more precise configuration. Chances are if you are willing to spend $100 on this product, you will be spending some time on this screen to set everything up exactly the way you want it.
When the Orbita is fully charged and ready to use, a solid blue ring will light up around the dimple button. It pulsates to indicate it is charging and a full charge takes about three hours of sitting in the base station.
Before diving in to your favorite programs, the Orbita must be calibrated. Pressing the white triangle button for two seconds causes the mouse to beep. This indicates that it is ready for calibration. Rotating the mouse for two complete turns and then pressing the triangle button again completes the process. It is now ready to use.
It goes without saying that there is a learning curve when switching to a mouse such as this. It felt awkward at first and took me a good couple of hours before I was able to get used to the shape and button placement. The Orbita is small and light which is fine for me since I have small hands, but it's possible that those with larger hands will find it to be a bit too small.
After a few days of using it with various programs I did not notice any discomfort in my hand or wrist. One major difference between the Orbita and a regular mouse though is the way your hand has to adjust in order to scroll. Scrolling with the Orbita requires lifting your hand up and using your index finger to rotate the mouse in place. This was not uncomfortable to do but it did take time and patience to re-learn something I've been doing the same way for so many years. Left and right click were fairly easy adjustments to make, but I repeatedly found myself looking for that scroll wheel. One good thing about that though is since I do a lot of scrolling, my hand was constantly moving, leaving no time for cramping to occur. Once I became accustomed to the rotating motion I found it to be quite useful and I quickly grew to like it.
I'll get this out of the way right now because I know many of you are curious about it - this is not a mouse for use with FPS games. For simple point-and-click or maybe even RTS games it is fine, but stay far away from it when playing any game where quick movements are necessary. I tried a few rounds of Left 4 Dead and no matter how much I changed the button mappings it was a frustrating, messy experience. If I was completely new to FPS games and used the Orbita right from the start then maybe it would work out, but I think it's safe to say that anyone who has spent any length of time gaming will quickly go back to their old mouse.
Now just because the Orbita isn't for gaming doesn't mean it lacks in performance. It was designed for use with a wide variety of programs and will still appeal to many types of users. For instance, scrolling up and down a long webpage or spreadsheet by rotating the Orbita is much quicker and easier than using a wheel or arrow keys on the keyboard. Some other useful ways to apply it include quick volume adjustments and zooming in and out of maps using Google Earth.
The Orbita glided across my wood desk nicely and seemed to respond better when used directly on the desk surface as opposed to a mouse pad. There is no need to reposition it after scrolling because it always knows which way is up due to the built-in compass. So even if it's rotated several times, you can place your hand right back on it and keep working. This is the smartest thing Cyber Sport could have done because without this ability, it wouldn't have nearly so much appeal.