Orbitkey Desk mat Review
Classy and functional with features that make it more than just a surface
September 19, 2022
If you follow me or any other tech influencer on Instagram, you may already be familiar with Orbitkey. Orbitkey has a history of launching successful products through Kickstarter that either introduce new ways to organize your life or improve on existing ideas. The desk mat falls into the latter category.
Disclaimer: I have previously worked with Orbitkey on launching a couple of their products, and I have received products in exchange for images and posts on my social media. However, this will not impact the honesty of this review. I will always be candid, as improvement cannot come solely from praise.
The Desk mat at my home workspace
The Orbitkey desk mat finds itself in a market with multiple competitors, it seems that every day there’s a new felt mat launching and the desk mat from Ultralinx is popular among creators. This requires rethinking what a desk mat is, and what it can do. Luckily, Orbitkey is no slouch.
The desk mat comes with a few tricks up its sleeve. The first one you’ll notice the moment you open it up. There’s a hard edge running along the top of the surface with an indent for a magnetic attachment. This is the cable and pen holder, and in my opinion, the flagship feature. It features two strong magnets that can grip just about any cable for easy access. I use mine for my phone charger and a USB-C cable for my wireless keyboard and mouse.
The Zinc alloy cable holder feels heavy and of high quality.
The surface is “vegan” leather, which is a fancy way of saying fake leather. I’ve never been a fan of materials that lie about what they are, and although very high quality, this is no different. It can at times feel plasticky, especially during the hot summer days when your palms get a bit sweaty. One redeeming factor is that vegan leather doesn’t patina with time like real leather would (this is of course up for debate, but I’d argue that most people just want a surface that lasts). This means it will look brand new for a very long time. I’ve had mine for close to a year, and I have yet to see any dents or marks on the surface. Not even from the mouse. Good job Orbitkey. I will say, I would love to see a premium version featuring real leather if at all possible.
I used to put my pens back in my drawer after every use. Not anymore.
If you lift the vegan leather top, you are greeted with a new felt surface. This is the document hideaway. If you like me, have a clean desk policy at the office, this is a fantastic feature. Multiple times a day I will put whatever documents I’m no longer working on in the document hideaway. And whenever it gets full, I know it’s time for my weekly cleanup. Typing and moving the mouse, even with multiple stacked pieces of paper underneath will not be felt on top of the surface. It can be a bit clumsy to put away and take out paperwork, as you have to move your keyboard and mouse slightly to lift the vegan leather, but I don’t see anyone doing this more than a couple of times per day.
The stitching attaches the vegan leather to the felt and runs around the entire edge of the surface.
Orbitkey states that they’re using 100% recycled PET felt. I don’t have much experience with the material, but I will say that it feels dense and of high quality, I don’t reckon shedding will be an issue.
The bottom of the felt pad has no rubber feet. Depending on the surface you are using it on, this can be an issue. On my smooth laminate surface at home, the desk mat slides around as soon as I push it even slightly.
Considering the price I would have assumed the mat came with rubber feet, as many other desk felt pads do. I reached out to Orbitkey about this issue, and that same week they send me a pack of rubber feet, to attach my mat to. This fixed the issue, although they can be felt through the surface when I get close to them. This is a testament to the great customer support, although I wish it wasn’t necessary.
The desk mat comes in three sizes, slim, medium, and large. And two colors, stone and black. Besides the two colors, there are also limited edition star wars themed mats, all of them look great. For this review, I’ve tried the large version in black. And a star wars themed Obi-Wan medium version. If this is for office use, I would recommend the normal medium or slim version. Slim especially if you are left-handed, as the pen and cable holder are moved to the left side on this version. If you use a low sensitivity for your mouse, I’d go for the large version for greater surface area.
The slim version of the desk mat. If you don’t requite a lot of space to work, this one is for you.
If you’re a gamer, I would not recommend these mats for anything but casual use. The vegan leather provides too much friction for smooth mouse movement.
When I occasionally fire up apex legends, I will put a Logitech mouse mat on top.
Considering the features there’s much to love here. It’s fairly priced, especially compared to competitors like the ULX store ($79) and Grovemade ($190) desk mats. I will say that the Grovemade version, although simpler, is made of real leather which is a huge plus.
The star wars themed mats sometimes use different materials. This Obi-Wan version has a black cable organizer instead of zinc.
Orbitkey key has struck a nice balance here. I doesn’t scream Star Wars but still pays homage to the series.
If you want to buy the Orbitkey desk mat, I currently have a coupon for 10% off.
Use code at checkout for 10% off the entire site. Visit Orbitkey here: Thematerialist10D