BTW: Netgear's latest firmware update breaks the satellite connection so the satellites are useless. Netgear refuses to respond and acknowledge the problem. I would hold off on buying Orbi until they fix their issues.
I just bought the Orbi RBK50 set of three, one Base (Router) and two Satellites and they definitely work in a mesh configuration with the firmware V126.96.36.199. You have a choice when you connect to the Router via Ethernet and log into: http/orbilogin.net. Go into the Advanced setup and open the Wireless Settings and check off: "Enable Daisy-Chain Topology" (which is a true mesh configuration) as opposed to "Star Topology" which has all the nodes linking to the Router as the central hub. When you use the smartphone app, you can see which device the second satellite is linked to. In my setup, I needed to get a strong WiFi signal to the far end of my home so I could stream Netflix in 4K HDR to a TV mounted on the furthest wall from my router. Although it is just under 75’ away the signal has to pass through 4 sheet-rock walls. So far, no router was able to deliver enough bandwidth for me to get more than a 1080p resolution from Netflix. Those pesky walls definitely weaken the WiFi signal a lot. Using the Orbi and one satellite about 40’ + 2 walls from the router reached the TV but only enough for 1080p. I then paired the second satellite placed about 30’ + 2 walls from the first one and it paired in mesh mode with it as it was way too far away to pair with the router (I tried that initially) and now the TV gets an “excellent” signal with Netflix loading 4K HDR programs in a few seconds.
I do not understand what is confusing. The current Netgear Orbi Review dated November 11, 2018 is an update of prior reviews. The Orbi was initially introduced in August of 2016 and was reviewed several times on this site, hence, comments dating back to 2017. I posted my comments to inform others that current firmware has addressed several issues referenced in prior comments and to share my experience with the Orbi system. It continues to amaze me just how fast and reliable it has been for the past several weeks. As I purchased it from Costco, I have 90 days to return it if it suddenly stops working. I hope you found the review and user comments helpful in choosing a WiFi system that works for you.