Mice are a pretty important part of anybody’s productivity. While the Apple Macbook fan may be happy with their trackpad, all other Mac users as well as pretty much any PC user, laptop or desktop, will happily rely on a mouse to do their work. However, using a mouse for long can result in many issues for the user, such as RSI, repetitive strain injury, which in extreme forms can even need surgery to heal. Many alternative designs for mice exist, and Penclic from Sweden is another effort which looks at the pen for inspiration. Among other things, it is also designed to help fight the battle against RSI, and give you ‘pen like’ accuracy. Featuring a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth means you can use this with PC or Macs, and take it with you everywhere.
In the box
In the box, you get the following:
- Penclic Mouse B2
- Micro USB to USB Cable
- A rechargeable AAA battery
- Quick Start Guide
- Technical Specifications
Look and feel
The Penclic Mouse B2 consists of a tiny mouse base, and a pen that extends out of it. In many ways, it looks like one of those old style pen stands that only posh people have these days. One of these:
However, the base is actually a mouse, which includes a scroll wheel and a micro USB port, while the pen which extends from this contains 5 buttons, and the Penclic logo.
One of the first things you notice as you take this out of the box is how the ‘pen’ part of the mouse just flops to a side. It doesn’t quite fall over, but it doesn’t rest as tall as it shows in the pictures. It is more of at a 45 degree angle rather than the almost 70 degrees that you see in the photo there.
Once you go beyond that, you can try and hold it like a pen, and you’ll find that one of your fingers will naturally find the regular click button near the base. Above it are two other buttons, which work as right click and middle click, and on the side you find two other buttons which act as forward and back when browsing.
As far as its use a mouse goes, you really need to connect it via Bluetooth to make use of it. When you turn it on, it is in pairing mode, and you can find it easily on your PC or Mac. Annoyingly there is no ability to make it work with iOS.
Holding on to it, the anti RSI angle
So, how does this differ from other mice? The way it works is that you rest your palm on the table, and move the mouse around with your fingers. Holding on to it like a pen, you move it, but your wrist never moves. This means that your wrist doesn’t have to take any repetitive strain. Holding it like a pen also means that you can move it quite precisely, way more than a mouse. Little strain, little effort, movement all over.
Using it as a mouse
There is definitely a learning curve here. While it doesn’t take too long to get used to the movement of the mouse, and the accuracy of the pen is definitely evident, the buttons take a little while to get used to. The left click button is quite easy, as your finger just finds it straight away. However, you have to use the same finger and lift it up to right click, as it is above the regular click.
You use middle finger to scroll the mouse wheel.
This means that you feel a bit disoriented with your fingers as you are trying to use this.
You also have two buttons on the side which give you back and forward on the browser. Unfortunately you do not have any way of adjusting what those buttons do. for example, I often use them on my regular mouse to hit CTRL so I can zoom in or out while I am working on CAD.
This is a mixed one. While the benefits against RSI are definitely obvious, the cost means that you really need to think how well it works as a mouse. The button placement and the lack of the ability to adjust them is definitely a negative. Definitely bit of a mixed one.