Pen mice have have been kicking around the market for quite some time, ranging in a wide variety of styles. From drawing tablets to stand alone pens that can draw on nearly any surface. Today, we take a moment to discuss a style that feels more like a tiny travel mouse with a pen sticking out the top of it; the Penclic R3 wireless mouse.
This approach was a little more unique to me as I have never tried using one like this quite yet. In fact, I couldn’t find anyone else here that has either, which makes it quite a unique product.
The base of the mouse feels like a miniaturized travel mouse facing backwards. I say this because the direction of the ergonomic design kind of gives this impression (the bulkier section faces away from you as the portion sloping downward is facing towards you). Near the center at top, the pen is connected to it via a ball joint, and the pen is used to slide the base around the surface of your pad/desk. It feels kind of like you are using a pen to drag your mouse around with.
At the rear side (bulkier section of the base), there is a small micro-USB port for charging the mouse with, and the near side features an LED on the top to show battery/charging status. The button of the mouse yields a connect button for syncing to the USB dongle with, an on/off switch, and a sensitivity (DPI) switch that gives you multiple choices to select from. You’ll also find the battery compartment where you can insert the included rechargeable AAA battery (and of course, the laser). During the initial setup, the mouse connected without any complications and it was ready for use within seconds.
The front of the pen itself has the two typical buttons you’d find on a mouse as well as a scroll wheel that also acts as a third button if you press it down. The main two buttons are backwards, as your left click button is on the right side (however, by doing this it remains with your index finger), and your right click button is on the left (thumb side). This takes a little bit to adjust to, but it doesn’t seem to take too long thanks to your index finger bing in the right spot.
The scroll wheel also feels natural since your index finger seems to want to reach for it as well, just as it would a normal mouse. This obviously also applies to using it as a third button.
Configuration for all three buttons can be swapped around as needed using the mouse settings provided to you by your OS (ie, Windows), allowing you to customize them to your own personal preferences or to adjust accordingly if you are left-handed.
It represents an accurate length of a normal writing pen and feels natural in your hand when you first hold it. It also doesn’t feel too bad when you move the mouse around, although I wouldn’t say it improves comfort, as writing with a pen for long periods does lead to discomfort. I would have to say that the vertical mouse we recently covered offered a much higher degree of comfort when comparing the two together or even including a regular mouse in this comparison.
In fact, I spent a great deal of time trying to use this mouse on and off with others, as I tried to assess how I felt about it during long exposures. Others also stepped in to give it a try to see if my opinion differed from others. The results unfortunately were not too positive. As I said, like writing a very long essay for college, your hand eventually begins to cramp in sections after long use. I also found that the buttons were far too easy to click, which made it quite annoying at times.
Especially if you are trying to write with it. Each time I attempted to write my name with it, the hand gripped it a little tighter since it is also having to hold one button down to activate your drawing tool as you would the left button on a mouse. When this happened, I found my thumb also pressing down on the opposite button at the same time no matter what I did. You can’t seem to grip the pen at it’s base like you would a normal pen without getting messy with these buttons. I also couldn’t accurately sign my name for the life of me. It was no better than using a regular mouse to do so.
I think a regular pen mouse without a base that writes on a drawing tablet or any other surface functions better (ie, Wacom tablet), and only for drawing or writing (I think a regular mouse would be best for everything else). This would also require the buttons to be a different style as well, as I don’t remember using a pen-style mouse in the past that had such an issue with accidental button presses.
It has a lot of hope and I really tried to like it. However, it didn’t quite make it as none of us really grew attached to it.
The mouse does come in fancy plastic case/packaging. Inside the package includes a felt travel bag for the mouse and accessories, as well as the USB dongle, a AAA rechargeable battery, and a retractable micro-USB to USB type-A charging cable.
It has a lot of potential and I can easily see it becoming a terrific mouse alternative in certain situations. They just need to work on the button styles and accuracy of drawing/writing with it. The idea they seem to be pushing for is more in the style of comfort than it performing like a pen vs a normal mouse. We felt if they are going to give it a pen-like approach, then it should operate like one (just as a drawing tablet does). In the end, it did not, and became uncomfortable after long term usage. Also, the price tag of $79 doesn’t help it any. At least until some of these points are adjusted as needed.
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