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Penclic B3 pen-type mouse replacement

An interesting, if expensive variation, on the standard mouse for RSI computer users.

Penclic B3 pen-type mouse replacement

Tech Details:

Wireless Bluetooth
Type 802.11abg3-2051
Weight: 10.4 oz.
Dimen.: 9” x 3.5” x 3.5”
Comes with 1 AAA battery
For Left or Right-handed users
3 buttons & scroll wheel
Mac & PC compatible
Also works via USB if no Bluetooth

While I don’t usually review computer-only products here, I thought the Penclic was appropriate because of the number of older readers of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION with various RSI hand pains (Repetitive Stress Pain) who use an ordinary mouse on their computer. It may be appropriate for some, the earlier B2 version (which is cheaper – as little as $35 at Amazon) may be superior, but many feel that an “air mouse” is not the appropriate solution to avoid RSI.  I am using a Kensington large trackball which instantly cured my carpal tunnel and trigger finger problems (in addition to surgery), but I will leave it to the reader to decide on investing in the Penclic B2 or B3.

The two provided so-called instruction books with the unit talk about the warranty and other matters, but lack the basic instructions about how to use the Penclic. The several videos and reviews on YouTube may be more helpful.

There is both an AAA battery inside the unit (which only lasts about three days with a charge from a connected USB cable which is provided) as well as a separate AAA battery which must be inserted in the base of the Penclic for it to work. You need to use your fingers for motor skills with the Penclic and must forget certain mouse uses such as hovering. The Penclic is rather difficult to use and takes some getting used to. It is probably not for everybody.

The bottom of the pen unit has two buttons on either side of a scroll wheel (which is very nice – better than the circular wheel on the Kensington).  (The B2 model has the scroll wheel down on the body of the unit.)  Some users have complained of when wanting to click on the right button, also getting the left, or vice versa. You move the cursor around the screen by moving the whole pen unit, which can cause unintended clicks because the gripping area is the buttons, not the body of the pen.

Other users feel the Penclic – either B2 or B3 – is well worth the investment.  In some ways I liked it, in others I didn’t.

—John Sunier

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