Published on February 19th, 2012 | by Greg0
A New Type Of Input Device: The Penclic
Some of the best stuff we saw at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was tucked far away from the glitz of the giant booths, the fancy televisions, and the large crowds. There were plenty of interesting gadgets, including today’s find.
The Penclic Mouse D2 is one of those ideas that makes immediate sense… and then leaves you a bit confused. The concept is simple and powerful- combine a pen and a mouse. We’re not quite as sold, though, on the idea that the pen grip is ergonomically better than a traditional mouse. After all, RSI (repetitive strain injury) happens to writers gripping their pens or pencils as well. There are some ergonomic facts on the Penclic website which discuss “changing your input device”, “altering your working position”, and such common sense advice, but no research or scientific studies showing that a pen-like device is necessarily better, in the short or long term.
That said, if you’re tired of using a mouse, this one has a lot to offer. We tried the wired version, the D2, but a wireless model is available as well (named the R2, which is odd if clever). Most testers found it intuitive to use, at least for cursor movement- comfortable and smooth. But the buttons weren’t nearly as natural, a bit of a reach for some. And the scroll wheel was flat-out awkward.
In the end, we like the idea a lot- but it’s not a replacement for a tablet, as it doesn’t offer the degrees of pressure that graphic artists require. Also this version is right-handed only, though support for most any operating system was nice and the variable DPI (from 800 to 2400) is a great feature. The cord seemed a bit short, but the build quality was solid. Available for $65 or so online, it’s an interesting twist on the mouse, and a human interface device worth trying.