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Published on February 19th, 2012 | by Greg

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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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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