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A New Type of Mouse
As somebody who often has to endure pain caused by a reoccurring back problem, I am always on the look out for products that claim to reduce issues relating to Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and how best to avoid the problem. A recently example of such a product, rather than the painful back problem, is the arrival of a mouse from Penclic, a company I had not heard of before. Penclic is a Swedish company that produces products based on the concept of combining the latest technology with ergonomic designs that are meant to be attuned to the needs of our bodies.
In the case of this product under review, the familiar design concept used previously has undergone a complete change in appearance. The product in question is a mouse. However rather than the traditional appearance with which we are familiar, the Penclic mouse adopts the equally familiar shape of a pen mounted on its own desktop docking stations. It certainly is different but more on that a little later.
While Penclic has several mouse products as part of its portfolio of pointing devices, I had been sent the Penclic Mouse B2. The “B” part of the product’s title probably refers to the fact that this mouse communicates with its computer via Bluetooth. As with other models in the Penclic mouse range, the B2 supports the HID (Human Interface Devices) 1.1 platform. This means the mouse should be capable of being used on a Windows XP and later system, Mac OS X plus most Linux/BSD flavours currently available with no additional software being required for this pointing device to work.
The mouse, or should that be pen, is powered by a supplied battery. This battery is an AAA rechargeable 1.2V NiMH unit which fits into a compartment located as part of the docking section. A micro USB port on the docking element can be used to charge the battery with a supplied micro-to-standard lead. This docking element also contains a scroll wheel on the top with an on/off switch and Bluetooth pairing button on the base along with the unit’s laser feature.
Joined by a ball and socket connection, the pen part of this device features two buttons on the top and two buttons on the left side. While the buttons on the left appear as an integral part of the pen’s body, those on the front of the unit are surrounded by a collar-like feature which adds a third button option. However there is a clear gap along both sides and front of the collar that looks a little amateurish almost as if the unit had not been assembly correctly. It may have meant to look like this but it had the effect of not filling me with much confidence regarding the product.
The buttons mounted on the front of the unit provide left, right and middle click functionality. Backwards and forwards action is available from the buttons on the left. Scrolling can be carried out from the wheel on top of the docking element.
Connecting this device to a computer is carried out via Bluetooth pairing. To activate the process you need to press down on the small button located on the base of the docking element while the computer searches for available devices. As part of the pairing process you are required to enter a four numeric code. Unfortunately I was unable to locate this code within the supplied documentation. However the often used “1234” code provided the necessary answer.
As well as the complete change in appearance, using the Penclic B2 mouse requires a difference mind set. This pointing device was by far not the easiest device for controlling the cursor. I had great difficulty in adjusting to the use of this device and it was not helped by the cursor often taking on a life of its own by jumping around the screen without any relevance to what I was doing with the B2 mouse. Even with practise I never felt that I was the one in control and would often revert to a standard mouse whenever pressure of work required more precise control.
Suitable for left and right handed users, the Penclic Mouse B2 comes with a two year warranty. A small carry bag is included in the packaging for transporting the kit. Currently this product is listed at £79.99 on Amazon. You do need to be prepared to undergo a retraining process in order to gain benefit from this product.
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