Earlier this year we reviewed one of the most innovative computer mice we’ve ever encountered, the Penclic R2, that was designed to prevent the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. Your typical boring old mouse puts your forearm into a pronated position, but the Penclic is used like a pen and avoids the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. We had a lot of positive to say about the device, but a few drawbacks made it awkward to use, making us wonder if we’d really use it long-term.
Recently, we received the new Penclic R3, which fixes some of the issues we noted, thanks to a refreshed design. We think it’s a major improvement and really makes it something that we see someone using for hours at a time, though it may take a bit getting used to.
Like the previous version, the Penclic R3 is held like a pen. You glide it across the table like a regular mouse, which produces pleasant, fluid motion with a good deal of accuracy. It feels solid, pleasant to the touch, and has a luxurious look to it.
What’s new, and a huge boost for the Penclic, is the placement of the scroll wheel and buttons, and how intuitively integrated they now are. The scroll wheel is now at the bottom of the pen, rather than on the base of the device. Previously, you had to reach with your finger for the scroll wheel, but now it’s where you’d expect it to be. The buttons were streamlined by getting rid of some, resulting in a left and right button, with the scroll wheel in between that, when pressed, works as a middle click.
We had a small group of people try out the new Penclic R3, and they found it immediately intuitive to use. It took a couple days to get used to it, though, probably because of years of conditioning using a regular mouse. We even felt like, with a bit of training, one could use it to write cleanly and legibly on a computer, though the act of picking up and setting down the pen between words is hard to replicate with such a device.
We did have some issues about sensitivity, and some people found that it would be more intuitive for them to switch the action of the the left and right buttons. This can be done within Windows and macOS operating systems.
Overall, our small test group enjoyed the ergonomically corrected grip of the Penclic. The wrist is automatically guided to a safe and comfortable position for long term use thanks to the angles the Penclic can achieve. By rotating the pen against the base, we were able to achieve the best angles for everyone’s comfort. It did feel that we needed a wrist rest from time to time, but that was after long term use that not suggested with any typing or writing device.
Nevertheless, we now feel it is a much improved product that people with carpal tunnel syndrome, or those wishing to avoid it, should consider.
Product page: R3 Wireless…
Purchase on Amazon: Penclic R3…