Last week, Penclic launched the Bluetooth B2 Mouse here in the United States (via Amazon), an ergonomic peripheral that looks like a pen that was stabbed into the top of a mobile "micro" mouse. It's designed to fit the natural form of your hand, thus reducing the chance of developing a repetitive strain injury that typically stems from constant use of a traditional mouse. You actually hold it like a pen but move it across the table like a mouse. Brilliant.
The thing is, if you're a South Paw – aka left-handed – this gadget really isn't for you. Just look away. It's not ideal because the scroll wheel is on the right side of the "base" mouse. South Paws are typically left out of the cool mouse design loop anyway, but in this case, users can't even scroll up and down without lifting the index finger from the pen itself and reaching over to access the wheel. This device can still be used, but at this point, left-handed customers may want to stick with their normal mouse setup.
Despite seemingly alienating the left-handed population, Penclic's Bluetooth B2 Mouse is an interesting design. The bottom half of the "pen" that connects to the base is mostly one clickable button that serves as the standard "left click" option, and a set of two buttons mounted on the same primary button provide the right-click and middle-click commands. Next to these three and seated on the left side of the pen, is another set of two buttons for clicking Backwards and Forwards in a browser, document or photo gallery.
The idea of this design is to allow the user's forearm and hand to rest on a surface while keeping the shoulders relaxed. The actual pen part can be adjusted to suit specific grips, meaning users can grab the base with one hand and rotate the pen to the preferred angle with the other hand. Not everyone grips a pen the same way, so this allows every user to essentially position the buttons to what's comfortable for their fingers.
As for the base, there's not much to it. The scroll wheel is mounted on the top-right, and a microUSB charging port is on the front. There's also an LED mounted behind the pen portion that shows when the mouse is charging and when it's connecting to a Bluetooth receiver. That said, if you don't have Bluetooth on your desktop or laptop, you'll need to buy a USB-based dongle, as the Bluetooth B2 Mouse surprisingly doesn't come with one.
"Combining technology and design, the B2 comes in a soft white color that compliments any workspace," the company said earlier this week. "The mouse also offers health and wellness benefits. The locations of the five buttons for left and right clicking are more convenient for the natural grip of your hand, allowing the dexterity of your fingers to click your mouse as if you were holding a pen. With a scroll wheel set on the right side of the mouse, the design of the pen grip counteracts Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) that is often associated with traditional computer mouse use."
The company states that the rechargeable battery, which must be inserted and charged prior to first using the pen mouse, promises approximately two months on one charge. The gadget also promises a wireless reach of up to 16 feet, and precision control thanks to a laser that senses where you plan to move the cursor. It operates without the need for a mouse pad, allowing the lightweight mouse to glide over your work surface in simple, direct motions.
The pen aspect measures 5 inches tall when stood upright from the base. The nearly rectangular base itself measures about 0.75 inches tall, and approximately 1.75 x 2.5 inches. It's extremely lightweight, something to get used to if you typically push a large mouse across the desktop. Bluetooth also means no annoying wires and less clutter.
Again, this mouse really isn't meant for left-handed users, although you can make it work with some effort. Using a pen as a mouse may take some getting used to anyway considering that we typically don't click around the desktop with a pen-like form factor. It's a great design and could very well make your daily workflow a lot easier and less painful.
The drawback is that this new mouse is $89.95, which isn't cheap. But with that price comes a bit of elegance and some of peace of mind for which your wrist and fingers will thank you later.