How many of you would know that using a mouse can put an unnecessary strain on your wrist and elbow? I know there is a lot of discussion around proper keyboard usage, but I really didn’t think about comfort when using a mouse. Moving your wrist and elbow around may help mitigate the strain, but when you use an ergonomically designed mouse, you can really tell the difference.
The Penclic B3 is a wireless mouse that has your comfort in mind. Penclic also has your keyboard needs covered as well, which you can read about in our review of the K2 keyboard. Upon receiving the B3, I was very skeptical of its design: a pen-like unit sitting atop a movable base. However, once you set it up to match your personal configuration, I noticed immediately the ease in my wrist. Maybe us younger individuals won’t notice the hours of strain, but older people and those with certain disabilities may be reluctant to twist there wrist around a mouse for hours a day. The B3 takes that all away.
So how the heck do you move the mouse? The base has an adjustable 800-1600 DPI that glides across your desk while you hold the pen-like top of the unit like, well, a pen. It took some time to get used to moving around the screen, but once I got the hang of it, it felt as natural as a typical mouse. Something about holding a pen-style mouse makes you feel like you are selecting and clicking more precisely, which may be more mind over matter.
The B3 comes with rechargeable batteries, 3 mouse buttons, a scroll wheel, and will connect to your PC or Mac via Bluetooth. Penclic also includes a 2 year warranty, although I didn’t read into the specifics of it. Lastly, but most importantly, it’s designed for both left- and right-handed people, and can easily switched back and forth between these configurations by simply twisting the pen left or right.
Gaming with the Penclic B3 is interesting. Playing Pillars for Eternity felt good. You are pointing and clicking a lot on the screen, so the design of the B3 accomplished this easily. I also jumped into Project 1999 with some friends and nearly forgot that I was playing the game with something other than a normal mouse. However, a frantic game like Team Fortress 2 brought me to my and the B3’s physical limits, as the quick and jerky movement required to play left me for a dead a few times. One noticeable issue was that I had several incidences of accidental clicks, because your fingers are holding the mouse and also placed right above the buttons, so it was inevitable that you will mis-click while spinning around on an enemy. This wasn’t the biggest deal, but I don’t think this is the best use for this style of mouse. Point-and-click or slower-paced games work well, but I’d stay away from the the FPS-types until you get used to the mouse’s eccentricities.
All in all, the Penclic B3 is a well designed mouse that I envision preventing a lot of issues in those who may be susceptible to wrist/hand/arm-related issues. It’s a quick setup on your PC (or Mac) and with some time, you’ll get the hang the of it.
Review based on a product provided by Penclic.
+ Ergonomically-designed comfort
+ Rechargeable batteries and retractable USB charging cord
+ Good for RPGs and strategy games
- Accidental clicks
- Avoid quick jerky FPS-style games