Using the Pen Mouse
The Genius Pen Mouse is quite stylish. It both looks and feels good in the hand. The controls are well-placed and easy to reach. The pen can be set to be right- or left-handed and you can also choose between two different positions for holding the pen. Figure 8 shows the software screen where you make these choices.
The sensitivity of the pen can also be changed. With the software on the screen, just press the pen tip down and hold the right mouse button simultaneously for five seconds. A red box will appear showing the current sensitivity setting. The default setting is 800 dpi. If you continue to hold down these two buttons, the pen will cycle through the dpi settings and you can choose 400, 800, or 1200 dpi.
It would have been nice to have these instructions on the screen, but instead we had to search for them in the User’s Manual. Although the small manual contains 54 pages, it gives the instructions in 27 languages, meaning that each language has only about two pages of instructions. Not only are the instructions minimal, but the type is so small that we found ourselves reaching for a magnifying glass to read it.
Although set up was easy, using this pen is not. The pen itself is quite sensitive so there is a steep learning curve. The tip is sensitive to pressure making it very useful in editing photos and drawing programs when you want to vary the density and thickness of the lines or brush strokes.
We found it best to lower the sensitivity to 400 dpi while we practiced. Also, although there are two positions for holding the pen, both require some getting used to. To get a good left-click representation, you must press down without pressing on either of the buttons, but you must have your finger in position to press those other buttons when you need a right-click or a scroll. This is doable, but it requires plenty of practice.
Like other laser devices, this pen will not work on glass or on a mirror, but it worked fine on our desktops. At approximately 4 x 4.75 inches (101.6 x 120.6 mm), the included mouse pad is small. It is also very thin, about as thick as two sheets of paper. The mouse pad, however, is nicely textured and has a backing that makes it stick to any flat surface. We found the mouse pad very functional and using it definitely helped with the control of the pen.
Although the pen’s tracking was responsive, the right-click and scrolling functionality was sometimes delayed or seemed unresponsive.
Expect to spend some time with this device to get good at controlling it. We practiced for more than a week before we felt even somewhat comfortable with it. We didn’t find it useful for everyday computing or gaming, but for specialized uses like drawing, it will get the job done.
The User’s Manual also gives a brief explanation of how to clean the lens if it becomes dirty. There was no indication of how to tell if the lens is dirty. Also, included with the pen are two pen tips and no instructions are given on how or when to u
se these replacements.
After a month’s use we didn’t think we needed to clean the lens, but we decided to run through the procedure anyway. The clip that is included in the box is used to lift the lens cover and pop it off to clean the lens. Then the cover needs to be replaced. Dealing with such a tiny part was quite difficult.