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Basically I need a mouse shaped like a pen that you can use in place of a mouse, although I would most likely use it as a companion to my mouse.

My use case specifically would be drawing simple sketches during video calls, where I can share my screen, fire up a simple paint app, draw a few boxes and arrows, and annotate them with some doodles. Perhaps some scribbling on documents too. Nothing particularly elaborate then.

I found a couple of candidates but they had some questionable features:

  • Genius Wireless Pen Mouse - seemed like a good find but the left click is performed by pressing the tip of the pen, which I'm not sure is a good idea; I think a dedicated left click button would suit me better
  • Penclic - the first device I got excited about until I realised the "docking station" was in fact a mouse and the "pen" was there for dragging it around; maybe it could be used in my scenario for the lack of any better choice but it's not what it was designed for apparently

Unless I came up with really poor search terms today the choice seems to be very limited. Is there anything wrong with my use case? Am I one of very few who needs that? Or maybe there is a better way?

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What you're describing here is a drawing tablet, or a pen tablet, but usually all of these are made to act like a real pen, so left clicking is by pressing the pen tip on the pad's surface, or the screen in case of Cintiq or Surface pro or Samsung tablet 10.1 ... Etc many of these has even pen pressure sensitivity, some have tilt and rotation sensitivit. You said you need a separate dedicated left click button, usually these pens have one or two buttons on the side, usually used for right and middle mouse click, but in most cased, they come equipped with a software to customize what this do. The price tag is something to consider, usually the more pro (for artists) and the larger the pad is, the more expensive it is, but since you don't care about pressure sensitiviy, you don't need the high end. If I werr you, I would check the specs in order to see if you can customize the side clicks to left click before making a purchase.

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  • Not exactly what I want since it's a pen AND a tablet or are you implying that what I asked for doesn't really exist? Problems: (1) yet another item to carry and not pocket friendly (literally), (2) takes up valuable desk estate (my home desk is small, a train table even smaller), (3) extra magic they do might require special drivers (think Linux, Mac, or a locked down office issued machine). However, I run a search and there are some interesting small devices (e.g. XP-Pen G430 @ 130x107mm or Wacom Intuos @ 152x95mm) so I'll keep it as an option. Thanks for pointing me into this direction. – Johnny Baloney Jun 5 '16 at 3:43
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While I haven't found any more actual products, there are a couple of Kickstarter campaigns I stumbled across:

  • MouLus - Started in January 2013 but failed to gain traction.
  • gStick - Started in August 2013, generated great interest and raised a staggering $130k. Quite incredibly this project is still ongoing but from the updates it seems it has been a very bumpy ride. I gather, whether the device will ever materialise is anyone's guess.
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