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I was hoping to consult Van Gogh before submitting this review, but unfortunately he was not available at this time. Not in this Universe anyway... But I am sure he would have liked the Wacom Bamboo pen & touch, because I did too, even if I don't consider myself an artist, no matter how much some of my friends do. Still, I will try and be "artsy" and technical at the same time about this one, after all it's a graphic tablet, and a quite good one at that.
I said good, but not perfect. Except packaging. That is amazingly perfect and screams of high-quality branding. They adopted the Apple approach of "simplicity is divine", and although I have a very deep and personal disrespect towards anything related to Apple, I must admit they're good about packing stuff in a very appealing way, and Wacom seems to have borrowed that, and with great success. Inside the clear-black box which has an almost velvety feel to it, you'll find the tablet in all its glory, in a nice semi-transparent protective sleeve which from personal experience, will last you ages. Then there's the pen, user manual, two extra nibs and a nib extractor in the shape of a stainless-steel ring. Do not lose it! You will need it, so what the heck, use it as a ring.. :)) One way to show your true appreciation for art, and it is certainly less intrusive than tattooing Andy Warhol's nerdy portrait on your shoulder. Yes, some people do that...
Next to the above-mentioned items you will find a CD loaded with drivers and additional software which I am not going to list, because it varies from country to country. Additional software is also available via their website after you register your device. Again, the list of available apps is subject to geographical location. I certainly do not agree with this, especially because that means some people get Photoshop Elements, some don't, and for the same price, but what you get is what you get, and unfortunately there's no way to complain about it - as in no one will actually listen or care too much.
The tablet itself is quite light (360g), and very black (same goes for the pen) - that if you get it in black like I did. It is also available in grey, but I believe black is more stylish. The Bamboo Pen & Touch is relatively small (approx 248x176 mm, with an active area of 147x92 mm) in size, but big enough for most situations, especially for beginner artists, or people keen to try more "exotic" tech out. As it is also touch not just pen, it's suitable as a trackpad or mouse replacement. For the 2 years I had it, I used it often for such purposes. It easily becomes an extension to your hand if you use the pen as a mouse, and a very large, soft to the touch, and responsive trackpad if that's what you want to use it for. It features 4 programmable buttons on one side and a pen holder on the other. Between the 2 pairs of buttons you will find a responsive light which will act based on pen proximity to the tablet surface, with alternating red and white light. Once you lay it on the table, you can rest assured, it will not slide in any direction, since it's rubbery bits on the bottom won't allow it to. It is powered by a USB connection. Lead length is approximately 1.5 m. The pen is completely wireless and needs no battery or other power-source.
While it looks very simple, the tablet is very versatile, and virtually anything related to mouse, trackpad or graphic functions can be set and adjusted. Just like a mouse, it can be used by lefties as well, without any issues. Its accuracy is good, so good in fact that I believe Van Gogh would have been able to replicate his own paintings on this wee tablet. One detail that most reviews do not cover is the ability to draw a perfectly straight line both vertically and horizontally. Outside the active marked area, the top, the bottom and the side cca 8 mm are actually for straight lines, so no matter how shaky your hands are, you will always be able to draw straight lines and rectangles with absolute perfection. The drawing process also has 2 states. A few mm above the tablet, without touching it with the pen, it will act as a mouse, showing where your nib will end up, and only once you touch it, will it draw the line. Both the pen and the tablet are pressure sensitive so the thickness of the line will vary based on pressure. Same goes for erasing, which is on the other side of the pen. The pen also features a 2-state side button, also programmable, but set by default as left and right click.
Talking about the pen, I believe it's a bit flimsy. Both the nib and eraser seem to rattle around a bit, which for me at times was particularly frustrating, because I ended up making small and unexpected errors in my drawings because of that. I never really got over this fact, and that's why I gave it away as a present to an old lady who was very impressed by it, and was keen on trying art in a less traditional way.
The touch functions are very similar to a modern smartphone's touch gestures, so it's very intuitive. The provided extra nibs are easy to lose, so try your best not to, because you will end up needing those relatively quickly. I'd say, if you're a fan of drawing things, you'll use them all up in about a year or so. Also, avoid using the pen at the same angle all the time, because in time it will be very polished (I mean the nib, of course) on side, rendering it sharp which in turn will end up scratching the tablet's surface. All in all, a nice little graphic tablet. Had it not been for the rattling nib and eraser, I'd still have it. These two details however pushed me to go for the newer model, which I am planning to get in the near future.
The Bamboo Pen & Touch is a great way of not only drawing photos very accurately on painting programs, it also allows you to navigate around your computer including Internet Browsing. I had been wanting a Pen Tablet ever since my old one broke and what a job it was finding one because it must have just been me but the prices to seemed to have sky rocketed since buying my first tablet.
One of my favourite uses for the tablet is to digitally sign an e-mail, time and time again I always like to make sure the e-mails I send out a valid so any pen tablet will do the trick. An additional feature which I never got with my other tablet was the touch feature. With the Bamboo Pen & Touch I am able to navigate my way through web pages with only the aid of the touch pad. It has a multi-touch feature allowing you to zoom in and out of articles which is very handy if your monitor is very large etc.
The whole product is ultra thin, I would say by looking at it, it's about 5mm thick - that's thin. I do wonder how technology can be compressed into such small objects, this pen tablet can certainly be scaled down to this size. The size is just perfect for generally any use. It will sit on your lap, on your desk or even in your hand like a notepad. It is compatible for us left handed folk as well, just go to the settings and switch the preferred writing hand to left and you're good to go. Also the pen features overrides the touch features which allows you to not mess up your text whilst writing - very clever.
When I get enough money I hope to invest in a more expensive product of Wacom but for now the Pen & Touch is doing just great for me.
I was given this and assumed it would end up as an unwanted christmas gift because i felt that i had no need for it at all.
Im a third year computer science student and i use photoshop quite often, but dont be fooled into thinking its just for editing and creating. I have started using it in place of my mouse, mainly because its got all of the functionality of a mouse and so much more.
There are 4 programable buttons on the pad itself, you can use these for right and left click, a shortcut to open up a program and even zoom.
The pad even has multi touch input, which means you can use the pinching function to zoom in and zoom out, along with many more.
For the price its very advanced, the pen is very accurate, the touchpad is customisable with your own settings, its very durable and all runs off of the usb cable plugged into your computer.
It is very easy to live with, i am able to slide it down the side of my laptop and netbook case, its that thin you can hardly notice it there and the pads on the bottom stop it form moving around and rubbing.
I really cant see any downsides to this touch pad, if i had to pick one i would say that it takes a while to get use to. A day or two i would say, just to get you out of the habbit of using it how you would a mouse, there are so many more features the just pointing and clicking.
Very thin and light weight
Use your pen and finger
Use two finger gestures, like on theapple products
Windows and Mac compatible
Long wire, you dont need to be up close to use it.
4 programable buttons - replace your mouse if you want
Very large tracking area
track pad is programable, make it smaller if you want
No battries required for the pen, has programable buttons on too
Comes with spare tips
Back of the pen acts as a rubber
compatable in photoshop
Takes a while to get use to
As a budding digital photographer i have been looking for an affordable graphics tablet that would be suitable for learning photoshop and editing images. At a price that would go a long way towards a new lens this seemed a bit too much but a short session at the apple shop proved me wrong.
The tablet plugs in using a single USB port and works straight away (for mac at least) acting as a large trackpad with two finger support. The included pen is very comfortable to use, requires no batteries and is very light.
The included CD includes a setup programme which guides you through the options. These include left or right handed use, and how to designate commands to each of the buttons.
The pad has 4 programmable buttons, the pen has two as well as a pressure sensitive nib and eraser.
The pen itself is very accurate and comes with spare nibs included, I use my pen allot and i'm still on my first one.
The most impressive feature of this product is how it switches between pen and touch sensors. When you hover the pen over the tablet the white light turns orange and your ready to pen. This means you can cradle the pen naturally and easily switch to the pad for zooming, scrolling, and even rotating images.
Although I thought I would use the tablet only for photoshop I never unplug it, and its shape makes it easy to store alongside a laptop when travelling.
My only problem with this product is, well, occasionally it goes haywire. It doesn't bother me as a quick unplug-plug fixes it instantly. I suspect this is due to my machine and not the tablet so i wouldn't worry.
I can't imagine not having my Bamboo now, for the money it's alot of tech and so far is as good as the day i bought it.