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I've recently enrolled on a course to learn how to become a 3D Animator. As part of this training, I was introduced for the first time to a Wacom Tablet. I had seen them before, but never actually used one. They are a way of communicating with your computer, through a tablet. So, instead of a mouse, you use a stylus on a tablet, to move around your screen and carry out whatever function you need.
I have 2 Wacom tablets (greedy greedy) one with a stylus, and one without. The one with the stylus is fine, but the one without a stylus, the Wacom Touch (which this is the review is for) just seems a bit pointless to me. I got them both in a deal online, so I wasn't too fussed about the expense...but on reflection, it's just the necessity that I'm pondering over.
Basically, the Wacom Touch is like plugging in your iPod, iPhone, iPad (or any touch technology device) tablet into your PC, and using that instead of the mouse. So, you slide you finger around on the tablet and it controls the cursor on your screen. Sounds fine, doesn't it?
I find the tablet quite redundant though. There's just no justifiable need for it. The pen version of the tablet is good if your designing, as it helps with any RSI you may incur in your hand, by trying to use a mouse. But using your fingers to scroll around your PC puts your hands in all sorts of awkward positions. I'm also using a MacBook Pro, which has a very similar trackpad on the laptop itself, which seems to do more than the Wacom touch - for instance with the Wacom touch you need to flick your finger on it (like a sweeping action) to move back, where as you can do this with 3 fingers on the MacBook - the Wacom doesn't let you use 3 fingers. Boo.
The tablet looks very smart - infact all of Wacom products looks very high tech and sophisticated. There are 4 buttons, that are smartly presented on the tablet. These allow you do whatever it is you want to do. You can edit the system preferences so the top button acts as a right click, and the bottom button acts as a middle click etc. You actually don't need to use these buttons at all, as you can tap the tablet pad, as you would with a mouse, and it will perform the same tasks for you - in much the same way you manipulate a touch sensitive device, such as an iPad. You are also able to adjust touch speeds using your touch pad too - for instance, if you want to double tap the tablet, it lets you set the speed at which you wish to do that.
There is a little light on the tablet, which lets you know when it's activated. When you plug the USB cable into your machine, it lights up, then when you touch the tablet, the light becomes stronger - kinda cool. It took minutes to download the software onto my Mac (I'm not a PC boy, sorry), so I had no issues with installation. The software is easy to understand and presented very well. After installation, you are guided through a few tutorials which is handy for those who don't like wasting time with manuals! It might sound obvious, but you can use this tablet if you are right handed or left handed, so whatever your orientation, it helps you get it set up in the way that suits you.
All in all, the equipment looks great, it's just a bit pointless, I plan to sell mine on ebay as I'm just not using it. It's good, but unnecessary.
© MarcoG 2012
**Written for the Dooyoo Triathlon competition**
p.s. You can also find my blog, about becoming an animator, here: http://becominga3danimator.blogspot.co.uk