WACOM BAMBOO GRAPHICS TABLET
I apologise in advance to those who clicked this link expecting to see the latest pretender to the iPad’s throne, but this is about a whole different type of tablet. Nevertheless, Wacom does bare striking resemblance to Apple in terms of influence over their chosen market. In professional computer aided design circles, the Japanese company almost monopolises the creative drawing market- and they have used this expertise to launch an affordable consumer range to help bring out the inner Van Gogh in all of us.
Doodling is fun, and this is essentially the philosophy behind the Bamboo. Other Wacom tablets are designed purely for complicated, intricate designs, whereas this is made for freehand drawing, annotating documents and calligraphy. I had the chance to try out the Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch, and as the least creative member of the BSF team, if the Bamboo can make an artist out of me, there is hope for anyone.
I set up the tablet and it is much smaller than I thought, roughly the same size as my ultrabook with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Once up and running, I pick up the chunky pen and use it as a mouse to get used to the feel. It feels unnatural using a pen to control the cursor and took me a few hours to fully get used to the sensitivity, but once I did, it became second nature. Also, if you get tired of navigating with the pen you can use the tablet as a giant touchpad and even has pinch to zoom technology.
The Bamboo comes with a variety of design software packages including Photoshop Elements, which I loaded up to create my tour de force (not). Although my drawings were not the best, the Bamboo pen knows how much pressure you are applying which is accurately reflected on screen, so it can be as harsh as a ballpoint pen or as soft as a paintbrush. The wireless capabilities allowed me to hold the tablet in any position and for a ‘lefty’, I found this particularly useful. In fact, from the battery free pen to the four customisable keys on the end, every part of the Bamboo has ergonomics in mind- and it is this that differentiates Wacom from the competition.
Whether you are a budding artist or just want to beat your friends at Pictionary, the Bamboo caters to all. It seems like we are really living in ‘the future’ when a primitive art form like doodling goes digital- the bad news is there is no longer an excuse for dodgy stick men drawn on Paint.
For more information on the full Bamboo range, visit www.wacom.eu
Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch: priced @ £89.99 (small) or £169.99 (medium) from www.wacom.eu