The Wacom Bamboo Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus and Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small [Review]

The Wacom Bamboo Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus and Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small are not only a great alternative to a traditional mouse but a great product to get creative with. The touchpad is comfortable for navigating with gestures (in Windows 8), drawing, handwriting and more.

Wacom Bamboo Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus

wacom-bamboo-wirelessThe ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. It’s very simple to figure out – when I opened the battery door to insert the AAA batteries there was the usb dongle. Once I inserted the dongle into my MacBook Pro I turned it on using the On/Off switch along the left side of the TouchPad. I downloaded the driver from the Wacom website so I could use it with the MacBook Pro.

The Wacom Bamboo Wireless Touchpad with Digital Stylus doesn’t immediately feel natural if you’re like me and have always used Photoshop and Illustrator with a mouse but after some trial and error I don’t see how I wasn’t using such a Touchpad before. The Stylus is pressure sensitive and very precise.

I think maybe the urge to focus on the screen took away from me focusing on the tablet as I drew. As a replacement for the mouse I found it to be excellent and surprisingly a lot easier on my hands and wrist then the traditional mouse and the metallic grey/black color of my review unit is a great complement to the MacBook Pro, but it’s also available in pearl white with either blue, green or purple accents.

I found the tablet to be a bit small but workable once I got the hang of it. I used it with Adobe Illustrator and found the hook points to be a challenge but I was able to complete an actual picture.

The program I used the most is Adobe Illustrator and I can’t speak to other programs it might work with since I didn’t get to try. You can pick this up for $79 on the Wacom site or $76.30 on Amazon

Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small

intuouspenandtouch
Since I’m not a graphic designer I gave the Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small to my friend Dan DeHart who is to try it out and give his feedback. Since both tablets work primarily the same I’ll give you his Pros, Cons and Notables list:

Pros:

  • Multi-touch surface, doubles as a trackpad
  • 1,024 Pressure levels
  • Great entry-level tablet for beginners
  • Ambidextrous use
  • Highly portable, light weight
  • 210 x 178 x 10mm
  • 8.3 x 7.0 x 0.4 in
  • 310g (approx. 10.9 oz)
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • Comfortable, natural feel with stylus when writing, drawing or erasing
  • Four customizable buttons in black area at the top of tablet
  • Comes with FREE software
  1. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
  2. Autodesk SketchBook Express
  3. ArtRage 3 Studio
  4. Nik Color Efex WE3
  • Place on top of tablet to put stylus when not in use

Cons:

  • Wireless only with separately purchased adapter
  • Small active area on an already small tablet can cause minor strain
  • Active area size – 6.0 x 3.7in (152 x 95mm)

Customization Screens:

Notables:

  • Minor slowdown once or twice
  • Install drivers from CD that is included or from Wacom’s website
  • Getting used to the buttons on the stylus can be tricky if you’re new to drawing tablets
  • If you are new to drawing tablets, there is a huge learning curve involved and it will likely take a good while to acclimate yourself to it
  • Four customizable buttons can be mapped to system uses as well as different hotkeys for individual applications such as Photoshop, Sketchbook Express or Illustrator
  • When you make a mistake, flip the stylus around like you would a pencil to erase
  • Interchangeable pen holder and ring on stylus for customization
  • When drawing, press hard and the line is dark – press lightly and the line is lighter (pressure sensitivity in action)

Which one of the Wacom tablets you would get would depend on your needs and what you are using it for. I would say if you’re a graphic designer or more artistic you should pick up one of the Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch tablets. The Intuos Pen and Touch Small has an active area of 6 x 3.7″ and can be picked up on the Wacom site for $99. The Intuos Pen and Touch Medium has an active area of 8.5×5.3″ and can be picked up on the Wacom site for $199.