Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 01/13/08 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Wacom Bamboo

Not Just for Graphics By Michael Smith
I've been using the Wacom Bamboo tablet now for a week now, and I have to say that for the most part, I'm happy with it.  I've used competing companies' graphics tablets before, and I'm surprised by the superior performance of this little tablet.  It's a nice size, for my desk, but even if it didn't fit on the table, I could place it on my knee with the long cable.  The Pen/Stylus, is just the right size for my fingers, and is just the right weight as well (especially when compared to others I've used, where the pen was a bit top heavy, due to it having a battery in).


The pen holder that comes with it, is just the right size, to sit on one of the top corners of the tablet, and you can place the pen on in and on across it, with it being held firmly in place.  But the holder is light, so if I was to use the tablet on my knee, then the holder would have to stay on the desk.

Pen Holder

Pen in Holder

Upon plugging into my Mac, it was working straight away, so I installed the drivers which came on the provided CD, and even though I'm running OSX Leopard, they are working fine.

In system preferences, under the Pen Tablet, preference pane you are presented with the wide selection of optoins, to adjust both the pen and tablet option, with some advanced function, which use can use to tweak it.

Pen Options 

Tablet Options

On the tablet itself, the 4 buttons at the top, could be quite useful.

Function Buttons

All four buttons can be configured, from the preference pane, to do a choice of functions:
  • Forward
  • Back
  • Show Desktop
  • Swtich Applications
  • Ink Toggle
  • Keystroke
  • Modifier
  • Open/Run
  • Disabled
  • Default

At this point, I can't see myself using more than two of these buttons, but this might change as I use it more.  And the wheel in the cetnre can be congfigured eiether as a scroll  feature, of to zoom in and out.  I can't see myself using this feature to much, because I found it clumsy to use, and I find it  easier to use the scroll wheel, for scroll up and down a page. And since I don't do much much at the moment, which requies the zoom features... I probably won't miss that feature either.  I've tried, and sucesfully used the tablet in Parallels just trying it out in Adobe Photoshop.  The nice thing, if you have multiple monitors, in the preference pane, you can configure it to either work across both screens, or restrict it to the one.

Overall, I'm quite impressed with it over, my previous tablet, though there is one thing which I wish it had.  I wish it had a mouse.  The smaller model of the Wacom BAMBOO comes without the tablet mouse and third party software.  The Wacom BAMBOO FUN comes with a mouse as well as a few pieces of graphic software which will help you manipulate bitmap images.  If you're looking for a tablet to navigate your desktop or multiple monitors, then the Wacom BAMBOO might be the perfect fit for you.  Listing for around ₤48, you can buy it in most computer stores or online. Wacom's BAMBOO FUN will cost you around ₤70.

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Michael Smith is a student at the University of Derby / Devonshire Road. Currently living in Buxton Derbyshire, England, Michael works on several aspects of digital video projects using a Mac. In addition to Apple's hardware and software, Michael relies on a Canon MVX250i camcorder, a Behringer mixing board and a variety of microphones. Michael is also a featured writer and part of the NinjaCrayon community.
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