With the evolution of technology, digital art is becoming more and more common. In one of the previous posts, the posters of Breaking Bad by Zsolt Molnar, a big piece of evidence for that new trend was shown. I think any digital artist would agree that a tablet would ease a lot the process of creating, painting and drawing. In that field, Wacom is one of the best brands, delivering well designed and quality products.
I am not an artist, the only thing I can draw perfectly is a stickman. And they have to be small, because I can’t draw a “big” straight line. However, it helped me a lot when I had to do some posters for school or to do some basic editing of photographs, as it is easier and quicker to work on.
Inside the box you’ll find:
- the Bamboo tablet;
- a pen;
- nibs and a tweezer;
- manuals and software;
- carrying case.
In order to use the tablet, you’ll have to install a software provided by Wacom in a CD. However, if you’re using a computer that does not have the CD driver, you can easily download the software in their website by selecting the product you have.
This tablet is the medium size (there is a small version as well) and it is larger than the 11” laptop. Sometimes I think of it as almost a table, without the “t” at the end, given the large surface you have to work.
On one of the sides, you can see the word “Bamboo” beautifully engraved on the tablet. Right next to it, you’ll find 4 buttons with customisable functions. They can assume pretty much any role, from the key “Alt” to right click of the mouse or even other useful actions such as going back, forward or showing the desktop.
The tablet fits both right or left handed people, it’s just a matter of choosing that option in the definitions (in the case of being right handed, these buttons will be on the left, as shown in the previous photographs).
On the other side, there is a small piece of fabric with Wacom’s logo, where the pen fits perfectly.
About the pen… With usage, the tip of the pen, which is made of some kind of plastic, gets smaller and smaller.
This is not a problem, because you are provided with not only three more nibs, but also a tweezer that will help you change them.
Replacing the tip is a very easy process. You only have to fit the semi-circle part of the tweezer in one side of the nib, press the tweezer and literally pull it out. To put a new one you just have to push it inside until it clicks.
In case you run out of tips, you can find more replacing nibs in either Amazon or Wacom’s official website.
In the middle of the pen, just above where you’d hold it normally, there are two buttons, that are as customisable as the keys in the tablet, so they can have a large range of functions. The pen has also some other features to customise, like sensitivity, velocity and acceleration. I have to confess that I don’t know what these last ones mean, as I have never actually played with those options. Since I am not really trying to create art out of it (mostly because I can’t…), I am happy with the default options, I guess.
On the top of the pen, there is another button. Like a pencil, this top part acts as a rubber in Photoshop, proving once again how quicker and easier it is to work in this tablet.
A great feature of the Bamboo is the sensitivity for pen pressure. Again, like any pencil, the harder you press on the paper, the larger is the line. It is exactly the same in this tablet, making the drawings a lot more realistic. In this picture, for example, the pen wasn’t lifted up and the whole line was drawn with the same brush size.
To see the difference between the handwriting in several devices, Bamboo, trackpad and mouse (not in this order):
I believe it is obvious which one is the one I used the Bamboo tablet. The writing and the drawings are a lot more natural, good looking and realistic, otherwise the tablet wouldn’t be for much use, right? Between the trackpad (1) and the mouse (2) the difference isn’t too big, both look weird.
Another characteristic of this tablet is that it is touch. This means that it can be used as a trackpad too. Not only it is touch, it also has the multi-gesture feature, which enables you too zoom in and out, rotate, scroll, select text, just with the motion of your fingers. Pretty much like Apple’s trackpad.
However, it is not as sensitive when compared to Apple’s products. Most of the times, I have to do the multi-gesture for several times until it does what I actually wanted. Furthermore, it feels like the mouse cursor is not flowing normally, but moving in small beats instead.
The carrying case provided is very solid. I am a bit judgmental about carrying cases, because I like that my things are protected when I’m walking around with them. It gives me the feel that things are more portable. This fabric case has a leather (it’s not real leather, I think…) stripe with Bamboo written in the middle. It is also very well padded, so I think the tablet will be protected against shock, to some extent, of course.
I think that the Bamboo is suitable for most people. Artists will be able to create master pieces. Other people could use it to write up some notes in the computer, to ease a little bit the making of posters, or even as a trackpad.
Update: I have just realised that this model might not be for sale anymore. There is a new version from Wacom, called Intuos and the medium size sells for £141,00 in Amazon UK.
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