2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2009 11:15 PM by Mylenium

    Thinking about buying a Wacom pen tablet? Read my take on it.

    minimum99 Level 1

      If you are thinking about buying a Wacom pen tablet, please read my take on it:


      I bought the Bamboo model and immediately I did not like the extra keys located not to the left side but on top of the tablet, so it is awkward to press the key while you use the pen, because your left arm would be over the active area of the tablet. Also there is not enough space to the right or left of the tablet to rest your hand while drawing. The pen write very smooth, but if you hover the pen to move from place to place, you have to keep it very close to the pad or you will loose it; this is very unnatural compared to drawing on a sheet of paper. If your hand sweats a little and you are the type that need to touch your hand while drawing, good luck! the pad is not like the regular mouse pad, it will resist you hand movement making it difficult to draw.
      I returned the Bamboo and bought Intuos4 medium. The extra 8 keys is correctly located on the side of the tablet making it easier to push them with one hand while drawing with the other hand, but the keys, unlike the regular keyboard keys, are difficult to push, you would need greater force normally associated with pushing the keys on the keyboard. The keys are arranged in one row so it is not easy to push two keys at the same time, more so since the keys are grouped into 4-key groups and are separated far apart. The USB plug is located at the bottom right corner of the tablet rather than upper right or upper left corner to keep the cord cleared from the working area. Zooming in and out with the circular touch sensor produces jerking motion on the display and most of the time will add an extra zoom because the zoom command from the tablet and the actual zoom on the display do not synchronize well. So, I find it much easier to use the old Alt + Mouse wheel to zoom, Space + Mouse wheel to pan. The latest driver has the following issues:

      1. In mouse mode, no matter how you set the pen speed, the pen does not draw accurately.

      2. If you like placing your hand near the center of the drawing pad when you draw, you have to pan the drawing area to center of the screen. In pen mode, this is the only mode the pen draws smoothly, the pen does not have relative mapping, that is its position on the display maps to only one location on the tablet (where as the regular mouse uses relative positioning).

      3. There is a pen precision mode and is turned on with a key on the tablet. Precision mode slow down the pen so you can draw more accurately. The only thing is you have to keep holding down the key which activate it. So, it is extremely difficult to push another key while you draw.


      The Intuso4 comes with its own mouse that must be used on the tablet active area. All I can say about this mouse is Wacom has many years to catchup with current mouse technology, so most likely you will keep it in your junk drawer. So what is the alternative to this pen tablet? If you can find a 6-year old Logitech Wheel Mouse, it is almost as accurate and smooth as the pen. This old mouse is a lot smoother and more accurate than any latest laser mice, optical (wireless or wired) from Logitech, the leader in mice. Hard to believe isn't it? You have to try it to see what I mean. In the end, I returned the Intosu4 and tried 4 different mice from Logitech and end up returned them all and just use my old mouse.

        • 1. Re: Thinking about buying a Wacom pen tablet? Read my take on it.
          [scott] Level 6

          I didn't read the whole thing. What I skimmed appears to read mostly like complaints due to inexperience with a tablet.


          The mouse is not designed to be used in Pen mode, that's why the mouse works in mouse mode and pen works in pen mode. There would be no point to two separate modes if both tools worked perfectly in both modes.


          In addition there is little comparison between the Bamboo and the Intuos (especially Intuos 4). The Bamboo is dirt cheap and it's features show it.



          For what it's worth.. I still have 3 Intuos mouses in bubble wrap.. they've never been used. Scrap the soap on a rope and stick to the stylus at all times.

          • 2. Re: Thinking about buying a Wacom pen tablet? Read my take on it.
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            I agree with Scott. A lot of what you describe sounds like you are trying to use the tablet like a mouse when it's actually meant to work completely differently. It's like trying to hammer in a nail with the gripper end of a screwdriver - works on some level, but naturally makes for slow work and you may hit your fingers more than once. While I still prefer the mouse for many things like working in AE or my 3D programs, tablets are nice for more painterly/ graphical work in otehr programs. You just have to use them as such, not want them to do things they can't.