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Bamboo Pen & Touch tablets from Wacom

By Damir Beciri
28 September 2009

bamboo_family_1If you are a designer which uses computer as a tool for your designs it is most likely you have used some kind of a tablet to draw your art. On the other hand, if you always wanted to use hand gestures while using your computer and you can’t afford Microsoft Surface, now you can for significant less investment. Introduced in September 2009, Wacom’s latest family of Bamboo tablets offers both pen and multi-touch input capabilities. The new Bamboo product line includes 5 redesigned Bamboo tablets, each with unique capabilities and benefits.

The new Bamboo line has had some design changes from the previous models, which are being replaced by the new line-up. For starters, a mouse is no longer included with any Bamboo tablet. The tablet buttons, named ExpressKeys, have moved from the top of the tablet to the side, and the tablet can be turned 180 degrees. That makes it suitable for both right-handed and left-handed users. The Bamboo line requires no batteries and gets its power from the USB connection to your computer.

Unlike the previous models, the pen in new line doesn’t have a rubberized grip surface, but it has a flat area where the pen buttons are. All models come with an eraser end on the pen which automatically switches to an eraser tool or delete function in supported software. Instead of a usual pen stand there is a pen holder attached to the side of the tablet. They used the same textured surface as in first generation Bamboo, which makes working with the pen feel as a true pen-on-paper experience. Pressure sensitivity has been increased from 512 to 1024 levels in all pen-capable models except the low-cost Bamboo Pen.

The touch capability is helpful when you do not want to leave your pen while drawing and manipulate your design. With Bamboo, Wacom introduced nine key gestures: Navigate, Click, Double Click, Right Click, Forward & Back, Scroll, Select & Drag, Rotate and Zoom. There are 5 models, each with different capabilities and size, as well as different additional software provided with them.

Bamboo Touch is a small tablet offering only touch input. This tablet is a good alternative to small laptop track pads without a multi-touch option. Bamboo Pen is a small tablet offering only pen input. Bamboo Pen is a low-cost choice if you’re not interested in touch input, but you’re looking for a more comfortable, pressure-sensitive mouse alternative for digital inking, drawing, and painting.

Bamboo Pen &Touch is a small tablet offering both pen and multi-touch input. Switching between pen and touch input is sensed automatically, but touch can be disabled by a button press if need be. Bamboo Craft is just like the Bamboo Pen & Touch, offering both pen and multi-touch input, but it comes in a silver color and includes additional software and other bonus content.

Bamboo Fun is a larger tablet offering both pen and multi-touch input. The larger active area gives you more freedom of movement for your pen strokes, which is especially useful for painting and drawing. Bamboo Fun comes with a selection of creative software.

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