This is sort of a continuation of my previous post where I talked about getting the number 1 item on my Christmas wish list (a laptop). In this entry I will talk about the 2nd item on my list – a graphics tablet.
I’ve already posted several entries here on my blog about how I decided to replace my 4-year old Wacom Bamboo Fun since it started experiencing some problems, so I won’t go into much detail about that again. I was actually pretty happy with my tablet before it started going haywire so I tried to look for the same model, but they didn’t make them anymore. (I read online that Wacom still sells Bamboo Fun tablets, but they upgraded it so it’s not really the same model that I want.) This is what I ended up buying:
The Wacom Bamboo Connect. I got it for around $80.
Inside the box you’ll find :
The CD which contains the installer
The pen – which is black
And of course the tablet – which is black as well, but the underside is a bright neon green:
It has 1024 pressure levels, which is a lot, especially since I only plan on using it to edit my self portraits. (My old Bamboo Fun only had 512 levels and I was already happy with that). It’s a bit bigger than my old tablet so it took a while for me to get used to it. Also, the surface of the tablet feels very different compared to my old Bamboo Fun – it’s a bit rougher and “scratchier”, if that makes sense. (Although that could just be because I’ve had my old tablet for so long that the surface became worn out over the years. I can’t really remember if it was always that smooth.)
Size comparison between the old Bamboo Fun and Bamboo Connect
The pen it comes with has a little switch-type button on the side which I mainly use to right-click when I use the tablet. (Left-clicking can be done by simply tapping the pen on the tablet.)
At first I was disappointed that this didn’t come with a mouse, but I soon realized that it’s actually more convinient this way. It takes up less space and I don’t have to worry about carrying so many parts when I move from place to place, especially since the tablet has a little sleeve to keep the pen in:
The sleeve is pretty secure so I don’t really have to worry about dropping the pen when I move it around. It’s so much easier to carry compared to my old tablet which had a lot more parts:
My 4-year old Bamboo Fun had four separate parts : the mouse, the pen, the pen holder and the tablet itself. I’ve actually dropped the mouse several times in the past because I’m lazy and I often try to carry this all at once, tsk tsk.
Anyway, to solve the no-mouse problem, I just went to my nearest CD-R King branch and bought a small (pink) mouse for P150, which is around $3 – not bad.
I really like how simple and basic this tablet is. I read some reviews online and found that some people don’t like the fact that the pen doesn’t come with an eraser and that the tablet doesn’t have a multi-touch function, but I don’t really mind – I never used the eraser on my old pen since I prefer using Photoshop’s Erase tool instead, nor did I ever play around with the scroll wheel on my Bamboo Fun. In fact, I’m glad that this tablet doesn’t have a touch function since that was what gave up first in my old tablet, forcing me to replace it.
I’ve been using my Bamboo Connect since I got it around mid-December and I haven’t had any problems with it. I’ve used it to edit my last few uploads on my Flickr photostream, which includes this photomanipulation I did for Ezra’s 52-week project:
Overall, I think this is a great tablet to have. While some people don’t like the fact that it’s pretty much “featureless”, I think that its simplicity is what won me over. It’s basic, handy and does what is needed. I use it mainly to edit photos, but you can definitely use it for drawing and sketching. Heavy tablet users might want to go for something fancier, but for simple tasks, this will work just fine 😀
Lovin’ my new Bamboo Connect ^__^