Blog: Secrets from the Chef

Wacom Bamboo Fun M Pen&Touch

Denis KortunovAuthor: Denis Kortunov
9 February 2010

Nearly every computer in our company has a graphics tablet connected to it. This fact is easy to explain, since we are all designers. Today yet another “pet” was adopted by our office: Wacom Bamboo Fun M Pen&Touch. I want to take this chance to share my personal impressions on this tablet.

Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen&Touch

I will start off with my personal relationship history with Wacom’s products. I have been using the tablets of this Japanese manufacturer for over 10 years. Originally I owned the first wacom intuos А5 that I used for quite some time. Then I upgraded to again the first intuos but size A4. Later I got back to size A5 since A4 was too bulky for me, and now I use Wacom Intuos 3 Medium. There was a time when the tablet served as a complete replacement for my computer mouse.

All these tables were from the professional line. And this may evoke a logical question: “Why in the World did you buy a tablet from a lower line for 8510 RUR, if you already own a pro-model for ca. 15000 RUR?” The point is that I am really attracted to the Touch function, enabling finger gestures in addition to the use of the pen. The tablet also claims to support multi-touch, which I have mastered using the notebook’s touchpad.

Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen&Touch

The package comes with a simple but elegant setup. The tablet and the packing have a pleasant plastic smell. Not like freshly unpacked Macs but still OK. I remember having troubles with a weird and inconvenient vertical packing in the past with all parts packaged into separate boxes.

Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen&Touch

The tablet turned out to have a very high quality touch and feel. It doesn’t look so neat on the pictures posted on the site. In reality it is much better – metallic glazing of plastic and a white glossy insert. The tablet comes with an ugly but handy pen, three anti-friction cores, a special ring for removing cores and a box with disks and the user’s manual. The good news is that there is no huge power adapter in the kit; the tablet is powered through USB. Also, the kit does not include a mouse. Finally the people at Wacom realized that nobody needs it!

Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen&Touch

With great disappointment I discovered that unlike my previous Wacoms the tablet was made not in Japan but in China. But still I hope that it will work just fine. There are so few parts that can fail there anyway.

Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen&Touch

One really notable feature of the tablet is the red Wacom label like the one on jeans. It turned out to be a special pen holder. This is a really ingenious idea: the pen will never get lost. But the traditional ink-holder is still more convenient for everyday work, especially when the table is cluttered with all kinds of very useful stuff.

Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen&Touch

The tablet fits ideally to all Apple’s stuff in terms of design. Here it is pictured with the Apple wireless keyboard. I think it would also look great with the Magic Mouse, if I had one.

Gestures

The tablet detects multi-finger gestures. As far as I understood not more than two figures at a time, since the three-finger gestures do not appear in the settings. It is very convenient to rescale or rotate pictures. The tablet also works perfectly and precisely as one big touch pad.

Gestures

I truly enjoyed the two-finger scrolling. This is the most important feature for me. I do a lot of web browsing, read various documents, so I do quite a bit of scrolling. If you work with a pen, you have to put it first and then reach out for the mouse’s scrolling wheel. Here, you also need to put the pen down but you do not reach for the mouse.

There are 4 buttons on the side. I programmed them like this:

  1. Expose: show all windows
  2. Expose: show desktop
  3. Right-button click
  4. Left-button click

Originally the first button was configured for turning the Touch mode on and off. I could not figure out the logic behind it, since once the pen touches the tablet, the latter detects it and works solely with the pen. Once the pen is lifted, the tablet starts reacting to finger gestures.

The main problem with the Touch mode is drag-and-drop. At first I was assisting myself with my left hand by continuously pushing a button (one of the four) with a click. But it turned out there is a smart way to do it: you need to quickly click on an object with your finger and drag instantly; this enables dragging. Selecting objects (text or pictures) is also inconvenient; however these are special cases of drag-and-drop.

Ups:

  • Low price (8500 RUR)
  • Multi-touch technology
  • Very pleasant rough tablet coating
  • Feels like a quality and durable thing (except for the pen)
  • Convenient scrolling
  • Excellent drivers (works perfectly with Mac OS – no extra setup required)

Downs:

  • No tilt adjustment against the desk
  • Inconvenient Drag&Drop
  • No vertical pen holder
  • Pen looks rather nasty and features no rubber holding band
  • Occasional errors with gesture detection

Conclusion. Excellent gadget for home or office use. Sophisticated artists or illustrators drawing on computers will not appreciate it of course. But it is the right thing for making curves in Illustrator or retouching photos. Good mouse replacement.

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Comments

Thanks for sharing :) I have an ANCIENT wacom tablet (not even sure what the model is) and Im looking to get a new one…you know… that works. I really like painting in photoshop so I was kind of planning to get an Intuos 4 medium, but I hear that the rough surface on them causes you to go through pen nibs like crazy. The bamboo is tempting because of the price, and it may be a good solution since Im not even sure if I will like using a tablet.

Reply emailtoid.net/i/27187ea2/…, 9 February 2010

[url=http://wheredoyoubuyipad.com/category/wacom-intuos-3]wacom intuos 3[/url]
Wow, what a nice gadget. I really love to use this as soon as possible if I have some money.
I want to experience using it.

Reply Bayani Naive, 21 May 2011

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