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Wacom Bamboo Tablets: Differences and Reviews

Updated on May 30, 2013

An Overview of the Different Types of Wacom Bamboo Series of Drawing Tablets

If you've never tried a drawing tablet before, but you're looking to get into the world of graphic art, getting one of the Bamboo drawing tablets made by Wacom is an excellent place to start, because they are extremely functional and easy to use. However, if you've been looking around the market at all, you may have noticed that there are a few different types of Bamboo pen tablets out there, and it's not necessarily that easy to tell the differences between them all unless you really devote some time and energy to research.

I'm here to lay it all out for you, giving you the specifics you need in order to decide which Bamboo drawing tablet is the right one to buy. Whether you're looking for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, I aim to provide you with enough accurate and detailed information in order to make an informed decision that you'll never regret. (Hint: you may also want to check out all of The Best Drawing Tablets.)

All that said, let's get started!

The Bamboo Connect Tablet

Wacom Bamboo Connect Pen Tablet (CTL470)CHECK PRICE

Key Features

- Size: Small

- Pen Eraser: No

- Multi-Touch: Not compatible

- Wireless Option: Not compatible


Free Bundled Software

Autodesk SketchBook Express


Review of the Bamboo Connect

The simplest and most lightweight Bamboo model in terms of size and functionality, this is excellent for either a beginner artist or someone who needs the ability to write by hand or annotate documents. It's not great, however, for those who are looking to practice graphic art as a serious hobby or profession. If you're looking to get your creative child something cool for a holiday or special occasion, this would make a great gift, but be aware that they may soon grow beyond the capabilities of this tablet.

The Bamboo Connect was designed with the professional communicator in mind rather than the professional artist. It is perfect for people who are frequently in meetings online and needs to draw something to the screen. It's also the perfect tool for making notes in documents, signing signatures, writing annotations, and other activities that require hand-written text.

From an artist's perspective, it's quite lacking. There are no extra buttons or shortcut keys in order to quickly move through in-program menus or change tools, and it doesn't support easy zooming or scrolling control due to the lack of multi-touch. I would however, recommend this to anyone who travels and uses a laptop a lot. Because of its small size and weight, it's very portable, and it is great for getting out a quick sketch or doodle when inspiration hits.

Bamboo Connect in Action

Bamboo Connect Accessories - Other Items for the Wacom Bamboo Connect (CTL470)

The Bamboo Splash Tablet

Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet (CTL471)CHECK PRICE

Key Features

- Size: Small

- Pen Eraser: No

- Multi-Touch: Not compatible

- Wireless Option: Not compatible


Free Bundled Software

Autodesk SketchBook Express; ArtRage 3 Studio


Review of the Bamboo Splash

I like to think of the Splash as the older brother of the Connect. It can do all the same things and little more. It's designed to be more of a step in the artistic direction, but the only notable difference is that it includes a copy of ArtRage. Don't get me wrong, that's a great deal, and it's really good for anyone still working on building their skills as an artist. This extra feature may not seem like much, but it allows you to view the tablet in a new light. It teaches the user the basics of art programs (they all can do pretty much the same basic things), and any child who's given a drawing tablet without an environment to use it in that's geared towards art will probably be inclined to treat it as a toy instead of the sophisticated tool that it really is.

The size and weight make this just as portable, but it also allows it to be durable. If it gets dropped, thrown, bumped, or anything else, unless it's been attacked with heavy machinery or dropped from a couple of stories high, there isn't anything heavy or bulky about it to cause it (or anything else) any damage. This also makes the Splash quite easy to store away when it's not in use.

Bamboo Splash in Action

The Bamboo Capture Tablet

Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen and Touch Tablet (CTH470)CHECK PRICE

Key Features

- Size: Small

- Pen Eraser: No

- Multi-Touch: Compatible

- Wireless Option: Compatible


Free Bundled Software

Adobe Photoshop Elements; Nik Color Efex Pro Filters (Wacom Edition); Autodesk SketchBook Express


Review of the Bamboo Capture

As far as an artist is concerned with the Bamboo line of Wacom tablets, this is where it starts to get interesting. Of course, you can do all the same stuff that you could with the other models (annotating documents, signing papers, etc.), but this is the model where Wacom started to design things specifically for artists.

If you take a look at the software that's included with this tablet, you'll notice that there are two new programs: PS Elements, and Nik Color Efex. These programs are specifically designed for more serious photographers who want to spice up their pictures with effects, filters, cleaning tools, and more. As you probably know, Adobe is the industry leader in the field of creative software, boasting a track record that includes Flash CS, Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign, and a ton more.

If you want to get into photography, image editing, vector art, and other popular design media, this is a great tablet to use to get started. Though, it's not the perfect fit for you if you're into digital art that looks more realistic such as painting, drawing, watercolors, and rubber-stamping. And it's a bit overkill if you're just looking to get your feet wet and not quite a serious artist yet.

Bamboo Capture in Action - See how easy it is to use

The Bamboo Create Tablet

Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet (CTH670)CHECK PRICE

Key Features

- Size: Medium

- Pen Eraser: Yes

- Multi-Touch: Yes

- Wireless Option: Yes


Free Bundled Software

Adobe Photoshop Elements; Corel Painter Essentials; Nik Color Efex Pro (Wacom Edition)


Review of the Bamboo Create

This right here is the mother of all Wacom Bamboo Drawing Tablets. With an active work area of 8.5" x 5.4" it has the largest amount of work space you can get. This is definitely something for serious artists to consider, because it scales the best to whatever screen size you're looking at, and it allows you to use full motions with your drawing.

While it still includes PS Elements and Nik for photography work and image editing, you'll notice that it also comes with a copy of Corel Painter Essentials, which is an absolutely excellent program for any artist to work in if you're more interested in classical media. Realistic oil, watercolor, pencil, marker, and other tools allow you to make full use of this tablet when you're working to create your best works of art.

If you're familiar with other Wacom tablets, you'll probably already know about the Intuos series. What you should know is that this models of Bamboo is only a small step below an Intuos in that the only real differences are the potential in size (this only goes up to medium size, when an Intuos can go up to large), and in the shortcut keys. The Create only has a couple of buttons, but if you're not yet a professional graphic designer or artist (and by that I mean making steady money off your artwork), then this is a fine investment for you to begin with. It will increase your productivity and allow for a vast improvement in the quality of your work, depending on your skill of course ;)

Bamboo Create in Action

Other Bamboo Models by Wacom

Comments About Wacom Bamboo Tablets - Please share your feedback or questions here

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    • orandze lm profile image
      Author

      orandze lm 3 years ago

      @peaches50: I absolutely thinks it's worth it. Depending on where you buy it the warranty alone can cost between $10 and 20.

    • profile image

      peaches50 3 years ago

      Do you think it is worth it to save $13 and get a refurbished Capture tablet (comes with the works) that comes with a 1 year warranty or not and buy a new Capture tablet (does not come with warranty)?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, I've just purchased the Bamboo Connect The software coming with my new tablet is:

      Bamboo Software CD-ROM with Autodesk Sketchbook Express

      Art Rage3 Software CD-ROM

      Corel Paint It! software CD-ROM

      Installation CD-ROM (drivers & bamboo dock etc)

      Do you know, of any other cds, I can buy to utilize this tablet, without shelling out 700+ for photoshop. I also own adobe elements. Any other art/photo cds that would work with this tablet? Greatly appreciate your reply. You can also Direct Message me on twitter my id is: BlueNotezMuzik Thanks!

      Turn your photos into beautiful painted works of art in 3 easy steps

    • orandze lm profile image
      Author

      orandze lm 4 years ago

      @tonybonura: Thanks for the compliments and the blessing! Unfortunately, you're looking for information on a different type of tablet. Drawing tablets are simply made for creating graphic media on the computer. Android tablets are like large smartphones that can't make calls. The forums at androidtablets.net have a lot of information and a welcoming community.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Great review. I have just bought a MID M729 Android tablet, mostly because of the great sale price I got on it. The instructions were vague to put it mildly and I am looking for lenses to teach me how to use it. This is the second lens I have come across that praises these Wacom Bamboo Drawing Tablets, so I figure there must be something to the tablet. Too bad I can't draw. Blessed by TonyB.

      TonyB

    • l33tzombie profile image

      l33tzombie 5 years ago

      I've got the Bamboo P&T 2011 myself. Such great products! Shame about the horrible customer support though.

    • profile image

      facts7 5 years ago

      Bamboo great producer ! +