Wacom Bamboo and Bamboo Fun
I’m not certain if the digital interface for the pen and tablet will ever take off, but a company known as Wacom appears to be ready for it with the Bamboo and the Bamboo Fun.
Both models of the Bamboo have a digital pen and pad for the interface. The pen can be used like a mouse, and has buttons of left click and right click where your fingers would touch a regular writing pen. This pen comes in especially handy for drawing purposes, and I believe the other end can be used as an eraser. The Bamboo and the Bamboo Fun come with a pen stand.
Both models also have some Express Keys on the pad itself that are programmable, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to do that. I guess I’m not the type who uses macros, but probably should. I believe the Express Keys are defaulted to be browsing tools.
Both models also have a Touch Ring that allows for zooming and scrolling. You can zoom by twirling your finger around in the Touch Ring, and scroll by touching with the up or down menus with your fingertip.
The difference between the Bamboo and Bamboo Fun is a few features. For example, the Bamboo has a write-to-text program that can be used with Windows Vista and Word 2007. Unfortunately, if you aren’t Vista enabled, you won’t be able to use this feature.
The Bamboo Fun has a lot of software programs that come along with it like Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter Esssentials, and Nik Color Efex. The best feature by far is a wireless mouse. This mouse does not use Bluetooth, but draws all power off of the pad.
The main thing that attracted me to the Bamboo models was the fact that I could interact with them by traditional writing and turn them into text. As a writer, I enjoy the whole pen-to-the-paper experience, but it isn’t very practical when it comes to transferring it to a computer program. With the Bamboo, I can write all I want, and then hit a button and edit the typewritten text. Also, it makes the drawing experience more life-like, and I can do more on the Bamboo than I could on traditional drawing. However, it might take a while to adapt to the digital pen experience.
The regular Bamboo is about $79.00. The Bamboo Fun is about $99.00 for the small, and $199.00 for the medium.