Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch: move your fingers!
Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch is not only an electronic easel, but also a hefty multi-touch touchpad, with which you can again take a look at the usual seemingly manipulated operating system interface and many programs. The second generation of “bamboo” tablets is, if you like, a step towards a wider circle of customers. Indeed, you must admit, a traditional tablet is a rather specific thing, and not everyone buys such a gadget, and far from as often as the manufacturer would like. And here, by the way, the general enthusiasm for finger-oriented devices arrived in time :) ...
A modern device should be as concise as possible, light and thin - look at any mobile phone or laptop. Tablets, of course, are no worse, and especially if they are Wacom tablets. They used to amaze with their ultra-small thickness, but here it’s just some kind of holiday: 8.5 mm in the center, and even the edges are thin in the manner of the Apple MacBook Air. When you take it in your hand, it creates a false feeling that now it will take and break under its own weight. But no, the gray plastic is strong enough to not have to worry about.
The central part of the device is highlighted with a white rim, which contains 4 buttons and the workspace. Which side the keys are on is difficult to say, because the tablet is symmetrical, and both right-handed and left-handed people can use it equally well. Therefore, in order not to offend anyone, I’ll say simply: from the side. The working surface is traditionally slightly roughened. This, it seems, should symbolize real paper, but, here I can say for sure, not too similar. However, this is not a minus at all, and I would even say a plus, because as a result of hand-driving on a paper surface, I personally experience unpleasant sensations in the brush. Here, on the contrary, the hand glides over the surface easily and naturally.
In general, to enhance the effect of "multi-touch", it was possible to make the side keys not mechanical, just select a part of the touch surface for these needs, but on the other hand, it’s more reliable, because the sensors are moody.
By default, if you count the buttons from top to bottom, they are responsible for turning on / off the touch functions, moving back in the browser, as well as left and right mouse clicks. However, as always, their purpose can be reconfigured. The keys are divided in two by a horizontal LED. At rest, it burns with a steady white light, touch of the fingers makes it glow brighter, and it responds with an orange blink when pressed with a stylus.
The Bamboo Touch pen is attached to the case in a curious way.
See the red label in the photo growing from the right side of the device? At first I thought it was just an interesting design move, but after a few hours it dawned on me: why not try to put a stylus in there? I tried, and he sat down like a glove. The only negative is that it is shoved in only one direction, because if you pull it in the opposite direction, the spring-loaded double key will interfere.
The feather itself is made in the traditional style: its body is straight, but in general, despite the absence of bends for a more natural grip, it is quite convenient to use. Almost the same thing happened with my Graphire 3, serving faithfully to this day. True, there are a few additional tips in the set of new items, which is undeniably good, since they are quickly erased with active use.
Included with the gadget, of course, are drivers. For Windows XP and Vista. They, as you know, do not have multisensory input support “out of the box”, and therefore the firmware written by Wacom programmers is designed to correct this annoying omission. It is assumed that the middle finger will become the main governing body, because for some operations such combinations are provided that otherwise it just won’t work out. For example, to call the context menu, you must first select the desired object with the middle finger, and then, without releasing it, touch the touch surface with the nameless one. The "left" click is performed in almost the same way, only instead of the ring finger we use the index finger. The tablet, of course, does not recognize the way it was touched by a finger, but on which side of the “worker”
Well, and besides, the two-finger gestures that are widespread and known now, probably to everyone, are also possible. The multi-touch symbol - the image scaling by spreading and moving fingers (usually large and medium) - works correctly. But image rotation will be available only in some programs. In any case, the standard Windows image viewer didn’t react at all to the rotational movement, but Photoshop CS4 immediately understood what they wanted from it.
You can also not go past the navigation functions. Using two fingers at the same time, you can move forward and backward in browsers, and it is also very effective (and spectacularly too) to scroll pages up and down, moving your hand in the appropriate directions.
As for Windows 7, there, contrary to all my expectations, I still needed to install the drivers separately, and they could not be found on the Internet in automatic mode. What then was the interest in installing the RC of the new system, you ask? And here is the interest. Firstly, the interface of the new OS delightfully responds to touches, blowing small waves across the screen, as if the desktop is a smooth surface, and a small pebble fell into the place where they poked with a stylus. And secondly, the owners of Seven and devices like Wacom Bamboo Touch can be envied: handwriting simply works with a bang. Moreover, in 99.9 percent of cases, not only English letters are correctly recognized, but also Cyrillic.
Some technical details
Considering the touch functions, I almost forgot about another, no less important aspect of the work of this device - drawing with the stylus. Yes, of course, the name Bamboo Fun hints to us that this is still not a professional tool ... But in order to make a couple of sketches or retouch a photo, its capabilities are quite enough, be sure. The resolution for the pen is 2540 lines per inch (for touch input - 101.6 lines per inch), and the tracking speed is 133 dots per second (for fingers - 50 t / s). The stylus recognizes 1024 levels of depression, and if you remember, most recently (about six years ago) such values could only be found in professional models. In general, tablets from the new line are not just toys, but quite working tools.
In conclusion, I will say that the first pancake Wacom came out very ruddy. I think that many people will like this gadget, especially on the eve of the imminent release of Windows 7. Yes, and such things will not stand idle for makovodov, because the working surface of new tablets is several times larger than the multi-touch touchpads of Apple laptops. This Bamboo can now be advised not only to those who, by duty or by personal desire, are engaged in editing images, but also “mere mortals” (sorry, if that :). If you suddenly run out of ideas for a gift, think about this device. I would personally be delighted with him.
UPD: prices for a new line in the UK: Bamboo - £ 74.99, Bamboo Fun Small - 89.99, Bamboo Fun Big - 169.99. A Bamboo Pen without multitouch support (pen only) will cost 49.99 pounds, while a Bamboo Pen with a multi-touch and without a pen will cost 59.99 pounds.
© Ivan Zvyagin, 2009, for CyberStyle.ru and, of course, for Habr =).
PS Peace be upon my video card, which by the will of evil fate died exactly during this test. Keep quiet.