Historically, graphics tablets have been seen as expensive necessities of top spec digital illustrators and concept artists, with their large size and even larger price tags closing the barrier to entry for others.
For the better part of a decade Wacom's 'bamboo' range of budget graphics tablets, with their contemporary lime green and black design language, have been seeking to dispel this stereotype.
The range offers typical Wacom accuracy and precision, just at a much reduced size and without as many bells and whistles as Wacom's topflight Intuos & Cintiq ranges. The latest addition to this range is the Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch Graphics Tablet. The two key differentiators are the inclusion of wireless functionality (although the device still functions over a USB cable) and support for multi touch input.
Using the tablet wirelessly seems all but identical in response to using the device over a USB cable which is important for a device that relies on being accurate. Being un-tethered from the desk means you can sketch in more natural and relaxed positions, like kicking back a bit in your chair, although you'd probably want to be confident with the device before attempting this.
The multi touch support works really well on Mac, seemingly mapping directly to the included functionality in Apple's OSX, allowing you to pinch and scroll your way around apps fluidly. Windows support is a little clumsier, although this may change with the more touch orientated Windows 8. The responsive wireless functionality and decent battery life justifies the increase in price over the standard Bamboo range, and the touch support is an interesting addition, which may serve to future proof the device somewhat as operating systems move towards a more touch orientated future.
If you're looking for a way to take your artwork direct to digital or to compliment an existing suit of editing tools, then this tablet is a great entry-level choice that won't have you taking a hammer to the piggy bank.
For your chance TO WIN a bamboo stylis pen worth £20 check back next week for details of our latest competition.