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Drawing tablet with 8 hot keys
on September 22, 2011
Review from User:
This Monoprice tablet is the first graphic tablet I've ever owned. For a long time I was checking out the Wacom, and honestly, the only things about those tablets that had me interested was the fact that the pen is battery free and the whole `touch' feature. But frankly, regardless of those two things, for a tablet of around the same size, Wacom just hurts your wallet too much. I mean, it's like $170 for a Wacom Fun Tablet. The Monoprice may not have the touch or the battery-free pen, but for all the money you save on it (you save over $100), you can get by without the touch (because the pen easily replaces the mouse, eliminating the need for touch) and you can buy plenty of AAA batteries, or even buy useful software that you might want (like Photoshop or Adobe or whatever).
They even send you a software suite to go along with the tablet. There are five programs in all:
- Annotation for Word - which allows you to mark up documents like you would any document by hand. I find this very handy, especially since I do a lot of writing and editing straight on the computer.
- PenCommander - Helps you run any program or menu by simply drawing on the tablet, for example, when you draw an `e' it opens Internet Explorer. Just like a shortcut.
- PenSigner - Helps you put small drawings or signatures into documents.
- PenMail - Use it to send a handwritten email - however, the file is saved as a jpeg.
- PenNotice - Capture screenshots and make annotations.
The other features that the tablet comes with include the 8 Hotkeys on the left side of the tablet, things like Copy, Paste, Cut, Zoom In, Zoom Out, etc. On the active drawing area, are 16 hot cells, which you tap with the pen to make it work. You can program these to whatever you want.
The screen is a very large area, actually, much larger than I needed, I realized, once I got the thing in my hands. But the good thing about it is, while it looks like it is built for a wide-screen monitor, you can actually set it to work for a 3:4 ratio monitor, or even set it to work with two monitors at once. You can also test the pressure sensitivity.
There are a couple of things I need to mention about this tablet, though. First of all, the program suite doesn't work with Windows Vista (I have Windows XP). Secondly, it needs a USB port, but the cord is a little bit short, so I suggest using a port on the front of your computer tower or getting an extension cord. Another thing is that the pen seems quite fragile when you put the battery in. You have to carefully peel back the rubber grip and the battery sits in a thin piece of metal without anything to encase it. So I just had to be a bit careful when doing that. However, once you get the battery in there, it's a good pen. The pen also has three buttons--one in the tip (by the way you get three replacement tips inside the box, and it doesn't seem to be getting worn down too fast) and another two in a long, thin black button on the side of the pen. It looks like one button, but it's actually two, one on each end. You can set all these buttons to your preferences. You also get a pen stand, which you also use to replace the pen tip once you wear it down. The battery seems to have a nice long life. It doesn't run out in two days or anything like that.
I hope I went over all the important features and aspects of the tablet. The description for the product doesn't really give you much to go on. Without a doubt, excellent value for your money.