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571 of 579 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2009
For as cheap as this little tablet is, it does a GREAT job! I purchased it to have an extra travel one; I have a larger Intuos that is PHENOMENAL (I won't lie, it is much more sensitive and because it is larger it is much, much, much more precise) but the problem is that it is totally unsuitable for a mobile lifestyle. This little cutie works excellent for the things I do on the fly.

Considering that I am a professional digital imaging specialist who uses my tablets constantly, I hope you'll take this advice: for those of you who are weekend enthusiasts or whom are just getting started and perhaps may have never used a tablet before, this is a good one to purchase. It does just fine for most applications and is sensitive enough to do the average things. Once you've totally become addicted to it and know for sure that it suits your needs, maybe then save up and get a larger Intuos.
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424 of 442 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Do you remember when computers first came out and you had to go through a tutorial to use a mouse? Well, when I set up my pen, I felt like I was back in those days. Everything I've spent the last 15 years doing had to be rethought, and I went through the tutorials to learn it all over again.

The pen will / and does replace the mouse if you want to use it that way. You hold it in your hand like a pen, and move it across the tablet (which represents your screen). You don't have to roll it across the screen like a mouse, instead, each area of the tablet represents an area of the screen, and once you put the pen down, you are in the correct place on the screen.

If you want to see where your cursor is going, you don't have to touch the tablet, you simply keep the pen slightly above the tablet to make it work. You can click, drag, right click (with the button on the pen): anything you can do with a mouse, you can do with this more precise instrument. Best of all, the pen itself does not have a battery that will wear out.

But, where it shines is that it recognizes your handwriting and will convert it to text. Like the voice recognition software, you can work with it to help it recognize it better, but unless you have outrageously sloppy handwriting, it does a good job.

In Microsoft Word, when you hover the pen over the paper, you are given a palette where you can write words, then click to insert. [I have uploaded two photos to show you how it works.] You can use this feature on most programs, including e-mail. So, technically, the pen and tablet can completely eliminate the keyboard.

I say technically, because I found it slower to try to use it, especially the writing portion. With a typing speed of over 100 wpm, writing has always been slow for me. But, if someone doesn't know the keyboard, it could actually be faster.

It comes with Corel Painter Essentials 4 (Win/Mac) and using this software (or other draw software), you can create your own drawings and export them into digital files. Because the cost of this software runs $30-$40, it makes this a very good value! I enjoy the Corel Painter Essentials (I use much of the corel software), because it can also do a wonderful job of converting photos to paintings, chalk drawings, etc. Tutorials are included for this software as well.

If you use your pen in conjunction with the software, you can create details to be included a lot easier than you can simply using your mouse.

Pros:
Easy to use, a great value, and good software included!
Pen does not have the repetitive action of the mouse and I found it to be easy on my wrists - I am at risk for carpal tunnel, and that's a critical issue.
The pen is very sensitive to touch and works well in the painting program.
The tutorial for the pen comes with a fun British accent, and it does a wonderful job of walking you through the basics.

Cons:
Pen must be at the correct angle to be recognized. It means the pad must be in a location where you can easily write on it. (I often use a laptop, and this is a key issue)
High learning curve for beginners to use the tablet in place of a mouse
Unless you are doing detailed drawings or need to write with it, most of the functions can be handled easily by a mouse.

The hardest part about writing this review is that I'm worried that even 2-3 years from now everyone will have tablets, and they will laugh at me and my difficulty in learning this tool. I will continue to use it, and will practice with it a lot in the drawing software, but for now will most likely depend upon my faithful mouse (trackball actually)to do most of my computing work and save the Pen/Pad for what it does best.

It's a great tool and does everything it is supposed to do! And, even someone in my age bracket can learn to use it.

***Edited***
The fun part about new things is that you learn a lot about the "old things" you didn't use on your computer.

One of these things is the "journal" on my computer. By right-clicking the desktop and choosing "New Journal Page" you create a document that you can use to store information, including pen-created items. You can utilize it for handwriting recognition, or you can copy and paste your handwriting into another document, including Word and e-mails. (think signature)

Another fun capability I wasn't aware of was in Powerpoint. Once you are in a presentation, you can use a control P command to create a pen and mark up the screen of a presentation. In a sense, this can replace the old "overheads" we used to mark up in presentations. Obviously, it's a lot easier to do this with a pen than a mouse.

All of the instructions said that marking up documents was possible. I followed Wacom's instructions - the correct location is under the review tab, there is a tab marked "start inking." This tab did NOT appear in Microsoft Word for me when I originally installed the tablet software. After uninstalling the software that shipped with the tablet and re-installing the newest driver directly from Wacom, the tab appears. By turning ink on, I can now mark up documents and work directly in Microsoft Word. [I have included a photo above to demonstrate the mark-up that is possible.]

The more I learn, the more I like the tablet! I keep my trackball handy, but I'm using the tablet more and more for small things.
review image review image review image
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282 of 309 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2009
I've been a long time user of Wacom tablets, so when my old workhorse Intuos finally kicked the bucket I tried the new Bamboo. One of my designers at work recommended I give it a whirl.

Installation is a piece of cake. There are practically zero adjustments or preferences to set - to be expected at this price point. This is good and bad.

I've found the drivers (or something) to be a bit wiggy though. Sometimes I have to plug in a mouse (gah!) to force the tablet to read the screen again.

The sensitivity is lackluster, again to be expected. For basic stuff it's fine, but for anything requiring brush work it leaves a lot to be desired. If you use Photoshop or Illustrator, invest in an Intuos. The money is well spent if you're using it in a professional arena.

I can only recommend this for people interested in learning the beauty and usefulness of a tablet for computer graphics work, OR anyone who suffers from carpal tunnel. As a basic input device it's effective enough. Using a pen feels more natural than pushing a bar of soap around a desk!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
At first, I was looking for a new mouse, since my old one needed replacing. I have bad arthritis, so comfort & ease of use was very important. I bought the Logitech Trackman Wheel and I absolutely loved it. I hadn't even considered a tablet device, as the last time I looked around they were a bit pricy. I ran across the Wacom Bamboo, & saw it was for well under $100!? Too good to be true I figured. I always research things I buy, so I looked around. Not only is the Wacom Bamboo very affordable, but the reviews all gave praise. My concern was that If I got a tablet, it would need to replace both the mouse & keyboard. Too much switching around is just too painful for me. I bought the Wacom Bamboo straight through Amazon as I have always had great service. I'm running a desktop w/ Windows 7, & the install was fast & easy. Well, it's been a week since I got it, & I haven't even touched my keyboard. The tablet/pen makes browsing, email & everything imaginable so fast, precise & easy. As I can sit back & comfortably use the tablet on its' own box to jump around & write, do graphics and 3D CAD.... the pain for me is substantially less.
Writing is very easy, corrections are software intuitive & a breeze. You can teach it your Writing style & it will continuously learn. Enough settings so you can get it to perform as you like it, but not get lost confused with them.
I wrote this whole review on the tablet in just a few minutes. This tablet is not just for graphic designers & such! Honestly, make your computing life easier, buy a Bamboo & you will soon be bragging to your friends & family how great it is!
I an not affiliated with the company, it's just the BEST money I have EVER spent on any computer peripheral.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2010
I am a teacher who has a SmartBoard in her classroom. I have a tablet pc for use in school, but I wanted a tablet to be able to have the tablet capabilities at home. I just received this product and am absolutely thrilled with it. It has turned my home computer into a tablet PC. Here are some things you can do with the Bamboo pen:

1. Teachers who have a projector in their class can create documents (like a worksheet) in Word or PowerPoint and then fill the document with the pen while teaching (or let students do it). They can also use the built-in highlighter to highlight parts of the document. Word, Excel and PowerPoint have built-in inking features that are activated when a tablet like Bamboo Pen is installed.

2. Similarly, if you want to work with a PDF document (such as your textbook or a worksheet you have scanned into your computer), you can print it to Windows Journal, software that is included with Windows, and then mark it up or highlight it in Journal. This is also useful for signing a document that you receive as a PDF file.

3. If you use the Bamboo Pen to write notes on the board (actually, the screen) for your students, you can save them for those who are absent or for review later. I save different versions of the same document for different class sections that I teach since my notes are a bit different for each class.

You'll waste A LOT less paper because you won't need to print everything out--you can just use documents electronically.

Bamboo Pen will convert your PC into a combination chalkboard/tablet/overhead projector/opaque projector.

For this extremely reasonable price, it is very well worth it.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2010
The Bamboo is an awesome tool for original drawings, graphic art and illustrations. So far I have created watercolor drawings, black and whites, and pencil like sketches. I am having a great time with my work. It is simple to remove a stroke, change a setting. The color palette is fun to work with. I can see at some point that I might enjoy more variety, but for the price and the finished products I have completed thus far, this is a great value and a practical tool for any artist.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2009
I bought the Wacom Bamboo Pen to aide me with my studies. I am currently a student and primarily use Microsoft OneNote to help in my notetaking. This is the most convenient for me as most of my professors utilize Microsoft PowerPoint for their lecture slides. I needed a tablet to use with my Windows 7 PC and laptop to further improve my ability to take notes and work out practice problems electronically.

When it came to installation, it was plug and play for the most part. I am running Windows 7 which comes with Tablet PC components by default. The only additional software needed was the Wacom Pen Tablet Properties software. The software allows a great deal of customization including handedness, pen vs. mouse mode, and many others.

When it comes to usage, it works as expected. Utilizing a tablet can be difficult at first like learning all new things, but I started noticing my dexterity improve over time. As stated previously, I mostly use it for notetaking and working out problems and it serves its purpose well. The only gripe I have is that it is sometimes easy to accidentally hit the side buttons on the pen as they are really soft and easy to push, but I changed the way I hold the pen to compensate for that.

Now as far as reliability, I have noticed the pen has started to malfunction. I bought the pen on 11/28/09 and the pen started malfunctioning on approximately 12/5/2009. After a restart, the Pen Tablet Properties software will not load at all. This makes the whole tablet completely functionless and unable to respond to taps. When I check Device and Printers in the control panel, there are no problems detected with the tablet. The only way to resolve the issue is to reinstall the driver, which is a pain because it must be done after every restart. I have posted on the Wacom EU support forums and searched for solutions but have not come up with anything satisfactoy as of yet. I am contemplating returning the Bamboo Pen before it is too late to do so and just saving up for a better (albeit more expensive) tablet.

Update on 12/13/2009:
I may have found a fix to the issue. What I did was unplug the tablet, uninstall the Pen tablet properties software, and remove the tablet from 'Devices' in control panel. I then reinstalled the Pen tablet properties software first, and then plugged back in the tablet. It may be crucial to install the software prior to plugging in the tablet so that Windows 7 installs Wacom's drivers instead of the ones that come preinstalled. The tablet appears to be working as it should now. I will keep Amazon informed about any new issues that may arise with the tablet.
Updated score: 3.5/5
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2010
Highly recommended. This is well worth the money and all I need. I do retouching and Photoshop work for a living and this tablet and resolution works fine for me. I do not miss the more expensive WACOM Intuos 6x9 brand tablet that I used at work. The small size is perfect and I don't have to move my arm great distances to move the cursor across the screen. I don't like to program dials and buttons either and this tablet is clean and simple.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2009
If you were a user of Intous and think of buying Bamboo Pen then this review is for you. I had Intous3 before buying Wacom Cintiq 12 and Cintiq 21. I decided to buy Bamboo mainly for portability and the cost factor. The following are the major factors you have to think about.

The Pen:
Although I searched Wacom to get a clear idea about the pen pressure I didn't get any answer. After buying Bamboo I didn't feel any difference in the pressure from any of the Wacom products I used. The tip of the pen squeaks when it contact the tablet like it does in Intous but it gives more like paper feeling. The pen doesn't slide easily on the tablet surface. It doesn't have an eraser like the others. The size of the pen is smaller than the one that comes with Intous and Cintiq. Personally I like everything about the pen, however, I wish it had an eraser. The buttons are customizable and have the same feeling of that in Grip Pen.

The Tablet:
It's more slim than the Intous and the surface is really nice. When I bought Bamboo I thought it has buttons but be aware it doesn't. The active surface has a natural paper feeling. The friction between the pen and the active surface prevents the pen from sliding fast which gives a natural feeling of real paper. The size can't be any perfect for my hand. However, I didn't like the fact that this tablet doesn't have any buttons. They, to me, are very essential in the tablet. Even when compared to the early Bamboo Tablets you will find plenty of buttons?? I really don't know why they didn't add them.

Although Bamboo lack some important features, it remains very useful for artists. It's very portable and as simple as plug and play - only if the driver is installed-.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2010
I bought this wacom tablet to use with GIMP and am very happy with it.
Installation was easy (although it does take awhile for the software to load from the installation disk), and GIMP recognized the tablet without any further adjustments. The sensitivity of the pen to the tablet is very good when doing a drawing.
I am sure the more expensive tablets will do much more, but for anyone who wants to get a reasonably priced one to start out with you won't go wrong with this one.
If I were to sum up this wacom tablet in one word it would be - "quality"
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