Wacom Bamboo Fun
- It's like touching pen to paper; thin, sleek and stylish
- There are no wireless options, it's not suited for left-handed people
Bamboo Fun tablets bring the benefits of pen and tablet computing to a consumer audience. It may take a while to get accustomed to using a tablet; but if you stick with it, you'll find that the Bamboo offers a natural approach to drawing, photo retouching, handwriting, and navigating that boosts comfort, creativity and efficiency. Odds are you won't go back to using a traditional mouse.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
Wacom pen tablets have been a favourite of design and photography professionals for years. Wacom's Bamboo Fun line brings pen and tablet computing to another audience: the casual home or office user.
Bamboo tablets offer consumers a welcome alternative to a traditional mouse. Using a mouse can be like trying to draw with a bar of soap, requiring lots of repositioning and repetitive movements.
By contrast, Bamboo Fun tablets are designed to provide a more natural experience, similar to touching pen to paper. The tablet represents your computer monitor in a one-to-one relationship, so that a stroke of the pen translates to a matching line on the screen.
The pen that comes with the Bamboo Fun tablet is pressure-sensitive, allowing you to make fine lines or bold strokes by varying how hard you press.
Wacom's Bamboo line consists of two products -- Bamboo Fun (reviewed here) and Bamboo. Bamboo Fun, for creative consumers, replaces the Graphire4. (Creative professionals are still best served by Wacom's Intuos and Cintiq lines.) Bamboo Fun is available in a choice of four colours (black, white, silver or blue) and two sizes (small, also known as the A6, or medium, A5).
Both sizes include a cordless pen with eraser, and a cordless mouse for use on the tablet. The Bamboo Fun package also comes with a collection of popular design software -- Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 or Corel Painter Essentials, and ArtRage2.
The small Bamboo Fun (a roughly 6x4in active area), at $159, is the best value in the line, taking into account these extra goodies. The medium Bamboo Fun (a roughly 9x6in active area) costs $299.
All of the Bamboo tablets are thin, lightweight and stylish. They feature four programmable ExpressKeys, useful for accessing frequent keystrokes or launching selected applications. The Touch Ring at the top of the tablet resembles an iPod clickwheel. Move your finger around the Touch Ring to easily zoom or scroll through a document.
The Bamboo Fun pen is sleek and comfortable. It features two buttons that can be set to a choice of functions, or to which you can assign a custom pop-up menu of your favourite commands.
Bamboo Fun tablets are great for creative activities, from sketching to scrapbooking to photo retouching. They also offer a unique opportunity to integrate handwriting with digitised documents.
Use a Bamboo tablet to add a handwritten signature to a typed letter, jot down quick notes, or mark up a document. You can leave your handwriting as is, or automatically convert it into typewritten text.
There aren't many down sides to Bamboo Fun tablets. Our wish list does include a wireless version that would not need to be tethered to the computer; it would also be nice if the pen buttons were repositioned so left-handers would be less likely to run into them inadvertently.
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GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
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