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The trouble with Wacom…

January 10, 2003

I had a Wacom graphics tablet for a while. I liked it at first since it made sense to use a pen for my masking/brush–work in Photoshop. But this was back in the days of the early Pentium (well, for me, anyway — we’re talking 1997 here) and my computer was just too durn slow to use it effectively, so I gradually stopped.

These days I have one connected to my work computer, but it just takes up space on my desk. I almost never touch the thing. Many designers swear by them, but I never could get the hang of it.

When using a pen, I expect immediate feedback underneath the tip. The disassocation between my hand and my eye that Wacom’s tablets force manages to throw me off. Using a mouse isn’t a problem, but the feeling of holding a pen makes me expect the output to take place underneath its tip, not on a monitor off to the side.

In the past few years, Wacom released a new product line called Cintiq which combines an LCD screen and a tablet in one. Aside from the colour problems an LCD introduces, this is the logical next step in the tablet evolution and might just be where I buy back in to the technology.

The problem being that even the 15” model runs almost $2,000 US. I think for that price, I’d be better off buying a pressure–sensitive TabletPC.


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