Wacom has had a long-standing history of providing professional-level graphics tablets and pen displays to the creative community. Often with professional tools, there is a professional price tag attached. Wacom products have never been referred to as “cheap.” Reliable, yes. Quality, yes. Great features, yes. But not cheap. That’s all well and good if you work for a design shop and a company is buying them for you. If you’re self-employed or just starting out then the Wacom Cintiq (professional level pen display) probably was out of the question.
I’ve had several Wacom tablets over the years. I use them almost exclusively when I retouch photos and if I ever dabble in creating art. I love my 27″ Cintiq QHD display tablet. However, when I need to take a tablet with me on the go I’ve always preferred carrying a Wacom Intuos Pro Small. With that said, I stopped carrying my previous version. While it was “small” it was still bulky enough to take up more space and weight in my bag than I wanted. My backpack is always heavy. I decided to remove some things to lighten the load. Every ounce matters. I figured I could just use my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil as a tablet if I really needed to. While this solution did work, it just wasn’t the same as a Wacom graphics tablet. Wacom has been refining their pen/tablet technology for years! The newer tablets have a pen that offers 8,192 levels of pressure. This level of precision is amazing. The pen also has configurable buttons on the side and the top can be used as an eraser. Apple Pencil is great, but it just can’t do as many things as you can with a Wacom pen.
The NEW Wacom Intuos Pro Small makes its way back into my life and my backpack!
I’m loving the Astropad app for iOS. The latest update (1.3) just got “official” Apple Pencil and iPad Pro support. Prior to today…
In 2007 when the iPhone was introduced, I remember many of my colleagues and pundits saying things like “I just wish it had a stylus”. Of course Steve Jobs back then made fun of phones that required a stylus. Fast forward six years later and you definitely see people using most cellphones with their finger and NOT with styluses. Although I do use my finger with my iPhone and iPad there are times where a stylus is just better. The ones that come to mind are signing my signature and drawing/handwriting notes. My signature and handwriting are bad enough. I don’t need them to look any worse because I’m using my finger. I’ve been a fan of Wacom products for many years and felt that their Bamboo Stylus Solo was definitely one of the best! They’ve now added a couple more choices to the product line up.
The Bamboo Duo Stylus + Pen and the Bamboo Pocket Expandable Stylus
My favorite now is the New Bamboo Duo Stylus. Here you get two devices in one. You get a great stylus for your touch screens on one end and on the other end you get a regular ballpoint pen. GREAT! Fantastic and certainly the one that’s now always in my pocket. It also comes in different colors.
The next one is cool, just not my 1st choice. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus is actually retractable. Push it together or pull it to expand and you get a full sized stylus. It also has a cap that’d designed to plug-in to the headphone jack on your port as a way to carry it. I definitely couldn’t see doing this on my iPhone, but I could potentially see doing this with an iPad. I’d actually rather see a case that has a slot for a stylus. While it doesn’t come in different colors it does ship with silver, blue and red rings that you use to add a spice of color.
The Bottom Line
There is no requirement to use a stylus with your smartphone or tablet. However, if you frustrated at times with the performance of your finger then you should probably invest in one. The Wacom Bamboo Styluses have a great feel to them both in hand on on screen.
I can’t imagine doing photo retouching in Photoshop without using a Wacom tablet. As a matter of fact I refuse to retouch without a tablet unless it’s an emergency. I’ve been a serious user since the Intuos 3. I’ve enjoyed the Intuos4, and Intuos5 as well as the Wacom Cintiq 12wx and Cintiq 21ux. Although I’ve owned a couple of Cintiqs I find that I used the regular Intuos tablets more often. The Cintiq line has been great and it’s awesome being able to draw/retouch right on screen, but the problem has always been “positioning”. While I could hold the Cintiq 12wx in my lap it still required some finesse to be able to hold it, draw, and have a hand free for occasional trips to the keyboard. The Cintiq 21 ux amplified this issue with no real way to bring it to my lap and I couldn’t really get an angle that I enjoyed more than a few minutes. So I used my regular Intuos tablets more often.
The Wacom Cintiq 24 HD changes everything!
It’s easier to show you rather than tell you. See my video below:
Not only is the Cintiq 24 HD a work of art, but they figured out a way to give me the angles that I always wanted. With the innovative new stand I can position the this 24″ HD display off the table and down into my lap to work. However, I don’t have to bear the weight of it actually on my lap. It floats there where I want it to be. The Wacom Cintiq 24 HD has all the bells and whistles you would expect. It has a gorgeous LCD HD display with 2,048 levels of pressure. It’s like having a large Intuos 5 built into a large display. You get 5 touch keys and a touch ring on each side. Each of these keys and rings can be programmed with different functions in different apps.
The Only way the Cintiq 24 HD could be better is to have multi-touch gestures! Oh, by the way, Wacom did that. The Cintiq 24 HD Touch is everything above with multi-touch gestures. They also make a less expensive 22 inch model too.
Wacom has knocked this one out of the park. From the moment I sat down with one of these beauties at Photo Plus East last year, I knew I wanted one! Now that I have it I can’t imagine not using it.
Get the Cintiq 24HD here
Get the Cintiq 24HD touch here
Get the Cintiq 22HD here
Get the Cintiq 12wx here
The great folks over a Wacom have shpped their NEW Bamboo Stylus for iPad (or any other touch screen mobile device). Ever since I started using the iPhone and then the iPad for doing model releases I realized that having a stylus was a must have accessory. While I've enjoyed my Pogo Sketch (the Targus one is OK too), I couldn't pass on the opportunity to try the one from the same company that makes my graphics tablet (Intuos 4). After all Wacom has had MANY YEARS of experience in designing tablets and pens to go with them. I figured that if anyone could design a good stylus for touch screen devices like the iPad it would be Wacom. Unfortunately the iPad doesn't offer pressure sensitivity like the Wacom tablets do. However, I have found the tip of this new stylus to be very comfortable to work with and smooth for on screen writing, signing and drawing.
The Little Things
You might ask yourself "what is there to innovate in a stylus for an iPad?" That's a good question. After all, once you make a tip that works with touch screens what else is there? Surprisingly a lot. One thing I couldn't figure out with other styli is why there were designed to be so small? The first thing I noticed with the Bamboo Stylus was that it had a nice thickness to it as well as some weight to it that made it feel more natural in my big hands. Speaking of weight the other nice thing is that the slight weight differential of it is pushed to the tip end. This means that when I pick it up I can tell which end is the writing end without even looking at it. While I do wish that it was about a half inch longer, I found the length to be reasonable. Now on to the tip. This is probably the most important feature as it will either make it or break it for me when it comes to using a stylus. I prefer a tip that glides more easily on the touch screen. Some of the cheaper ones have more of a "rubber" feel, which is fine for "tapping" onscreen buttons, but horrible for writing/sketching. I'm happy to report that the Bamboo Stylus has a nice blend of easy gliding, but just enough grip for precise tapping. This is also due to the design of the tip and how it comes to a nicely rounded point. Again, there was some thought put into this and I would expect nothing less from Wacom.
If you're in need of a stylus for your mobile touch screen device, it doesn't get much better than this. You can get the Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad here for $29.95 or less.
One more thing…
There's an App too. Wacom introduced a NEW iPad App called Bamboo Paper (see my review here). This App is a virtual notebook for your iPad. If you hurry you can grab a copy of the App for FREE until the end of June here from the