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Old 12-21-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Shopping for Wacom tablet

I was about to jump into buying an Intuos 4, but thought I should reflect on this for a minute.

1. I've had bad experiences with every bluetooth device I've owned. So I think it's best not to get a bluetooth.

2. I'm wondering about how it maps the screen. I'm on a laptop with a wide screen. The resolution says 1366 x 768. So I guess if I divide by something I get the aspect ratio? I'm not sure what to do with this. Anyone know what the deal is with this?

3. I'm going to get the smallest one, based on my experience using a small Graphire 2.

Anything else I should consider? I'm not even sure how easy this will to use. I will by lying down on my back with a foam ramp elevating my shoulders and head. I usually have the laptop sitting on my lap. I am imagining I can lay the tablet on top of the keyboard and not have a problem with it pressing keys.

   
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:44 AM   #2
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My current Wacom is the Bamboo, which I've been using for a few years. I wouldn't want to put it on the keyboard of my laptop, because I rest my wrist on it and that would depress the keys, even though it's only a light pressure.

   
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:16 AM   #3
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>I am imagining I can lay the tablet on top of the keyboard and not have a problem with it pressing keys.

Dreaming, not imagining. I have never had any luck with anything on the keyboard. Is there someone handy in your life that could make a little support out of wood, boxboard, or coat-hangers that the device could sit on and not touch the keys?
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Or perhaps something like this lap desk would hold both laptop and tablet (if you go for a small size anyway)?

I just use a piece of Masonite I picked up at our local DIY shop for 50p with a cushion as support, but I'm a skinflint.

   
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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I have a Bamboo, but I only use it if I need to do a lot of detailed Photoshop work (i.e. rarely). Many people swear it's the bees knees for everyday use (mouse replacement) and that may be so for them, but after trying that for several weeks I went back to using the mouse. I've been using mice pretty much since mice have been available, and I'm stuck in that rut. I found using the pad tiring and somehow "unnatural". Just me.

As for the screen mapping, there's nothing to concern yourself with. It's all done transparently by the driver. Presumably it reads your screen resolution from the OS and does the math: the whole pad maps to the whole screen, no matter what the dimensions are (I also have a wider-than-typical screen--a MacBook Pro, 1440 x 900).

   
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Allen View Post
I have a Bamboo, but I only use it if I need to do a lot of detailed Photoshop work (i.e. rarely). Many people swear it's the bees knees for everyday use
Yep, that's me, but at the time I started using a tablet it was to replace the mouse (I'd been using one since just after the Mac came out) because I had horrendous tennis elbow in both elbows from overuse. Couldn't even pick up an empty coffee mug by the handle with my right hand. The tablet, a Wacom that now seems gigantic compared with my Bamboo, allowed me to use different muscles and supported my lower arm. I had instant relief and was pain-free within about three months. While I use a mouse on PCs at work, I still use a tablet exclusively on the Mac at home.

   
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:31 AM   #7
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Howard, on the tablets I used to use (way back when) the drivers also allowed you to click/drag a rectangle on the tablet that would be mapped to the entire screen (very handy when you had a 12" tablet and didn't want to do aerobics just to get the cursor from one side of the screen to the other ... everybody I knew who used one would map a relatively small area to screen size).

Does the bamboo driver lack this feature?

   
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Does the bamboo driver lack this feature?
Yes. The driver control panel has a "pointer acceleration" setting (same as for mice), so you can set it to a relatively high "acceleration" and use multiple short, quick swipes to get across the screen. This effectively lets you use a small area of the tablet to get anywhere on the screen quickly. Same way you don't need a 27" wide patch of desk to move your mouse cursor to the opposite corner of a 27" screen.

   
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #9
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>> The driver control panel has a "pointer acceleration" setting (same as for mice), so you can set it to a relatively high "acceleration" and use multiple short, quick swipes to get across the screen.

That would be a different animal altogether. The tablet I used to have allowed that too, when the tablet was in mouse emulation mode. In true tablet mode, that wouldn't make sense. With a mouse (or a tablet pretending to be one), coordinates are relative; "I'm moving now, so move the pointer xx units north and yy units west along with me", whereas a tablet tells the system "I'm here at x/y. Deal with it." Positions are absolute, not relative as with a mouse.

   
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Sorry, Steve, I was mistaken. I just dug deeper into the Bamboo's control panel and I see it does have a reduced-area mapping option in pen mode, just as you described.

Even so, the Bamboo's active area is not quite 7" diagonally, so using the whole thing to draw with (absolute positioning) doesn't require significant stretching exercises to cover your whole equivalent screen area.

   
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