Bam­boo Pad

oh so sen­si­tive Wa­com’s lat­est tablet is more a glo­ri­fied track­pad, com­plete with ges­ture sup­port Price £60 Com­pany Wa­com Web www.wa­com.com Con­tact 020 7744 0831

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

This flash new tablet is more of a glo­ri­fied track­pad, com­plete with ges­ture sup­port.

What do you get when you cross a graph­ics tablet with a track­pad? Prob­a­bly some­thing like the Bam­boo Pad. It at­tempts to com­bine the best of both worlds by pro­vid­ing a small tablet area with a pres­sure-sen­si­tive sty­lus and sup­port for multi-touch ges­tures, as used in Mac OS and now also Win­dows 7 and 8.

It’s avail­able in four dif­fer­ent colours, and is en­tirely wire­less, run­ning off stan­dard AAA bat­ter­ies. The dinky pad con­nects to your com­puter via a mi­cro­scopic wire­less con­nec­tor, which you plug into a USB port. This uses a pro­pri­etary sys­tem so there’s no faffing around with Blue­tooth pair­ing – just turn on the Pad and it’s ready to go.

If us­ing the Pad on the Mac, you need to down­load and in­stall a driver – a mi­nor in­con­ve­nience that does, how­ever, en­sure that all the Pad’s fea­tures work with apps that sup­port it. On a Win­dows PC, the Pad is in­stalled as a stan­dard USB in­put de­vice. As a re­sult, you can only use its pres­sure sen­si­tiv­ity in the few na­tive Win­dows Ink ap­pli­ca­tions avail­able, such as Mi­crosoft Of­fice and Wa­com’s ba­sic Bam­boo Page app. Pho­to­shop and Pain­ter won’t recog­nise the Pad’s pres­sure sen­si­tiv­ity at all in Win­dows. It’s some­thing of a glar­ing omis­sion for users of the Mi­crosoft OS and one that Wa­com doesn’t make at all clear in its pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial.

Hav­ing said that, Wa­com is pitch­ing the Pad as a gen­eral-pur­pose touch­pad with ba­sic sty­lus sup­port for doo­dling and writ­ing, rather than a fully fledged tablet. Viewed as such, it works per­fectly well. You can sketch quite hap­pily, if not overly com­fort­ably, on its small sur­face, once you get used to the way the square area maps to the rec­tan­gle of your screen. Re­gard­less of the soft­ware be­ing used, the Pad is also good at dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing be­tween

We found ges­ture recog­ni­tion on the Pad to be hit-and-miss, of­ten zoom­ing in or out when we wanted to scroll

pen in­put and the palm of your hand rest­ing on its sur­face.

We found ges­ture recog­ni­tion on the Pad to be hit-and-miss, though, of­ten zoom­ing in or out when we wanted to scroll. It’s nowhere near as re­li­able as a Magic Track­pad, but it’s con­sid­er­ably cheaper and of­fers sty­lus sup­port.

In short, if you don’t ex­pect mir­a­cles from the Pad then you won’t be dis­ap­pointed. In­deed, it would prob­a­bly make an ideal sec­ondary tablet, es­pe­cially for use with a lap­top given its porta­bil­ity.

The Bam­boo comes in four vi­brant colours, all of which pro­vide fine dis­trac­tion for when the Pad doesn’t work how you want it to.

The Bam­boo Pad is like a hy­brid be­tween a draw­ing tablet and a track­pad with ges­ture sup­port.

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