Bamboo Fun

Bamboo Fun
Company: Wacom

$99 for small and $199 for medium

When I think drawing tablets, I think Wacom. I have been using the Graphire series of tablets for many years. This past fall Wacom replaced the Graphire tablet line with the Bamboo Fun line of tablets. (The Graphire BT, or Bluetooth, is still made). Before trying the Bamboo Fun tablet I expected the same user experience in a different package. I was wrong.

The Bamboo Fun has improved on the Graphire tablet line, and made it better. It is available in black, silver, white and blue. The 512 levels of pressure sensitivity allow for a drawing experience with the tablet is more natural and smooth. The pressure sensitivity is much better allowing for a better drawing experience. The drawing area itself is proportional to a widescreen format. I have also noticed the Bamboo Fun is a lot light then the Graphire tablets.

In addition to the drawing experience the tablet has four programable buttons, and a touch ring. The touch ring is really cool- or should I say fun? The touch resembles an iPod click wheel, and scrolling your finger around the wheel zooms in and out of an image in Photoshop, Painter, or whatever program you are working in There are also two buttons on the ring for scrolling up and down a page.

The tablet comes with a detachable usb cable, the pen (with 3 replacement tips) and a pen stand, and a mouse that works on the tablet. I’ve never been a fan of the mice that work with the tablets. They don’t have the same feel as a standard mouse.

In addition to the hardware, the tablet comes bundled with great software which bought individually would cost more than the small tablet, and come close to the price of the larger model. You get Photoshop Elements (v4 on the Mac), Painter Essentials 3, and Nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 GE.

My only complaint about the new Bamboo Fun is a minor one. There is no overlay for the tablet drawing area. In the past the Graphire tablets have come with a protective overlay or in the case of the Graphire4, a plastic shield. This allowed you to trace a drawing and not worry about getting the material on the pen tip.

Aside from the above issue, I really love the Bamboo Fun. It is a great drawing tablet for the student, or professional on a budget. I highly recommend the Bamboo Fun. rating: 5 out of 5

In the market for a higher end/professional tablet? Stay tuned to for my review of the Intuos 3 tablet.

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