"It rocks," says my girlfriend.
For Christmas I bought her the ultimate present for any geeky artsy collegechick. The present I'm talking about is the Wacom Graphire3 art tablet, a toolshe can use in conjunction with her PC to finally get that hand drawingexperience while maintaining her passion for computer art.
"It turns me on," she also says. The size of the tablet candifferentiate. It comes in two different sizes: 4X5 and 6X8. She has the 4X5model, but size isn't everything. The tablet itself has a rectangular midsectionwhere all of the action happens. It's sensitive to both the pen and the includedwireless mouse (a benefit to those laptop users who have rubbed the crap out oftheir touchpad) which operate almost identically to any connected peripheral.
Everyone's familiar with a PC mouse, so let's talk about the pen. Mygirlfriend's pen comes with two programmable buttons that operate as mouseclicks. One is programmed for a double click while the other for a right click(although users can change these buttons to their liking). Adding pressure tothe tablet will simulate a single mouse click. It also comes preset for drawing.The pointed end works as any standard pen, with pressure determining thethickness of the line. The opposing, more rounded end, can work as an eraserwith certain art programs.
For those that like customization, the tablet can become completely unique tothe user's preference. Everything from the firmness of the tip to the timingbetween the double-clicks can be set in an easy to use menu. Add this to thefact that the tablet comes with a transparent cover that doubles as apicture frame (handy for tracing).
As far as usability goes, with minimal practice the pen operates as well as,if not better than, a mouse. "It's hard to get a pixel-precise point withthe pen," says my girlfriend. "But I can with the mouse." You mayneed to alternate between the mouse and pen, but in the end, everything you needis included in the package.
So, yeah, until her birthday I'm a good boyfriend. Too bad shespends more time with the tablet than me.
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