My Bad Experience with the Wacom Bamboo Touch


What a wonderful idea: take a laptop trackpad, a great input device in context, make it larger, and use it as a primary input device peripheral for your desk.

I was really looking forward to using the Wacom Bamboo Touch. When I saw one on sale (open item) at Best Buy, I snatched it eagerly. I used it for an entire day and was disappointed.

There were two primary problems with this device. Firstly, my wrist and hand got tired quickly. The way you have to hold your hand to use this device (holding it over the trackpad, hovering, with no good place to rest your wrist), gets painful quickly.

Secondly, with the particular unit I had, the fidelity of the tracking seemed poor. I spent quite a bit of time fiddling with the tracking speed, sensitivity, acceleration, etc., but with no great improvement one way or the other. This seemed like a cheap device (in the qualitative sense of the word).

In order to be a primary input device, tracking quality and ergonomics have to be near perfect. Anything less is annoying and simply unproductive.

Take a pass on this one. Perhaps they will come out with a higher quality version in the next revision. Or maybe I’m doing it wrong. You tell me.





5 responses to “My Bad Experience with the Wacom Bamboo Touch”

  1. justin Avatar

    we have two of the bigger ones, and we love them here at smash. i think that the small ones are supposed to not be cool at all! I haven't heard anything good about them.

  2. justin Avatar

    we have two of the bigger ones, and we love them here at smash. i think that the small ones are supposed to not be cool at all! I haven't heard anything good about them.

  3. Bonnie Avatar

    I have the medium pen tablet and love it. It is soooo much faster than the touch pad or mouse. Plus, when repairing photos in PSE, it's the answer to getting in close and acurately selecting. Try a pad with a pen and I think your opinion will be different.

  4. Jack Avatar

    i use one all day, every day. it is indispensible. i use it for artwork, and often as not for general browsing/workflow. i have experienced none of the problems you write about. i use XP netbook, the wacom, a trackball static mouse and operate an extended desktop over two monitors. i cannot imagine NOT having my tablet. i use it simply plug and go..i dont bother with the bamboo drivers/software. set it up as a mouse device via control panel. it is perfectly accurate without any lag of issues at all. perhaps you need better chair/worktable ergonomics (?). lastly, i use the smallest bamboo. RRP about 50 euros. don't believe the hype about size. it's perfectly useable for any art tasks. ..and having also used the larger wacoms, i don't notice any practical limitations in pressure sensitivity with the bamboo i use. it's about the operator rather than the marketing ;-]

  5. Donovan Avatar

    Using the conventional mouse or trackball, I was prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Sure enough, I was getting it, with intense pain in my forearms and wrists when trying to operate the mouse, I needed an alternative.

    This touchpad worked wonders, I could easily do my work (my productivity increased) though it did take a little bit of practice to get used to (because it either can be set up to ‘float’ over the touch pad or actually scrape it with the stylus for movement of the cursor).

    It is just like holding a pencil in school all day, so no pains or discomforts for me, in fact it was the reverse, it soothed my CTS. I am left handed so it was a bonus that the touchpad was ambidextrous. I could even rest my wrist on the pad while using the stylus without any interference. This was impressive, so there are places to rest your wrist when using the stylus, just do it like you always have…

    My carpal has subsided, and I carry this touchpad with me wherever I go now! This is the cheaper low end model of the series, with the higher end ones being super fancy with over 2000 levels of pressure sensitivity (ie, pressing down harder will draw thicker lines…)

    And I am not a big fan of wireless, as this is a wired device with of course, NO batteries needed.

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