Friday, April 17, 2009

A new pen tablet!

Finnally i got my hands on a new pen tablet, and now a review over it! It costed me 68,99€ so, my last tablet costed 69,99€, first, let's look at the specs and compare them with my old tablet... I had an Wacom Volito2, it was little but precise, i loved it, 2000lpi 512 pressure levels, A6 area... Now i have an Trust (Aiptek hardware in reality) tablet, it's the 7300, has 4000lpi, 1024 pressure levels, A4 area, it's.... huge... Short after buy it, i installed it in a friends laptop, was pretty linear, and after a bit trouble with ink and graphic modes i was ready to go, openCanvas 1.1 beta 72 is the oldest program i have that uses pen pressure, it worked pretty well, then i installed gimp, and after some changes in shortcuts i even had zoom feature in wheel pads to work, pretty awesome. The worst part was when i arrived home and tried to install it on my laptop, wacom drivers were installed, then entered in conflict with the tablet, it was a mess, even after removed wacom drivers it wouldn't install correctly, so i did what i felt to be the best thing to do, uninstalled every pen tablet driver aplication that was installed and removed all the drivers that could mess up, to make it worse, i have 3 point devices, the synaptics touchpad, the G5 logitech mouse, and a generic HID USB mouse, i removed everything except for touchpad. After all cleaned and rebooted, i installed the drivers (not the aiptek ones, i think they work fine, since in all the mess they were installed once and pen was working, but pressure wasn't recognized in gimp) and then plugged the tablet, a success was what i obtained. About the features and performance of this pen tablet. One funny thing i noticed is that you don't want to work on it with your UMTS enabled phone near it, the pointer will shake a bit, while it's not important for general use, it will screw up if you're editing image or something similar... so turn you're phone off, or just give a meter or so of distance. In gimp it behaved very smoothly, i putted settings of drivers to 0 on sensitivity (that is maximum sensitivity) i can say, that a -10 would be nice, since the lighter strokes aren't quite sensed, it requires a bit of pressure to start sensing the strokes, but compared to my old wacom, is almost the same, a bit more smooth maybe. While the wheel pads are two, they behave as one, and are hardware coded into Scroll, Zoom and Volume features, so using them for other purposes might be tricky, the one thing i can say is that Zoom feature throws Ctrl++ and Ctrl+- keystrokes to system, so if your aplication can be customized in shortcut keys, you know what to choose to have them do what you wish. Build quality is similar to my Volito2, actully both pens and tablets look like use the exact same materials, if wasn't for the brand logos i would that they were build by the same company. Given the price of it, i may say i'll never buy another wacom product (unless they get a lot cheaper), sure pen uses an AAA battery, but i have rechargable batteries for everything, and it's a little bit heavier and bigger, but since my hands are a bigger that the average person ones i really don't care (it's not that big the difference in pens). Just one tip, you may want to use Grab and Drag extension for firefox if you have a pen tablet or a tablet pc, it will improve your experience a lot! There are also smaller versions of this pen tablet, my guess is that quality and performance should be very similar. Oh, and in case you're wondering, i usually hate Trust devices, tumbs up for this one!