9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I have another of the cheaper Wacom Bamboo tablets – the CTL-470 which I use occasionally when I’m doodling and drawing comic strips in Adobe illustrator. This Bamboo Pad CTH-301 is somewhere between that more traditional graphics tablet and the touch pad on a laptop. It’s quite a nice, versatile little thing that you can control with either your finger or a small stylus which stoves in the side of the device. The actual touch area is 115 x 8mm for finger touch or 107mm x 67mm for stylus control. I’ve been using it on a Windows 7 PC at work WITHOUT the stylus for about a week now, and I actually get on with it really well. It takes a bit of getting used to, but its multi gesture so you can pinch to zoom in, tap or double tap to select, drag two fingers to scroll up and down, tap with two fingers to right click etc. There is also a physical button at the bottom of the pad that you can use to click and right click in a more traditional way. If you choose to use the stylus, you have to hover it slightly above the pad and then touch the pad to left click and touch and hold to right click. There is also a (slightly fiddly) button on the stylus itself.
Drawing with the stylus and Pad was a little disappointing. When you first touch the pad there is a fraction of a delay before you start drawing, which can be pretty off putting – and is something that I don’t suffer from with my other Wacom tablet. Once you do start drawing though, things are actually pretty smooth and responsive.
Overall this is a really nice alternative to navigating with a mouse - which I'll definitely stick with - but the delay experienced when trying to draw freehand means that I'll still be digging out my other Wakom tablet when I want to do any illustrating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2015
I've tried a number of gadgets to help with my RSI, and this is the only thing that I can recommend. I'm reviewing it as a pointing device, not a graphic design device.
The Bamboo has two modes, touch and pen. Both work well, although they take some getting used to. They are not as productive as a good old mouse, but I can use the Bamboo with a lot less tension in my hands than any other pointing device I've used, and therefore pain-free. This is worth the lost productivity for me.
You will need rock-steady hands to use pen mode, especially with a large screen. For example, double-clicking in pen mode requires fiendish co-ordination because the movement is so sensitive. This is not adjustable with Windows standard mouse or pen drivers. Adding some weight to the pen might also work, but then you won't be able to stow it in the device, and it will get lost. Presumably you can get a bigger tablet to fix this, but then you're paying a lot more, and you might not get touch support.
There are a couple of other shortcomings. Probably worst is that the sensitive area is smaller than the surface the thing presents you with, and there's no delineation for either your eyes or your fingers. With your eyes on the screen, particularly in touch mode, you will occasionally miss the sensitive area and wonder why nothing is happening. This seems daft. A bit of tape should fix it, but why should I have to resort to tape? Stroking inward from the edge does not work at all in touch mode, which tape may or may not fix.
Touch is confused by stray fingers on the pad, even if they aren't moving. Use a wrist rest.
The pen is recognized a long way from the surface. This causes two problems. First, with your eyes on the screen, you can waste seconds actually trying to click, carefully reducing your altitude without losing the spot, because movement is hyper-sensitive in pen mode. The second effect is that you can't seamlessly switch between touch and pen modes, because touch doesn't work while the pen tip is in range, by design.
Something else that does not work well, or rather works too well, is pinch to zoom. This is way too sensitive and can't reliably distinguish between scrolling and zooming. Even scrolling with your fingertips together, which is supported, results in unwanted zooming 10% of the time.
The most maddening feature is that the two-fingered scroll gesture works backwards, Apple style - stroke down to scroll down. I get it wrong every single time. Maybe installing a driver would help, but that is something I would normally avoid. Maybe I need a brain driver.
The buttons aren't great, but you don't need to use them that often.
Despite all this, I use this thing every day for general work, pain free. At these prices, that makes is good value.
Update after a few months: Wacom has an opportunity to make the Bamboo more useful by finishing the driver. Rather than reprising all the things (like mouse pointer speed and double-click speed) that are already in the vanilla Windows mouse driver, Wacom needs to address basics like allowing user control over what a long click does, shortening the annoyingly long single-click recognition interval, and preventing zooming while scrolling (not just switching zooming off).
You can indeed reverse the scroll action using the driver, but I would suggest getting used to the Apple scroll action, and not installing the driver at all, unless you absolutely have to disable some or other feature.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I've used Wacom tablets for a few years now and have never had a complaint. Won't touch any other brand because the reliability, ease of use and quality can't be beat, in my view.
This is a nice little entry level pen tablet (with the emphasis on 'little') and it's everything I've come to expect from a Bamboo. Very easy plug 'n play installation on my Win 8 machine and was ready to go in minutes. I mostly use my pen tablets for Photoshop and this one performed as well as any of it's bigger brothers and can hold it's own when used as a graphics tab. The digital stylus is nice and sensitive but might take a bit of getting used to if this is a first tablet.
Very slim and lightweight and that's part of the charm, I think. It's small enough to be portable but still copes well with all the tasks of the larger models. If you're used to a bigger drawing area then you might have a period of adjustment as the surface isn't very big (so not a lot of room for sweeping gestures) but with practice it's a fun little pad.
I love that the usb is detachable. Earlier models didn't come with this and I found that the cable would wear out quicker than the unit because of movement where it was joined. As always there's a little place to store the stylus and on this model it just slides into the casing which cuts out a lot of the frustration of mislaid pens. Very handy. Comes with replacement nibs but if this is anything like the others I've used it'll be a long time before I need to replace any. The nibs seem to last forever. They'll eventually become 'blunt' with constant use but it's a while before that happens.
Although I use my Bamboo predominantly for Photoshop it also functions as a mouse too and is much faster and easier than faffing about with the laptop touchpad. I can't remember the last time I used a mouse...years, I think.
Very nice, fun little unit and well worth trying out as a first Wacom. I don't think there's better out there.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This was nicely packaged and looks smart. Installation went smoothly - my daughter just plugged it in and off it went. The pen is tucked inside so for a moment she was confused about where it was! At first it was a bit confusing to use, but when you get used to it, it's like using a mousepad on a laptop (but you can use the pen instead of your finger). It's very responsive so you can draw/write quite naturally. It didn't come with any drawing software which was a bit disappointing. It worked well with Paint and Gimp though. We also downloaded the Wacom Bamboo Dock which had some enjoyable apps to try, although the drawing apps weren't that great - one was too simple and the other was too complicated! It's quite small, but not too bad for what my daughter was doing - a good little pad for kids/teens to try.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I love this little drawing tool for my laptop.
The drawing space maps directly to the screen. This takes a little getting used to in the beginning, as this is different to how the mouse and trackpad work, but is very good once you get used to it.
The stylus is very sensitive and does not require pressure.
It's very good for people like me with RSI, it's easier to click by tapping the pad rather than pressing the buttons on a mouse.
I didn't find it very responsive when using my fingers on the touchpad so I don't use this function.
The drawing space is quite small but you can zoom in for fine details.
I was disappointed that this did not come with any software - my previous wacom bamboo drawing tablet came with free drawing software and handwriting recognition software. Nevertheless it still deserves 5 stars.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This Bamboo is Wacom's cheapest stylus for Mac or PC, but it may be everything you could want, and in a very handy package. Just a handbreadth across, it combines a light stylus which feels a lot like a pencil with a touchpad. There is a dual button on the touchpad, and a single button on the stylus. The stylus is pressure sensitive, and performs well in Photoshop and Corel Painter, once you have installed the correct driver, and stows away neatly in the side of the Bamboo when not in use.
Over the years I've used every level of Wacom's products, from the enormous Cintiq 21 inch stylus-driven screens through the Intuos Pro, the Intuos, the early Grafire, and the Bamboo. This one is by far the cheapest, and it has a cheap, fun feel which is a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it.
The downsides of this, compared to the more expensive cousins, are that it has a small surface area, so won't give a great deal of detail when used across the entire screen, is pressure sensitive but not angle sensitive, feels very light in the hand, and only has one button on the pen.
The upside is that it is small enough and light enough to slip into your briefcase or laptop bag, won't take much desk space up on the train, and does 95% of the useful things that the Intuos Pro does, at a fraction of the price. The pressure sensitivity is really very good, whereas the angle sensitivity in the Intuos Pro and the Cintiq is something I never noticed as being a real benefit. I'm sure that someone, somewhere makes use of it, but it never fitted with the photo-retouching and Illustrator based design work I was involved in.
The addition of a touchpad is a nice extra, though I personally find I want a different position for my touch pad as from my stylus.
The bottom line is this: is a stylus right for you, and would you be better off with one of the more expensive ones?
Personally, I love styluses, but not everyone does. For my setup at home, I only use a stylus, though I do have a trackpad somewhere which I get out when there's a particular need. I find photo retouching and drawing to be difficult with a trackpad, and almost as difficult with a mouse, whereas with a stylus it's a delight. On the other hand, my colleagues two jobs ago could not get on with the stylus at all.
Going up a model from this gives you wireless connectivity — great if you want to use this in class room teaching, but otherwise not key on my feature list. Going up to the Intuos gives you a larger pad, which is better if you want to use this desk-based, but less good if you want to use it on the train. The Intuos also has a heavier pen — it feels like a pen, whereas this one feels like a pencil. Going up to the Intuos Pro (at several times the price) gives you angle sensitivity. As previously mentioned, I never really found this to be an advantage, but you might. Going up to the Cintiq (at 10 to 20 times the price) you are actually writing on the screen itself. I worked with a Cintiq for about five years, and enjoyed it, but I found the colour rendering not as good as on an Apple monitor. That was ten years ago, so they may have improved.
I like this, and, though it won't replace the Intuos on my desk, it will slip nicely in my briefcase and go travelling with me.
on 27 June 2015
Driver and software: there is bug with the software service WTabletServiceCon, such that occasionally (with no identifiable triggers in my case), the polling rate would drop from the normal 100Hz to an unusable ~4Hz, requiring a restart of the service WTabletServiceCon to fix this problem. A search in Google suggests that this problem seems to be rather common among many Wacom tablets, not just the Bamboo Pad.
Pen: I think it's nice that the pen can be slid inside the pad for storage. Very lightweight at about 8.5g, which is quite a bit lighter than most pens for writing.
The tip goes in a little as you touch the pen down on the pad, giving tactile feedback.
There is a side button on the pen, but my opinion is that this button is too stiff, and I find it difficult to keep the cursor on the spot while I press this button.
Touch control: I disabled touch because it seems that the pad often thinks my palm is giving inputs, especially when I hold the pen higher than it can detect.
Pen control: My screen has resolution 1920x1080, and I use an area of 25mm x 44mm (0.98" x 1.75") on the pad. It tracks perfectly, in that I can't perceive any tracking errors. I'm using this in place of a mouse for controlling the computer.
Pad: The bottom has rubber feet to prevent sliding. The usable area with pen is quite a bit smaller than that for touch. There is a button on the pad, which is supposed to act as left / right click, but it doesn't work for me.
on 15 April 2015
Overall this is a great product for the price. I bought this to use as an alternative to a mouse at work. Size is about perfect. Works as a touchpad / gesture pad without the pen and accepts a lot of Mac-style gestures such as two-finger right-clicking and scrolling, pinch-zooming etc. They haven't got the gestures quite as refined as Mac pads yet though - if I have a complaint it's that the pad is rather prone to zooming and rotating when you are just trying to scroll, but it isn't too bad when you get the hang of using it. My only other complaint is that the pen is rather small which can make using it for long periods a bit uncomfortable, but I do have fairly big hands. This works across dual monitors as well. No real driver issues experienced, although when I first plugged it in, the pen wouldn't work until I installed the drivers from the Wacom site (although the touch functionality worked out of the box), which only took 2 minutes.
Build quality is pretty decent - it won't win any awards for solidity but it should certainly stand up to reasonable use. I don't use it for drawing, due to the range of the device scaling to deal with dual screens it would probably be over-sensitive for accurate drawing, although on one screen it would be much more usable for this.
Overall I'm glad I bought the pad, and I plan on getting another one to use at home. There are a few minor complaints with the gesture sensitivity but for the money it's a fantastic product.
on 13 March 2015
I have been looking for a branded, cheap tablet with a stylus for some time. Part of my job requires graphic design and my mouse skill is not brilliant. At time of writing this was available for less than £20 and I decided to purchase one for a trial.
I have to say I am very impressed with its ability! I use windows 7 which with this device is plug and play. It takes a little learning to get use to the stylus but within 5 minutes I was drawing as if i was using paper and pen!
A few other reviews mention sensitivity or click operation issues, but a tip is that this is all adjustable to suit your preference (or Handedness!) in the downloadable driver. http://us.wacom.com/en/support/drivers/
However a bit of advice from me to you, Windows does not use touch sensitivity by default for everything. It works on Windows software (PowerPoint, OneNote etc.) but not if you use Adobe Photoshop etc. BUT if you download the driver off of Wacom's Driver page (above) it does, so make sure you do! No fault of Wacom but this could of been a little clearer and not me trawling through the forums to find it out!
If you buy this as occasional user or a second device to use to the go, you will not be disappointed!! Even better that it costs less than posh notebook!
on 15 April 2015
I bought this tablet for the sole reason of playing Osu. I do not use this tablet for any other purpose, apart from little doodles in paint. For the purpose of playing Osu, I found this tablet to be extremely useful and easy to use. There aren't any problems when using this to play Osu, and it quite cheap, so I'd recommend it if you want to test out using a graphic tablet for Osu (although you may have to disable mouse buttons due to the reason that it registers you holding the pen onto the tablet as a click). However, when I tested out the tablet on paint, I found that there is a delay when you put the pen to the tablet, and this makes it quite frustrating and difficult to draw with. Since I only use this for Osu, I have no problems with that but I wouldn't recommend the tablet if you plan to use it for drawing.