Computer drawing tablets are not a new technology. They are now so common that there are a wide range of sizes, feature sets and prices available. Tablets though are rather cumbersome, and a little awkward to use.
A computer tablet is a smooth drawing surface of varying size that is plugged into the computer. A pen is used to ‘draw’ on it, though it makes no marks at all on the tablet. Instead the lines appear on the computer screen, on the drawing program or whatever other software you have chosen to.
Learning to use a drawing tablet well is a skill. Without being able to see where you are making marks, and with using only a blank surface, it can be tricky to be accurate. However a number of other features that are often included with the tablet and pen often make up for the short fall, and over time, people pick up the skills needed in order to do well at computer drawing.
Now Wacom, one of the biggest and best known of all of the drawing tablet makers is preparing to release a new product. The Wacom Inkling is a computer drawing pen that needs no tablet, using real paper instead. Wacom is a name that you can trust when it comes to computer tablets. Their product range is high quality and highly rated.
Pen only computer drawing isn’t a brand new technology, but being released by Wacom is likely to cause a stir. The price is also likely to be attractive, with the Inkling coming in at just $199. Very reasonable.
The benefits are huge. You can draw on real paper-a feeling that can be missed with a tablet. You get to see your sketch or line drawing shaping up, and can have a real paper copy of whatever you have drawn. ‘Layers’ can be added to your drawing with the touch of a button, making editing easier than in a single layer composition, and finally, transferring the images to your computer is incredibly simple. All it takes is for the receiver to be connected to a USB port, and images can then be edited.
The biggest benefit appears to be that the receiver does not need to be connected to USB all the time that it is being used. Instead it sits at the top of your drawing while you work, and means that you can make your computerized drawings on the run, even if you haven’t got a computer with you. No need to take a laptop with you any more just in case you have your next big idea-simply sketch it on paper and upload to your computer at a later time. The only potential problem will be-what happens when you run out of ink, or will Wacom sell refills to their pens?
Best of all it all stores away in a small case, no bigger than a pencil case. Compared to a twelve (or more) inch tablet this is hugely more portable, and a whole lot more sturdy too. This seems to be the perfect meeting of two worlds for the computer drawing enthusiast.