Wacom Bamboo Fun Review

It’s been a busy year for Wacom, market leaders in pen tablet technology, with a newly launched range and 25 years of innovation celebrated with the Intuos3 Special Edition.

The new Bamboo brand sold as ‘a pen for every PC or Mac’ has extended to include the budget Bamboo One and premium Bamboo Fun. Neatly covering just about every potential customer from enthusiast to pro.

The slightly curiously named Bamboo Fun, considering it’s the most feature-rich of the range, has plenty of pro potential, especially the medium sized tablet reviewed here. An iPod-like white makeover is seductive and should look great on any desktop.

A group of four ExpressKeys and Touch Ring, resembling a smiley face illuminated with a low blue glow, sit above the active area. From here you have access to user-defined favourite commands and shortcuts and the ability to zoom in and out and scroll through images and documents.

An ergonomic pen, also in white, comes with buttons for further customising and refining. Above all the pen and tablet benefit from 512 levels of pressure sensitivity, adding a wonderful precision particularly to your creative applications and artistic endeavours.

The Bamboo Fun also offers the ability to unlock the often hidden or seldom used intelligent handwriting recognition found in OS X. Perfecting Apple’s own Ink recognition software requires patience, although the potential for Office 2008 looks promising. The detachable USB cable suitable for storage and travel is a great idea although there’s still no method to clip the pen securely to the tablet on the move.

Unfortunately, UK customers have to settle for just the white model when it comes to colour choice. US shoppers can select from black, white, silver and blue; enjoy the addition of both a mouse and more varied bundled software all for a more competitive price based on current exchange rates. Although more colours may follow, it’s a shame to see such a discrepancy between the two markets.

OUR VERDICT

Gripes about choice of colours aside, this is still a Wacom tablet with all the potential for creativity associated with a still vibrant company. Add a new contemporary look, the obvious RSI benefits and the ability to convert handwritten text to type and you’ve fewer reasons than ever not to get a Wacom.

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