New digital tablet - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle
Mar. 5th, 2009
04:17 pm - New digital tablet
So my good ol' Wacom tablet started crapping out on me some time ago. It still worked and everything, but its virtual grid kept getting messed up, in a way that made it annoyingly unreliable for doing digital art.
Imagine you're sitting at a desk, drawing on a sheet of paper. Every now and then, the desktop under the paper changes from a flat surface to a series of bumps, about an inch wide each, in a regular square array. When you try to draw a diagonal line, it comes out looking all wiggly, and when you try to draw a horizontal or vertical line, there's no guarantee it won't be displaced one way or the other a bit from where you want it to be. Very infuriating.
So a few weeks ago I bought a new tablet. I went to Micro Center where I wanted to get a nice big one, and the biggest one they had was a brand called Adesso. I compared it to the same-size Wacom tablet on the in-store search terminal; the Wacom tablet was about three times as expensive, and not in stock, although they had smaller ones. As far as I can tell, the price difference was primarily due to the Wacom being bundled with fancier software. Photoshop Elements and whatnot. Well, I already have Photoshop. So I bought the Adesso.
I finally mustered up the initiative to remove the old Wacom and put in the Adesso today. The tablet is nice and big, and works great. However, there are a few characteristics I don't much care for.
One: the Wacom was plugged into one of those pin ports, I forget what they're called, and powered by an AC plug, and the mouse and stylus needed no power sources of their own; they were passive mechanisms. But the Adesso is powered only by its USB plug, and the mouse and stylus require batteries (one AAA each), which will apparently have to be changed once a year... and the batteries that came with the tablet are apparently half-dead. I couldn't get the mouse to work right until I went and fetched a fresh battery from the kitchen drawer. Even with that, I apparently have to wake up the mouse every now and then. (Its current battery might not be fully charged either.)
Two: the mouse doesn't have separate button segments on its shell; it's one of those where the upper surface is all one piece and you have to bend the plastic a bit to push the "buttons". That's going to take some getting used to. AAARGH, and trying to double-click with the mouse is a pain in the keister! The old mouse was AWESOME and I miss it already. At least there's a scroll wheel.
Oh, and then there's the fact that it's a bit too big for the pullout shelf in this desk that the Wacom sat comfortably on. It sticks out over the front edge about two inches. I guess I'll have to try to remember to avoid putting too much pressure from my wrist on it.
So overall, I'm happy with it. I just wish the mouse had real BUTTONS! Maybe I'll go buy a mouse to use separately, and use the tablet only with the stylus.