I realize that I’ve had this graphic tablet for quite some time now and yet I have not written about it… and so here we are:
For Php3700 you can get yourself one of these in Octagon, this is without a doubt a twin of the Genius variant, you can even see it in the documentation and software that it comes with. The general specifications are as follows:
5.25” x 8.75” active area, 2000 lpi resolution, 1024 levels of sensitivity, 0.25mm accuracy, battery powered pen, 2 programmable buttons, detected within 15mm of tablet surface… there is also a mention of tilt but there isn’t an option in the accomapanying software which suggests that it is true.
Since the pen requires a battery, its a little larger in diameter compared to Wacom’s offering; this size however is already ‘medium’ for the Intuos counterpart and getting one would set you back Php20,000 at the right store (even more is you choose to go wireless… about 3-3500 more if I’m remembering it correctly) for the most recent iteration – Intuos5.
This particular tablet comes with a Macro Key Manager which allows for setting up to 26 hotkeys all around the perimeter of the active area. While this might be advantageous to some, I’m more comfortable disabling it and working the keyboard while using the pen.
It is about the most basic pen input out there even more so if you hadn’t installed the drivers that comes with the packaging… neglecting to do so would result in the loss of pressure detection which, if youre going to use this for drawing/painting, is simply non negotiable.
Sometimes the pen is suddenly not detected by the surface as if it had gone into sleep mode and youd need to tap the point to wake it up again. I’ve come to develop the habit of striking the tip of the pen to the top area of the pad as if I were dipping the pen into imaginary ink whenever I take it from its cradle. The lack of a scrollable strip or ring also makes it a little harder to use it fluently with some programs.
I’ve also found out that even though it is useable in a multi monitor setup, softwares which are able to detect pressure get confused and would either offset the cursor or not detect pressure coming from the pen at all… this might be an incompatibility with either the graphics management software or the editing program itself; for now I just disable the other monitor to get the most out of the tablet when I need to use it. Being battery operated, it would be a good idea to keep a set of rechargeable AAA batteries for uninterrupted utility.
Here’s sample art Ive done with it so far:
One of the advantages to using this particular model is that it is very slim and just has about an inch to two inches all around the active area and that is the entire tablet space required. For my needs, this is about the size that I am most comfortable working on, swinging the pen around the area feels very natural and does not require wide strokes to reach up to the edges of the windows or to the taskbar.
There isn’t a lot of options if you’re looking to score a tablet input device for your computer: among the lot available here are: Intuos, Bamboo, Genius G-Pen/Easypen, Hanvon Art Master/Rollick, and Kanvus apart from Manhattan. While I did promise myself to get an Intuos5 the frequency of which I use the tablet is of concern… If I were doing full-time graphics then it would certainly be a worthwhile investment but right now I’m sticking with this perfectly capable one.