Wacom Intros 'Bamboo' Tablets

Wacom has debuted two new tablets in a new line of entry-level models called "Bamboo." The Bamboo tablets replace Wacom's previous Graphire line of entry-level tablets and lower the cost of entry to a street price of around $60.

Wacom's pen tablets are widely used in the visual arts, including digital painting, motion graphics, animation, and film/video post-production, as well as related fields, like audio editing. They provide pressure-sensitive pen-based input and also include various programmable buttons for multimedia controls.

The new Bamboo line includes two tablets in three sizes: Bamboo and Bamboo Fun. The Bamboo pen tablet is targeted toward business users and is available in one size: 5.8" x 3.7". It includes the pen but does not include a mouse.

The higher-end Bamboo Fun comes in two sizes: 5.8" x 3.7" and 8.5" x 5.3". Like the Graphire before it, it includes both a pen and a mouse. Both the mouse and pen are cordless and operate without a battery.

Both of the new models offer 512 levels of pressure sensitivity and include programmable buttons for control. They support Mac OS X and Windows, including Vista. All major graphics applications provide native support for advanced features in Wacom's tablets. The tablets also work in applications that do not provide specific tablet support. It should be noted that Windows Vista supports Wacom tablets natively for note taking (Microsoft Journal), handwriting recognition, and gestures. This functionality has been available in Mac OS X for several years. The tablets ship with Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 (Windows) and 4 (Mac), Corel Painter Essentials 3, and Nik Color Efex Pro 2.

Bamboo lists for $79.99; Bamboo Fun 5.8" x 3.7" for $99.99; and Bamboo Fun 8.5" x 5.3" for $199.99. All have expected street prices considerably lower. All will be available this month.

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Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

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