iPad 2

Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus Update.

I’ve been using the new Wacom Bamboo Stylus for the iPad for about two weeks now. My primary use has been sketching and painting in a variety of programs like Brushes, Art Rage, and Sketchbook Pro. I am going to say hands down that this is the best stylus I have used to date. It kicks the pants of the Dagi stylus which was my primary drawing tool, and it beats every other one that I have tried so far.

The Bamboo is similar to most of the other rubber tipped styluses out there, but the way it feels in your hand makes all the difference in the world. It has weight to it, and the shorter length lets it rest more naturally in your hand as you draw. That shorter length comes in handy, or at least in my case it does because it helps me keep my hand off the iPad surface as I draw and paint. I know this sounds odd, but there is something about the way I hold the stylus that makes it easier to keep my hand from coming in contact with the glass screen. It probably has something to do with the perfectly weighted balance of the stylus as it rests in your hand. The sturdy metal construction simply feels better than any other stylus for the iPad that I have used.

Drawing and painting with the Bamboo is simply wonderful. The smaller 6mm rubber tip makes it easy to see what you are working on. The stylus moves easily over the surface of the iPad. Depending on what application you are using and how many layers your drawing or painting has there is little to no lag time behind the stylus tip, and the digital painting surface. Applications like Art Rage, tend to lag a bit when using oil paints with heavy textures applied, but it’s not that bad really. The bottom line here is, Wacom did their homework and have hit this one out of the park.

At 30 dollars the price of the Bamboo might put some people off, but I think it is totally worth the money. If you are an artist, designer, or anyone that uses your iPad to write notes on this stylus is for you.

Wacom Introduces an iPad Stylus.

Since the iPad hit the market a year ago, I have been clamoring for Wacom to get in the game and make a stylus for said device. Well it looks like my wish is about to come true.

Wacom, the largest and most popular manufacturer of graphics tablets for the desktop computer has decided to produce a stylus for the iPad. This is a big deal, because most of the current styluses suck. I know I have given positive reviews to both the Touchtec, and Dagi styluses, but at the end of the day they really are lacking when it comes to responsiveness and accuracy. With Wacom entering the market, it looks like we will be getting a stylus designed and built by the leader on the desktop side.

Unlike most of the bulky, thick tipped styluses on the market, the Wacom stylus is lighter, has a more natural feeling in the hand, and the tip is 25% smaller which translates to better accuracy, and a natural feeling when writing, drawing or painting. Wacom’s many years of graphics tablet and digital pen making experience will hopefully lead to a much nicer stylus. That 25% smaller tip (6mm vs, 8mm) is a huge plus for me.

Wacom describes the stylus as having “satin-textured metal body and balanced weighting” which sounds like it will be as comfortable to hold the digital pen you are used to with Wacom’s line of desktop graphics tablets.

If you are wondering why you would want to have a stylus instead of using your finger, there are a number of reasons, especially if you use any of the drawing and painting applications available for the iPad. A stylus gives you better control and a more natural form of input when you draw on the iPad. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but your finger tip is fat, and it blocks what you are seeing unless you are zoomed way in on the screen. And when it comes to note taking, I can write with a stylus faster than I can type on the virtual keyboard.

For me, I am looking forward to trying this out with apps like Brushes, Art Rage, and Sketch though. I have been using the Daggi stylus for a while, and it works. The thing is though, you have to conform to holding the stylus in a specific way which makes using it challenging at times. I can’t wait until this is in a store where I can check it out in person. I have a feeling that like all Wacom products it is going to raise the bar quite a bit for other stylus manufacturers.

The Bamboo Stylus will be priced at $29.99 and become available mid-May on the Wacom site, at Amazon, and in most electronics retail outlets.

Booq Me and My iPad 2.

I use my iPad to do a lot of sketching, ideating, and concepting. It’s kind of like having a portable Wacom Cintique, except most of the styluses availbale aren’t nearly as good as what you get with any Wacom tablet. I don’t have the new iPad 2 yet. There is that pesky 3 to 4 week wait on them right now, but that hasn’t stopped me from looking at cases.

As a designer this new case from Booq intrigues me. I want to see it before I buy, but I really like the idea of having a pen and paper inside the case. I’m sorry tech heads, but there is no substitute for sketching with a pen or pencil on paper, and combining the iPad with a quick traditional sketching tool seems like a no brainer to me.

The price of this case ranges from 50 to 100 bucks depending on the material you choose. As always leather will cost you more. The paper refills will set you back ten bucks, which seems a bit steep and might have me saying no thanks when I actually see this in person. None the less I like the idea, and this case made the short list for my iPad 2. Booq makes really nice cases so I’m sure the construction, and materials used are top notch, and I bet the paper pad could be replaced by a cheaper variety from your local office supply store.

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Yes I’m Going to Buy One.

Just in case you have been in a coma, or living under a rock for the last 24 hours, yesterday Apple introduced the iPad 2 to the world. On the surface the update seems like a fairly minor upgrade, with a simple speed bump, addition of cameras, and the gyroscope. (stuff that probably should have been in iPad 1) The thing that made me say “Yes I’ll buy the new one.” was the 2x faster CPU and the 9x faster graphics chip sets.


This extra horsepower under the hood opens up the possibility for some serious and complex computing for full featured applications like Apple’s iMovie, and Garageband for the iPad. With the upgrade to the 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 CPU, and the faster dedicated graphics chip, the iPad 2 is not just a mobile media center with light browsing capabilities.

The iPad 2 packs enough power to run an iPad version of a fully functional Photoshop for example, not just a simple photo editing application. (rumor has it that Adobe is indeed working on a version of Photoshop for the iPad that is more functional than the iPhone version.) In addition to applications like Photoshop, the iPad 2 will be able to run some serious 3D applications that scientists, doctors and engineers require for their work, or third-party video editing software that will be a huge benefit for video pros. Bottom line, it will be able to pretty much do anything that doesn’t require moving of huge amount of data that the 32 to 64GB of storage space can’t handle.

The new power combined with a thinner and lighter form factor will allow people to use the iPad in even more situations. It will truly become a transcendent device that allows people to use this device where previously a mobile phone’s screen and processing power was too small to handle the job or a laptop was too big and heavy for the situation.

I use my iPad for content creation and sketching on a regular basis, running applications like Brushes, SketchBook, ArtRage, and Photogene, as well as Pages and Keynote. I am looking forward to a more responsive device, that is capable of doing more tasks. While I wish that the iPad 2 had a higher resolution screen and a card reader, these are two things that I can get by with out for now.

My current iPad has already replaced my aging laptop, and the new iPad brings enough to the table to justify selling my old one and purchasing the iPad 2.