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Dan Gleason <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Feb 1998 23:12:29 -0800
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mkvzant wrote:
> Dear Sci-arters:
> Wacom sells both serial and electrostatic drawing pads.  One salesperson
> told me that the later is better for accurate tracing.  Is this true and
> how big a difference does this make for professional biological
> illustration?  I thought I was finally ready to commit when I finally
> caught on to the fact that these two pad types probably accounted for some
> of the large price discrepancies I have been quoted.

Miriam and Sci-arters,
I wasn't aware that there were two different types of these tablets.
(Mine connects in the mouse port, the ADB port I believe, which I guess
would make it the old kind.) It was NOT as expensive as you mentioned in
your posting!  Sells now for about $140 I think.

I've been using a Wacom 4x5" tablet with a cordless, very light-weight
stylus for a number of years. I bought my first tablet in 1992, a
corded, large tablet with a heavy stylus. I began using tablets as a
result of a painful case of carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by overwork
and intensive use of a "turbo mouse."  Then, in 1994 I invested in the
Wacom unit. I have my tablet and stylus programmed (very easy to do!) to
work like a mouse and it gives great, very precise control. Tracing with
it is simple: one puts one's tracing paper or other drawing (taped with
removable tape) on top of the tablet's surface and traces. This isn't so
easily done with a large image, though, since the tablet is only 4x5" in
size. (But my scanner deals with those images just fine.)

The other thought is that I found Wacom a great company to deal with!
Very refreshing these days in non-customer support by software and
hardware companies! The surface of my tablet got rough and scratched and
I emailed them a request for information on getting a new one and they
sent it gratis: I only paid for shipping, I think. Replacing the old
surface was easy and took only about 5 minutes to peel the old one off.
They were helpful and very prompt also when I needed to upgrade my
software and I was able to do so online for no cost.

But, now I'm curious about these other tablets. (But, I will inquire
quickly about getting one for the PC I now have to use at case
they discontinue the current kind.)
> Also I talked to Wacom last week about the new pads which allow you to
> actually see what you are drawing on the pad itself, it costs more than
> $2,000 for a small pad, the only size available.

I might caution one to be judicious in considering a large size: one
ends up using more of one's shoulder girdle area with a larger tablet.
Not a good thing to do if one has a tendency for upper body
tension...just a thought from one who has been there. Having a large
screen would be of greater benefit, I would imagine, rather than a
larger tablet...unless, of course, you're dealing with large-scale

 I am
> trying to get some idea on how much longer Wacom expects to make it's
> current pads.

Do keep me (us?) posted on what you find out! I'm very interested, too.

Barbara Gleason

Dan and Barbara Gleason
Eugene, Oregon
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