Adesso CyberTablet 8600-Pressure-Sensitive Digitizer tablet31 May, 2005 By: Ron LaFon
A medium-sized, reasonably priced tablet.
Earlier this year, Adesso introduced the CyberTablet series of pressure-sensitive digitizing tablets, which includes the CyberTablet 1290 (12" X 9" drawing area), the CyberTablet 8600 (8" X 6") and the CyberTablet 6400 (4.5" X 6"). Cadalyst Labs reviewed the medium-sized CyberTablet 8600 tablet. At $129.99, the CyberTablet 8600 is very reasonably priced. Adesso covers it with a 12-month warranty. Both a pressure-sensitive stylus and a scrollable wireless mouse are included with the tablet.
The Adesso CyberTablet 8600 offers 3048lpi (lines per inch) resolution, 512 points of pressure graduation, 0.42mm pen accuracy and a 0.32" proximity reading height. The tablet is geared toward creating artwork, producing graphic designs, touching up photos and tracing pictures. The included handwriting recognition software makes it easy to create text. The Adesso CyberTablet Series offers everything needed for fast and accurate digitizing, tracing, drawing, illustration, cursor steering and menu picking—all with a comfortable and ergonomic design that is compatible with Windows and Macintosh systems.
Though the tablet is powered by the USB connection, both the pen and the digitizing wireless mouse require an AAA battery. The wireless drawing pen fits easily in the hand and is designed to thwart wrist injuries. The lightweight pen features dual mouse buttons and incorporates 512 levels of pressure sensitivity, but not tilt recognition.
The wireless three-button ergonomic mouse has a scroll wheel and works well for both right- and left-handed users. The scrolling finger wheel, which makes navigation easy, also functions as a third programmable button. Tracking was both smooth and accurate.
The Adesso CyberTablet 8600 provides 3048lpi line resolution at a bargain price.
Above the 8" X 6" active area of the CyberTablet 8600 are 16 function buttons for automated tasks. The active area has a transparent overlay that can be left empty or used to accommodate small artwork for tracing. A stylish transparent photo frame is designed to personalize photos or artwork. The tablet supports up to 3048lpi resolution and requires no separate power adapter.
Besides a CD-ROM of software and drivers, the bundled software includes PhotoImpact XL SE (photography tools), Free Notes (creates reminder notes for the desktop), Office Ink (sketch and write notes) and Power Presenter II (records and plays back work). The digitizer supports applications such as Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
System requirements for the CyberTablet 8600 are Microsoft Windows XP/2000/ME/98SE and a Pentium 200MHz (or equivalent) processor or higher with 32MB of RAM, a CD-ROM drive for software installation and a USB port for connecting the tablet. The CyberTablet 8600 is also compatible with Macintosh OS 9/X.
The CyberTablet 8600 is an economical device for visualization artists and those who require more creative control. It provides no specific accommodations for CAD applications, though it works as an absolute pointing device in AutoCAD. The CyberTablet 8600 is not as ruggedly built as some other tablets on the market, but its bargain price, sensitivity and feature set make it a useful input device for a broad range of applications. ?
Ron LaFon, a contributing editor for Cadalyst, is a writer, editor, consultant and computer graphics and electronic publishing specialist from Atlanta, Georgia. He is a principal at 3Bear Productions in Atlanta.