Wacom Bamboo Pad review: The Windows 8 magic trackpad

Wacom Bamboo Pad review: The Windows 8 magic trackpad
Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

Introduction


Windows 8 was released by Microsoft with the vision that every device we use will have touch capability. Features such as the "metro" style start screen and charm bars are the results of this approach - but as we have seen, it was a change that was too aggressive and in a time too early.

While Windows 8 is here to stay, the laptops and desktops that comes with the software installed does not necessarily have a touchscreen, which really comprises on the benefits of Windows 8.

This is where the Wacom Bamboo Pad comes in.

Wacom Bamboo Pad Stylus Dock / Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

For those who have read my Wacom event highlight some time ago, you would know that Wacom is reowned for their graphic tablets and related products, such as styluses.

Usually these graphic tablets aimed at meeting the high demands of professional designers are incredibly powerful but also incredibly expensive. The Wacom Bamboo Pad is different - it is aimed at the needs of the Windows 8 user that also wants to express creativity.

Specification


Wacom-Bamboo-Pad-Specifications / Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

Hardware Design


Wacom Bamboo Pad USB Slot / Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

The Bamboo Pad is incredibly simple - a large trackpad with a button on the bottom which acts as both the left and right clicker of a mouse. The pad is inclined at the top with the power toggle on the left and stylus dock on the right.

At the bottom is a removable back that reveals the 2 "AAA" batteries that powers the device and a slot to store the wireless USB receiver. This design feature shows that the Bamboo Pad is meant to be portable. And with its slim and light profile, the Bamboo Pad is easy to bring around, and definitely a great accessory to your windows 8 laptop that is without touchscreen.

Usability


Stylus

The unique selling point of Bamboo Pad is definitely its stylus. While not as powerful as its high-end cousins, the stylus of the Bamboo Pad is more than sufficient for allowing students or working adults to express their creativity through the digital pen. Think about the times when you were reading a PDF document and you just wanted to use a pen to mark down something or jot down a note - much like how you would do with paper.

Another example of the advantage of such a stylus is relatively obviously, would you rather use a mouse or a stylus when using programs like paint?

Software

The advantages of a stylus is further emphasis with the free Bamboo Page app that can be found in the Windows Store.

With it, you can quickly write notes or create sketches all while enjoying the accuracy of the stylus on various paper types that is available within the app. You can also share your creativity on social media.

Windows 8 Gestures

Apart from helping one to express himself/herself expressly, the Bamboo Pad also helps you get the most out of Windows 8 and its features, most of which are activated by different gestures. Meant to be done on a touchscreen, you will find it irritating to use these features through a mouse. Using the small trackpad on a laptop is also not a great alternative.

The large real estate that is available on the Bamboo Pad as well as the high quality/sensitivity of the trackpad which Wacom has mastered in delivering makes performing gestures natural and a pleasure to do.

Wrapping It Up


The Wacom Bamboo Pad is an affordable edition to one's workstation. It belongs on a desk but can also help power your productivity as a mobile warrior. It is simple in design as well as function, achieving what it sets out to do well without over complicating things.

It is therefore a great device to start with if you are:

  • A designer that is just starting out
  • A person who, at times, wishes to have some form of basic creative freedom
  • Someone who wants to take advantage of Windows 8 without spending money on a new computer that is touch-enabled

For more information, head on over to the official Wacom Bamboo Pad site.

Other Reviews


This section exists to acknowledge that fact that no matter how good a review is, it is definitely wise to seek other reviews and make your own judgement before making a purchase. Here are some other quality reviews of the Wacom Bamboo Pad: