30 November 2009

Smoking Apples reviews the Wacom Bamboo Touch

This is what I was waiting for: a review written after a longer period of time, by someone who knows about tablets, and evidently understood as well as I do how cool this multitouch tablet can and should be.

Moreover, the ‘tap’ to select or click, is slightly delayed, presumably as the device tries to figure out what it is you’re doing. Bugs me no end. To make matters worse, it’s not even good at detecting a tap from a move, randomly selecting windows as you try to move the cursor. I’ve had trouble keeping icons in the dock, as they keep going “poof!”.

These two problems sound perfectly understandable (they’re probably the hardest thing to get right), and I’m pretty sure they would both drive me crazy if I bought one.

Wacom has tried to implement the same scroll-with-momentum we’ve seen on the iPhone and lately with the Magic Mouse. It feels unnatural, is slow, and gets quite unweildy.

Once again, I’m not really surprised, and it’s kinda hard to blame Wacom for trying and almost succeeding. But I’m reverting to my original idea: the only way the external trackpad thing can be done right is for Apple to do it. (And why the hell don’t they?)

I’m removing the Bamboo Touch from my wishlist, at least until I get to test drive one extensively, and/or they manage to update the software significantly. (Because, yes, all those issues are in the drivers and can be fixed, but, no, I don’t think they’ll be fixed satisfactorily in a near enough future. The Wacom guys are good, but this is hard, and I’d never have said software was their strongest suit anyway.)