Sunday, February 27, 2011

Comparison Wacom Intuos 3, Bamboo Pen & Touch and Genius Tablet


As I stated in my last post, I'm currently attending a 3 month + training on Animation Pre-production. On the class, we were given the opportunity to use Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch that is provided in the computer lab. We also were given permission to bring the tablet back home to do our assignments.

Three of my friends brings their own tablet, one of them bring Genius M609, the other M609X and Genius G-Pen 450.

Curious with the difference, I've asked permission from them to test all the tablets throughly in Photoshop, while also playing around the sensitivity using the tablet driver control panel. Of course I also tested the Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch.

The specs for the tablets are below :

Wacom Intuos 3

1024 pressure sensitivity
Tablet resolution : 5080lpi.(line per inch)

Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch
1024 pressure sensitivity
Tablet resolution :2540lpi

Genius tablet, M609 / X
1024 level of sensitivity
Tablet resolution :4000lpi

 Genius tablet, G Pen 450
1024 level of sensitivity
Tablet resolution :2000lpi

 The spec written makes Genius and Wacom seems on par, but there is more than that. What is the most important thing in tablet is how natural we feel when using these tablet to draw something digitally. We want the feel to be as close as traditional pen on paper feel.

Genius use battery on their digitizer pen while Wacom pen doesn't need any battery at all. This makes the pen on genius tablet a little bit bulky than wacom.

I test the tablet by drawing a few strokes in Photoshop.
First thing I notice  that Genius pen tip feels a little springy and spongy. Wacom Bamboo tips meanwhile feels solid and little bit hard, while Intuos feels just nice.

The tablet surface of both Genius pen feels like scratching on hard plastic. Wacom Intuos surface feels very smooth and a bit slippy. Bamboo surface feels just nice, like writing on paper.

Both Wacom Pen has dual sensors, bottom for normal pen tip while on top has a bigger pressure sensitive button for eraser. Both Genius Pen doesnt have that.

Wacom Bamboo Pen is shaped like natural ball point pen, with 2 sided single buttons that fits right onto our thumb.

Wacom Intuos3 Pen is cylinder shaped, longer than Bamboo Pen with rubber grip and 2 sided single buttons. The button is ergonomicly design to fit on the side of the thumb, but little bit loose fitting compared to Bamboo.

Genius G-Pen 450 Pen is closer to fountain pen shaped, with a handle to hang on our our shirt pocket. It also has 2 button, however the button doesnt fit onto my thumb perfectly.
Genius M609 Pen design is also like 450, but much bigger and bulky. The pen also have 2 button, also doesnt fit onto my thumb, it is place higher than my thumb when holding the pen in natural way.

The brush strokes produced on both Genius is quite good, with variety of strokes width as I play with my hand pressure. However, as the pen tilt 60 degree to 180 degree, the pen fails to register. The strokes that I draw snaps into pieces as the pen tilt. This is quite annoying as most people will never hold their pen at 90 degree straight. The problem can be repeated over and over when drawing a curved stroke, where the pen tilted as our hand rotates.

Both Wacom intuos and Bamboo doesnt have this problem. Intuos has a tilt sensor to simulate a natural brush bristle that has uneven surface at different angles, while Bamboo doesnt.

From my test, I have decided that I prefer Wacom tablets better than Genius. Genius is good, but Wacom is better. Wacom Pen feels much more natural in my hand than Genius Pen. The pen tilt issues on Genius pen annoy me the most, while I have no problem with Genius Pen pressure sensitivity.

I recommend Intuos series the most, with Bamboo Pen and Touch 2nd. If you want to buy a tablet with tight budget, I really suggest you try getting a second hand Wacom tablet instead of Genius.


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