|HP Digital Sketch|
Recently a co-worker heard that Hewlett-Packard had a new wireless Digital Sketch that they were willing to let us try. After about an hour of messing around, I was unable to get it to connect to my Dell laptop. I had my student try it for about another 2 hours. Then I found another student who did get it to work, after about another 2 hours. I didn't really understand how he got it to work. So, I was then excited to try it out. This was the result:
After all that effort, this was it? I have nice handwriting, so it should have looked a lot better than this. I was a bit irritated.
I also have a Wacom Bamboo Pen and I worked with a graphic designer who had a high end Wacom monitor, so I've learned that Wacom creates excellent tablets. I decided to look for their wireless option, which is the Intuos. First, I tried it on my Dell laptop. I saw the images on the box that said I should install the software and then connect the Intuos to the computer with the cord (image provided), so I did that.
|I love instructions like these but in the case of the Intuos, more info was needed.|
I was a little confused when it didn't work after installation, so I decided to actually read the instructions and found that I needed to remove a tag from the battery compartment and turn it on, so I did that and it worked just fine. The pen tools in Word 2010 were excellent. Here is a sample of my writing:
The text at the top is a result of handwriting recognition, a handy little tool included with the Wacom software. I write in a combination of cursive and print and was surprised that when I wrote just like I normally do, the program deciphered it perfectly.
Unfortunately the Dell did not have Bluetooth to try it wirelessly, so I will look into ordering a dongle and decided try it on the Mac in the mean time. Installation was super easy, especially since I had just done it, but I had to figure out the Bluetooth part now. I think the last time I used Bluetooth for anything was about 4 years ago on a Windows machine. Regardless, I quickly found the Bluetooth area under System Preferences, turned it on, and saw that there was a discoverable mouse but I didn't see the tablet. Again I was forced to read instructions. Turns out the mouse I was seeing actually was the Intuos. For some reason, it comes up as a mouse called PTK-540WL. So it paired just fine and I was able to use it on the other side of my office. Unfortunately Word 2011 for Mac does not have pen tools (yes, really!), so I tried it on a site called Scriblink and it worked well.
Here are the criteria upon which I judged these tablets:
- Legibility of handwriting: clearly Wacom wins
- Ease of installation: Wacom again
- Price: Well, the HP is $209 and the Wacom is $329, but this is a situation where you get what you pay for and I still vote Wacom. $329 is not bad.
- Does it work on a Mac? Of course the HP does not. Wacom it is!