Friday, September 5, 2014

The new Wacom Bamboo Stylus fineline is here! (The fine difference, is it enough to make a difference?)

Well, what do you think about that? Wacom has released a stylus for the iPad (presumably iPhone and iPod Touch as well) that basically shrinks that fat nub down to a svelte nib, and it supports 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity AND it has palm-rejection as well...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The new Surface Pro 3 drops the Wacom pen for an N-trig - that's not such good news for artists.

In a decision probably completely unrelated to competitor Samsung's announcement that it's purchased a piece of Wacom Technology, Inc., Microsoft has unveiled an all-new and larger 12-inch Surface Pro 3 that no longer features Wacom-based pen technology but instead features N-trig active pen/Duosense technology. The decision to move to N-trig is probably a factor of reduced licensing and manufacturing costs and potentially a marketing bullet point as 90% of business-based buyers have no clue who Wacom or N-trig are, but will respond to "bigger, faster, more new!" with glee.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wacom Bamboo Feel stylus vs.

At some point, you will lose or break the pen that came with your tablet and to keep yourself from freaking out, you'll want to have a backup. Thankfully, because it seems that all tablets have standardized on the Wacom Bamboo Feel technology, there are plenty of replacement alternatives available. The standard by which all styluses are measured is the one that Wacom makes itself: the Wacom Bamboo Feel stylus. Considering that this one comes from the Mothership itself, how does the Bamboo Feel Stylus stack up against the other pens out there?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Adobe Projects Mighty & Napoleon touch-sensitive pen and ruler for the iPad

Adobe & Touch

In conjunction with a drawing app custom-designed and developed for the tablet interface, Adobe has kicked around additional hardware technology to permit more precise drawing abilities - can it compete with all of the other precise, pressure-sensitive pen solutions out there, including tablets with dedicated Wacom Feel technology?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Toshiba's 13.3" 5-in-1 convertible tablet pc with pen concept!

Image from
Toshiba is showcasing a concept 5-in-1 tablet PC that looks a lot like a a larger Excite Write running Windows 8 attached to a keyboard/miniature docking station/base port repeater or whatever they're called.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Where do you order replacement nibs for the Wacom Bamboo Stylus if you live in Canada?

Here's the deal, you can't. It's the one thing Canadians apparently cannot purchase from your local Wacom dealer, and one of many things Canadians again can't purchase north of the border, regardlesss (a list which includes Cherry Coke Zero and In-N-Out burgers). However, here's how you - as a Canadian - can purchase replacement nibs for your Wacom Bamboo Stylus:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wacom Bamboo Feel felt nibs tip!

If you have a Wacom Bamboo tablet, or bought a Bamboo Feel stylus for your Samsung Galaxy Note, or are using the one that came with your Toshiba Excite Write, or are just so damn lucky to have a Cintiq Companion/Hybrid, at some point after a month or two of use, you WILL start to wear the felt tip out. The felt tip is the key to getting the feel of "tooth" on your screen so that it feels more like a "page" than a smooth piece of (likely) Gorilla Glass.

So, here are some tips to keep you drawing:

  1. Keep the tip clean: residue can impede performance, likely causing you to draw harder and/or to redraw lines, adding to the mileage.
  2. Try to keep your stroke pressure light; if you prefer to draw hard with your hand in a fist, don't say I didn't warn you.
  3. At some point, if you orient your pen in one specific way every time (either due to the secondary button placement or just because) you will find that the tip will chisel. ROTATE ROTATE ROTATE. Try to keep your nib from turning into a crayon or pencil tip you've drawn too hard on by rotating the pen once in a while.
  4. If you didn't buy a pen separately that may have come with replacement nibs, BUY SOME. They come in "firm" and "soft" varieties and variety packs. They just pop in and out of your stylus end.

Remember: keep the tip clean, rotate it once in a while, and only apply gentle pressure. Yeah, that sounded suggestive, but there it is.

Friday, February 7, 2014

ArtFlow Studio for Android has a beta update

One of my favorite drawing apps has a beta update: v1.4.20 Apparently it fixes a bug and will make loading from a gallery faster. If you go to "Settings/About" in ArtFlow Studio, you can see your version number (you will see an update message from the system when it's ready to download and install).

See my review on this great product here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

APP REVIEW: Ink (the other "Ink") for Android

Ink - Sketch, paint, draw

"Competition improves the breed" so they say, and any Android drawing app is welcome on my tablet as long as it's good. Ink (not to be confused with Autodesk Sketchbook Ink) makes the claim that "The engine is Really Fast ! There is No delay between the touch and the following line." so does it live up to they hype?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Using Splashtop Streamer to draw on your tablet

I've used my tablet several times via Splashtop Streamer (comes for free with the Excite Write) to access my PC and my experiences with it so far on the Excite Write have been pretty successful. Watching high def movies and playing (windowed-only) high-end video games hasn't been without lag, but I've noticed that the better your WiFi connection, the better the results. For example, if you have a dual-band router, use the highest (e.g., 5G) settings available to your PC and the Excite Write, it helps. Physically plugging in your PC to the router and using 5G with the tablet seems to work really well.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

APP REVIEW: Water Color Pencil for Android

Water Color Pencil for Android

Another solid effort from almost out of nowhere, this tool reminds me of the old Painter software (now Corel Painter X3, I guess) that emulated real world drawing and painting tools. Water Color Pencil focuses specifically on water-based media and does a credible job of it, but its main strength lies in its performance and input capture, which is top-notch.

Monday, January 27, 2014

APP REVIEW: Zen Brush for Android tablets

Zen Brush

A great attempt at replicating the feel of drawing with a calligraphic brush and ink, you'll feel like a zen master in seconds. The only caveat is a lack of features and performance. Read on for more details...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Future of the Toshiba Excite Write tablet

Is the Excite Write a one-off or does Toshiba have plans to make this product their top-end tablet solution? Does Toshiba plan to appeal to the artistic + design market?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Extended use review: the Toshiba Excite Write

It's been three weeks since I received my Toshiba Excite Write and I've used it at least two hours a day since. Here's a list of my experiences with it during that time: