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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Perfect Pointing Device

I wish I could say there was a single pointing device that is perfect for all users. While working with users recently, I saw all types of devices attached to their computers. These devices may have been perfect for those users, but I found two of them darned near impossible to use. What surprised me the most is that none of them were using a graphics tablet.

While I don't feel a mouse is the perfect pointing device, every computer needs one. It can be handy to have at times and it is a device that all computer users can use immediately. A couple of months ago I covered the Logitech M305 Wireless Mouse and it sells for under $20. When I travel, I carry one of them in my bag in case I find myself sitting at a computer with one of those baffling pointing devices.

Even though I cover tablets on a regular basis, I often get asked for a recommendation. In my opinion, every designer should have a Wacom tablet on their desk. Yes, there are other brands that may cost less. Wacom tablets are worth every penny and they will outlive most every other pointing device. On the lower end is their Bamboo line of tablets and I wrote about them in New Wacom Bamboo Tablets Fit All Budgets. For those who have never used a tablet, this line allows you to get one for under $100.

On the high end is the Intuos5 line and I wrote about them about a month ago in Wacom Intuos 5 Tablets. Here you will find larger tablets that are loaded with features. Do you need all of those features? You'll have to look at the list and decide for yourself. I personally have a medium-sized Intuos 4 tablet on my desktop computer and an Intuos 3 I use with my laptop. Like I said, they do last a long time!

Ideally you want to test drive a tablet so you can feel for yourself the benefits of drawing with a pen instead of a "bar of soap" or an "inverted pool ball". Unfortunately stores don't often have a tablet that you can test drive. You'll either need to attend a trade show where Wacom has a booth or you'll need to find another user with a tablet. What I can tell you is that you can't get one soon enough as it is a much more natural input device for those creating graphics.

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Blogger Decal Guy said...

I gave up on mice in the 90's when trackballs became available using Corel 4.0. Kensington's expert trackball is the way to go for me when it comes to editing and designing in Corel. The learning curve is short and more accurate than any mouse could ever be. You will never pick up a mouse again!

7:48 AM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

We still don't feel an "inverted pool ball" can come even close to the ease of use and accuracy of a tablet.

8:15 AM  

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