Yesterday I got my new Wacom Bamboo, a tablet that is ment to be a mouse replacement and I have to admit that it actually is. The biggest switch seems to be that I need to get used to holding a pen in the left hand and moving around on the screens with my left hand, instead of with my mouse on the right. At the moment I actually have both sitting at my laptop which is cool. I am missing the scroll wheel a little bit which is kind of there on the tablet but still a bit weird.
There are actually two settings you will have on the Mac if you plug it in and install the driver. One is for Ink and the other one for the Wacom Bamboo configuration. There you can configure the 4 special buttons on the tablet and the two buttons on the pen. The cool thing is that you can set these buttons to full keystrokes, meaning that the buttons FN1 and FN2 on the tablet are copy and paste (Applekey + C or V) and the top button on the pen is Apple+W which closes the active window, cool for using the browser. I might come up with other wonderful key compinations. The other keys on the tablet are TAB and Ink On/Off and right click for the second key on the pen. It is working pretty well with these kind of keys.
Another important setting is whether you want to use the tablet as a mouse or pen. I am using it as a pen meaning that the surface of my tablet kind of is the surface of my two monitors together. Tapping top left, will put the mouse top left on the left monitor, then top right on the top of the right monitor. The cool thing here is that you will get used to the Bamboo and the size ratios and slowly but surely know where to move the pen to have the mouse where you want it to be and that is a real time saver.
There are also some nice smaller things. I open GMail, click a mail, tab the one key on the tablet to enable ink, draw a Y on the screen and boom the mail is archived. Now that is wonderfully easy. I will have to play a bit more with Ink to really get used to using that one.
All in all I am starting to get really happy with using a pen instead of a mouse. That’s really what the tablet is built for. I having drawn with it yet but it might actually be too small for that. But more posts on playing with Ink will likely follow.