The Wacom Bamboo Capture CTH470M is a USB stylus and pad that can be used in place of a mouse. The Capture retails for $99 which is excellent value. Wacom also offers many more sophisticated models aimed at professional users. The Capture however is still very powerful and it can revolutionize the experience of digital photography and more.
The pad uses the stylus to position the cursor with absolute positing. The stylus works like a pen and paper which is much more natural. Wacom even provides several spare tips in case one is worn out. The user guide is available on the vendors web site. Wacom also can provide a new stylus if needed.
The pad works best by hovering the stylus above the pad and then tap to click. The precision is much better than a mouse. That can make working with photo editing programs a lot easier.. Working with Photoshop all day long is where this stylus and pad really can be more productive. After 2 weeks use, the productivity can be more than 50% better.
The precision is helpful with draw programs too where object handles may be complex and careful manipulation is needed. CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator are typical vector draw programs. The free Microsoft Expression Design has draw capacity.
With 2540 lines per inch, the Capture has abundant resolution to handle even UHDTV 8K. The pad is designed for working with high resolution digital images. It can also be used to trace smaller drawings.
Between the mouse button switches is the blue power LED. The LED brightens when the pad touched providing a visual cue to the user with the touch and it turns white with the stylus.
The pad itself is designed for 16:10 panels like the popular 30 inch 2560×1600 models used widely in graphics studios. The pad automatically adapts to other panels such as HDTV 1920×1080 which is now the mainstream panel resolution. UHDTV resolutions will migrate to the desktop relatively quickly for use in video studios.
Wacom ships a basic stylus with the Capture. Wacom does offer the more sophisticated stylus with the eraser that can be used with paint programs. The stylus supports up to 1024 levels which is enough to be useful even with enhanced IPS panels that have a wider color space.
Windows XP and higher have all supported touch screens. Most developers have ignored touch as the majority of users still bought desktops or notebook machines. The growth of tablet computers in the last few years has pushed Microsoft to adopt the touch UI with Windows 8.
The Capture supports emulating a touch screen. There is a switch on the pad to enable or disable the touch mode. This is convenient when the precision of the stylus is needed.
The touch mode uses a finger instead of the stylus. The driver supports up to 4 finger gestures which provides the needed functionality to use Windows 8 and above.
Windows 8 is designed for tablets and the Wacom Capture provides emulation for desktop and notebook users. Gestures like a swipe work with Windows 8 fine. Testing it with Windows 8.1 also showed compete compatibility with the enhanced features.
Testing the touch with Windows 7, the finger was easy to move the cursor to the exact location desired. The fingertip behaves like a mouse. The switches can perform right clicks when needed.
Using the two finger drag works fine for scrolling in a browser or iTunes equally well. Scrolling is a standard event with Windows so the Capture perfectly emulates this behavior.
The standard package uses a normal USB mini cable. Wacom however offers a wireless option. The Capture has a detachable bottom section to install a battery and the wireless adapter etc. The battery is rated to operate for a long work day and it can be charged with the USB cable easily.
The capture is roughly the same size as a 10 inch device like the iPad or Windows Surface. This makes the utility of the product much higher especially when it can be held in the hands
Plugging the Capture into a Windows 7 x64 system was immediately recognized and the basic driver was installed. Wacom has a value added driver that can be downloaded from their website. We strongly recommend grabbing the latest driver for the pad.
If you are a south paw, the higher level driver starts with the desktop apps rather than use a kernel mode driver. Windows core drivers are ambidextrious.
Wacom bundles some OEM graphics software with their products and the Capture include the popular Adobe Photoshop Elements. The Autodesk Sketchbook is a paint program with full pressure support. Color Efex Pro plug-in for Photoshop including the essentials version is essentially a filter that can be used for post processing and FX etc. Clearly the software included provides excellent value.
Photoshop has significant support for the Wacom pad. Many of the tools support the pressure sensitive stylus for complete control of FX.
Corel Painter is designed with the digital stylus and pad in mind.
The stylus and the touch are fine for card games like solitaire. A mouse is the design choice for commercial games. The pad works fine with modern optical mice when the touch is disabled. We use the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 which features the new blue LED sensor.