It’s been a long time coming. Due to several snags, such as finding a PC copy of Photoshop and Illustrator and an artist to test out the capabilities of the Tablo, I’m a bit late in getting this review up. If you forgot what the heck a Tablo is, the device turns any laptop into a tablet PC, enabling drawing, control, and other functions all directly on the screen of the computer. The Tablo is a fantastic device, and amazingly inexpensive ($99) making it a must have for any graphic artist, business user, or student who likes to hand-write notes in class.
The Tablo flawlessly interacts with Microsoft Office, giving users control of the program through the Tablo’s pen. Users can write on the screen and have the handwriting recognized, and also use the pen to control the cursor. The device uses a magnetically mounted sensor (which functions much like a Nintendo Wii) to detect the location of the Pen, and set up was quick and easy. It took about 30 seconds to calibrate the device after I installed all the software, and I was using it without a problem.
The best benefit of the Tablo may not even be for students or business types (though they certainly can use it), but rather artists. I had a friend test out the Tablo in her digital art class, and compared it to the other much more expensive design tools available. She found that the Tablo performed just as good as, if not better than the more expensive drawing tablets provided by her university. My friend was even more excited about the Tablo because the Tablo allows users to replace the felt tip with a ballpoint pen and draw directly onto paper, giving a textural sensory response when she was drawing. This is often the complaint about other graphic artist tools: no feeling of friction as the pen drags across the device, making it more difficult to control the pen. The Tablo eliminated that problem, and for a fraction of the cost of other comparable devices.
Overall, the Tablo is a great buy, and I would highly recommend the device to anyone who owns a Windows laptop. The $99 price tag is great for students, business and casual users alike, and everyone will find use for this fantastic peripheral. You can find out where to buy a Tablo here. I’ll try to get some video of the Tablo in action in Photoshop and the like, but you’re better off checking out our video from Show Stoppers: