Wacom, the graphics pad specialists recently released their latest consumer tablet, the Volito 2. It is a stylish, entry level pad aimed at a wide range of consumers, so we decided to give it a try.
The tablet comes packed in a box that is just large enough to accommodate it and the accompanying pen and paperwork without a large amount of extra air. (No unnecessary shipping costs!) Along side the 200mm square overall pad and the 150mm pen, you get a printed user manual, a bonus software booklet with bonus code and a CD containing the drivers, an interactive tutorial and electronic manual.
Setting up was simplicity itself. Put the CD in your disk drive and plug the tablet into a spare USB port. We tried it in both a dedicated port on the PC and also in a USB hub. Both ways worked fine. The CD auto-installed the drivers and fired up the tutorial, which has a short version and a longer one. The long one lasts some 16 minutes, but will take 20 to get through if you spend a little while on the interactive bits. If you haven’t used a graphic pad before, the time is well spent and gives a good idea of the capabilities of the tool. It also shows you how to make adjustments to the sensitivity of the pen, which, having no battery, is comfortable to use. The two customisable buttons on the pen are explained here also.
With an active area of 127.6x92.8mm and a total footprint of 200.6x205.2mm the Volito 2 is small enough to fit the majority of spaces and with a thickness of only 12.9mm, it is very unobtrusive. The graphite grey finish is smart enough to look good too. The 1.5m cable is ample to reach a floor mounted PC without stretching.
After a short period paying with the pen, both during the tutorial and for a while afterwards, you start to get used to the idea and begin to realise some of the advantages. Wacom claim that ‘Using a pen provides a more natural movement than with a mouse, as it allows a more relaxed hand and arm position’. Mind you, we did have to hide the mouse for a couple of hours to get out of the habit!
Volito 2 comes bundled with ArtRage Wacom Edition, a painting software by Ambient Design, who received an award from Microsoft for tablet PC applications. This software version was developed for Volito 2 and adapted for the target group of an entry level consumer tablet. It offers the option of painting an image from a blank canvas or loading a picture to trace – the latter is ideal for getting to grips with the tablet!
Bonus Software Programme
In addition to the ArtRage painting programme, Wacom also provide a voucher for it’s bonus software programme. By visiting their website at www.my-volito.com/software buyers can download a programme of their choice from the selection on offer.
As a first Graphic tablet, the Volito 2 is an excellent introduction. Easy to get the hang of, but still capable of quite advanced work once you have mastered the change from a mouse. As the price does not break the bank, if you have been thinking about trying one, this is the one to try.
Small space requirement
Getting used to using it (minor point)
test by Ian Andrews
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