There are two broad kinds: the sort that do exactly what a mouse does but let you use a pen to do it - typically A5 size or smaller; and the sort that sense gradations in pressure (meaning that you can do things like vary line thickness etc. depending on pressure - meaning you can colour and brush with them intuitively, the way you can with a pen or a brush). Typically, they are A3-size and cost an order of magnitude more than the former kind. SunKitten has used one of the former kind, which suited her well mainly because it is portable, but now uses an A5 pressure-sensitive Wacom tablet, which is definitely in the latter category.
Wow, it's been ages since I edited this. I therefore will now rave about the A5 Wacom Intuos 3 which I've been using for the past couple of years - it's by far the best tablet I have ever used; reliable and sensitive and works well with all the software I use too. Obviously if you're not after artwork, it's not so important, but if you do want a tablet for drawing or painting, I wouldn't go for anything else. They're seriously worth the money. The Graphire range is a bit cheaper than the Intuos range, and they seem to be able to produce pretty good results as well (they have fewer sensitivity levels, that's all) - SunKitten
Vitenka has a pad from eTrust - it's A5, wireless pen, and does pressure sensing. Sadly I find it to be more trouble than a mouse, since the pressure sensor doesn't seem very fine grained or consistent. (It claims 100 levels; I can usually conciously activate about four). Still - that might just be me. Retails for under thirty quid - or more for the larger sizes. Hope that helps.
Here's an unrelated problem. Gimp on windows. How the <BUNNIES!> do you make it work with the tablet? There is allegedly some incompatibility with the tcl input library or something. Secondly - PaintShopPro. When you have a tablet connected, it uses the pressure sensor on it. Then, when you decide to do something with the mouse it shows up as no pressure, so nothing happens. Any idea how to get it to switch modes quickly? (PSP5)
It's stopped working. Can I lend it to someone who also has a similar tablet, so that they can find out whether it's just the pen (cheap to replace) or the whole tablet? --Vitenka
Well, I can give you a couple of Trust wireless pens, if that'd be any use. --AC (in fact, I can give you a tablet or two as well, if you want 'em)
AlexChurchill has found the GraphicsTablet lent to him by SunKitten to be a magnificent input device for avoiding pain from his RSI. He would now like to buy one of his own, so that one can live at work and one at home; or perhaps buy two, so that they can both be his own. The Nisis G3 from SunKitten seems to fit his needs pretty well, but he knows nothing about where to buy such things online (or offline), and has no idea what features or prices he should be looking for. Anyone care to advise?
Cost. Size. Durability. How easy the extra buttons are to click. How sensitive it seems, and whether it ever gets stuck. I'd also rate having a replaceable plastic layer a plus. I'd have to say that the only real way to get a tablet is to try it out - but very few places stock any tablets at all, let alone stock a range. Wacom tablets are always raved about on forums, but they cost a fortune. The Nisis that you've talked about sounds nice. If you really only want to use it as a mouse (move and click, no need for presure, let alone tilt) then there are a range of less expensive options that are probably just as good in other respects. I've got a Trust'e tablet, which is decent enough, but small and nice and cheap. Also bear in mind that it may be handy to not have different brands at home and work. When you decide which to get, shopping online is as easy as using a search engine. (And I wish google was easier to set to 'no commerce sites') --Vitenka
The Nisis one came from eBay - there's always loads of different tablets by different manufacturers for sale, all it took was the desire to get one. The one SunKitten had before that, of similar size but not wireless or pressure sensitive, came from http://www.dabs.comIIRC. - MoonShadow
Hmmm, there being loads of it for sale on ebay is usually a somewhat adverse sign.. --Vitenka
Coincidentally, qqzm ordered himself one from dabs last night. It's one of the Wacom ones which you're obviously free to try out when it arrives...
I bought a [Wireless Tablet model 400] from [Trust]. It's pretty much identical to SunKitten's Nisis G3, except the pen, tablet and free wireless mouse are silvery rather than translucent turquoise, and that it's twice the size. I ordered one the exact same size as the Nisis, but they suddenly ran out of stock and so offered me the 6"x8" for no extra cost. I see what you meant by "similar": the two tablets use the same configuration software and their pens are even interchangeable. --AlexChurchill CategoryComputingCategoryShoppingTips