For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing all the research I can on graphic tablets. Now, graphic tablets are different than the tablets you are probably used to. It is no iPad or Nexus 7. Its specifically built to replace the mouse and be used as an input for your computer. I thought to myself, I am a graphic designer, and a graphic designer should use a tablet, right? Well, the answer to that is sometimes. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who will push through the learning curve, its heavenly. I’ve been using my tablet for a week straight now. I cannot put it down. I actually find myself walking around the office with my pen in hand. Here are some reasons why it has made my life easier, and how it could potentially improve your workflow.
1. It’s Natural
What could be more natural than pen and paper? Most designers can draw, and they sketch our their ideas on pen and paper first. A tablet allows you to do that without having to sharpen your pencil. It allows freedom of ideas to flow from your brain to the computer. I think of it as an extension of myself. Sorry, was that too far?
2. Your wrist will love you
I’ve been using a mouse for years now. When I get into photoshop and I’m having to do deep masking techniques, photo editing, or anything that requires precise movement, my wrist kills. You too might have felt these cramps before. It’s not enjoyable! When I’m using my tablet, I don’t have this problem.
3. You’ll feel awesome
I LOVE swiping around on the tablet. I don’t just use it in the Adobe Suite. I use it for clicking around my email, moving windows, dragging files…. ok was that too nerdy? It’s just enjoyable to use. I’m convinced if you pick one up, you’ll love using it too.
I’m currently using the Wacom Intuos Small tablet. It has 4 buttons on the actual tablet and two on the pen. I put them to use a lot! You can hotkey them to whatever commands you want, saving you tons of time.
Now, on to the disclaimer that I feel I have to include. When you first start using one, it will be difficult. It will feel clunky. You will be less productive. All I can say is to push through. The light IS at the end of the tunnel. Give it a few days and you’re hand will start to learn where to point things. Muscle memory will kick in, and it will be a joy to use.
I currently use the Wacom Intuos5 Touch Small Pen Tablet (PTH450). However, if your budget is low, there is another alternative. I’ve heared wonderful things about Monoprice tablets. They are starting at $50 or so. For that price, why not give it a shot?
Do you use a graphic tablet?
Would you ever consider using one?