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More Graphire

Some additional notes about the Wacom Graphire 4 CTE-640.

The package includes the graphics tablet, pen and 5 CD-ROMs containing the driver and the bundled applications.

The graphics tablet is larger than I expected it to be since I was focussing too much on the A5-sized active area and not taking into account the rest of it. All told, it’s about 27cm by 26cm. I currently don’t have enough space on my desktop for it and I have to place it on my lap whenever I doodle.

The USB cable that connects the Graphire to the PC is 1.5m long so keep that in mind if you’ve got your systems unit far away from your monitor.

If you’ve never used a graphics tablet — I haven’t — there is a learning curve. The most jarring difference between using a mouse and using a graphics tablet is the latter uses absolute positioning. What this means is the graphics tablet’s A5-sized active area represents your entire desktop screen. Thus, hovering the pen over the upper-left corner of the graphics tablet’s active area will cause the on-screen cursor to jump to the upper-left corner of the desktop screen. It takes a while to get used to this but once you do, you’ll appreciate how it can be a bit quicker than scrolling around with a mouse.

The pen has two buttons on it and I had to adjust my grip to prevent accidentally hitting those buttons. By default, one represents a click of the right mouse button while the other represents a double-click.

There are another two buttons and a scroll wheel on the graphics tablet itself. The buttons may be customised and I’ve set them to represent the Undo (CTRL+Z) and Redo (CTRL+Y) commands since I use them frequently when I’m drawing.

You can actually use the graphics tablet for day-to-day computer use but I prefer to use it only for drawing. Pointing with the graphics tablet’s pen might beat scrolling around with a mouse but there’s no beating the killer combo of a mouse used in conjunction with keyboard hotkeys.

Posted in Hardware.


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