Nuggets: Come on baby light my Graphire

When mouse positioning just isn't enough, the solution might be the precision of a pressure-sensitive pen and tablet

With digital snaps widespread there's the increasingly common problem of how to make precise alterations and enhancements -- something made a lot easier with a graphics tablet. Until now these have typically been used by design professionals, but check out Wacom's Graphire priced at a distinctly reasonable £84.99.

Installing the A6 device is extremely simple with a USB connection. For more control and cooler features, there's a control panel installed from the CD-ROM and a bundle of funky graphic effects and plugins for Adobe Photoshop.

Both the Wacom scrolling mouse and pen are cordless and use no batteries. Depending on what you are up to you can use either the pen or the mouse. The device is powered by Wacom's electromagnetic resonance technology to position the pen or mouse on the tablet. The accuracy of the positioning is 1,000 dpi, which ought to keep most designers happy.

There was occasional erratic pointer positioning while bouncing between applications but generally the pen and mouse are easy to use. You can even keep your existing mouse active and only use the tablet when a job needing a pen and tablet crops up.

On the blunt end of the pen is a virtual eraser which makes undoing stuff more intuitive. There is also a slim switch on the barrel of the pen, which acts as the left and right clicks of the mouse.

If you need to do tricky jobs regularly, and find your existing mouse not up to the job, you can't go far wrong with Wacom's nifty Graphire tablet set.

  • 1,000 dpi resolution precision input

  • Supports the ball-free, cordless Graphire Mouse and the cordless, pressure-sensitive Graphire Pen

  • Transparent overlay: place artwork under it for tracing

  • Available with serial or USB interface

  • Software for Windows and Mac

  • £84.99


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