Frequently Asked Questions
What is the target group for Bamboo 3rd generation products and how does it differ from previous Bamboo?
Basically, anyone using a computer as part of his digital lifestyle can use the new Bamboo. Communicating digitally, creating content and sharing it online: these are all occupations where Bamboo can be of added value to computer users.
The difference from the previous Bamboo product line is in design and functionality. The new Bamboo has a new design with a strong colour accent. Its touch area has become bigger compared to the previous Bamboo, thus enabling even better use of gestures. The pen features a smooth grip area which makes it very ergonomic in handling. In addition, the new Bamboo can be connected with any computer via wireless technology due to a wireless accessory kit that can be bought as an add-on.
When installing Bamboo on their computer, users will also see a difference: We have developed a new, intelligent installation tool that makes installation of the Bamboo driver and Bamboo Dock very easy. Having inserted the CD, the tool automatically checks if Bamboo Dock is already installed on the computer, installs the latest version of Bamboo Dock and the driver and directly leads the users to the new tutorial that helps to get familiar with Bamboo very easy and quickly. With this new installation tool, we have managed to make the installation process much quicker and with as little user input required as possible.
Wacom is well known for providing great tools to creative people for applications such as photo-editing, drawing & painting. How do you see the relevance of this for the consumer product range Bamboo?
We are very honoured by the digital art that has been created using our professional products, like major films, car or fashion design. But, creativity is not only for professionals. What we see happening in social media today, sharing of content and ideas, creating new things every day, shows that a lot of people are very creative. Part of this different kind of creativity is immediacy, spontaneity, individual expression and simplicity. We want to fulfil these and other needs in interacting with computers with our Bamboo, because we are convinced that it is the best tool for these needs.
Media tablets are changing consumers′ expectations about what it means to interact with a computer. How does Wacom see its role here and how does Bamboo fit into the current market conditions?
Media tablets have opened the way to interact with technology in a very simple and immediate way. Wacom likes to transfer this user interface simplicity and user experience to traditional computing. Our pen and touch technologies are perfect to bring the simplicity of the analogue world of pen and paper into the world of computing. As a solution provider for all platforms we strive to transfer the user experience from media tablets to computers also. Only computers (desktop computers and notebooks) have the performance, storage capability, connectivity and upgrade capabilities that turn a computer into a productivity hub. As such, desktop computers and laptops will remain an important part of our daily digital life. We want to make interaction with this part as simple as possible.
What is the long term strategy for Bamboo products? Will touch input become more important than pen input?
Pen and touch are two different technologies that offer a distinct and differentiated user experience and different benefits. At Wacom, we see them as the ideal combination creating a perfect and simple user interface for digital devices. Separately, they have different benefits that are optimised for respective use. For example, if you want to easily select an item on a menu, touch input is a very good technology. If you need pin-point accuracy, there is nothing better than a pen, e.g. in picture-editing.
You can do most things on a media tablet now, so what is the relevance of Bamboo in a market where people move to mobile devices?
Media tablets are becoming more and more part of the IT set-up of many consumers. Different devices, ranging from desktop computers over laptops, media tablets and smart phones are not replacing, but complimenting each other. Cloud computing with the universe access to user applications and data is catalysing this trend. With those devices, users are experiencing a simple and different user interface. Now, they desire the same experience for their PC or notebook devices. Bamboo tablets with pen and touch transfer the simple and natural user interface to PCs and notebooks without limiting the power and diversity they offer.
Does Wacom see Bamboo 3rd generation as a mouse replacement?
The success of the mouse as a point-and-click device started with Windows 3.11. Back then, point and click where essential for the user interface. Today′s new technologies like touch in screen allow user interface designs that are much more simple and intuitive. Very easy finger gestures become the users′ key to control their screen and content. Bamboo tablets allow users to keep their PC environment, but enhance it with a simple, intuitive user interface.
Which products are available in the Bamboo 3rd generation product line?
The product line-ups of the 3rd generation of Bamboo vary from region to region. Thus, users should look into the offering available in their respective region. You can find details on our website:
Wacom offers one product with pen input only support. Why is this?
Wacom′s heritage surely is pen support. With the Bamboo with pen input only, we want to offer an entry level product that gives users an easy access to the Bamboo pen experience and allows for drawing, painting, writing or mark-up. Bamboo Pen has a very good pen tablet quality at a reasonable price point.
For Bamboo 2nd generation there was a touch only product. Is there also one for the new generation?
No, in the 3rd generation there will be no touch only product. At Wacom, we listen a lot to user feedback. Thus, we have learned that – with the strong pen heritage we have – our users expect us to deliver pen technology, either on its own or in combination with touch technology. With this learning, Bamboo 3rd generation consists of products that have either pen technology alone or pen and touch combined. The optimal user interface experience is delivered by the combination of pen and touch technology.
After launching Bamboo Paper for iPad this year, Wacom is now launching Bamboo Paper for PC and Mac. What is your strategic intention behind this?
With Bamboo Dock, we have started to deliver a more complete Bamboo experience that goes beyond pure hardware delivery. Bamboo Paper for PC and Mac is complimentary to the mobile Bamboo Paper for iPad that we have launched earlier this year. Following user needs to transfer user experience from media tablets to computers, we see Bamboo Paper as the bridge between stationary and mobile platforms.
What are the key new features and improvements of Bamboo 3rd generation products?
The new Bamboo features a wireless upgrade capability and a detachable USB cable. This makes it even more flexible in use. With the wireless upgrade capability and the detachable USB cable, Bamboo has become even more flexible in use. Besides, Bamboo 3rd generation comes with a new and fresh design. It also offers a much improved touch experience that is more responsive and accurate than previous versions as well as better ergonomics and and a pen that has been improved in its haptics.The easy installation tool is quicker and needs only very little involvement by the user. It is a very intelligent tool that contributes to the overall Bamboo experience.
For Bamboo 2nd generation you introduced multi-touch the first time in this product category, what is different about the multi-touch experience for Bamboo 3rd generation products?
The multi-touch experience for Bamboo 3rd generation has been optimised with regards to the ideal interaction between software and hardware. Thus, the tablet reacts smoother and is more responsive in single finger tracking. Gestures are recognised more accurately, faster and more reliably. Gestures can be executed in a smoother and more immediate way. When using the pen, users will note the improved palm rejection of Bamboo 3rd generation.
Is Bamboo also working with new OS X Lion and is it supporting the new touch gesture set up?
Mac OS X 10.7 is a brand-new operating system. Wacom′s comprehensive tests showed, that its tablet drivers generally work with Mac OS X 10.7. However, Wacom has found some smaller compatibility issues, which require a driver update. Wacom is currently working hard on creating driver updates which resolve any known compatibility issues and which add support for Mac OS 10.7-specific touch input features for use with its Bamboo family of touch tablets.
In case the tablet driver does not work at all, Wacom recommends to re-install it using the latest version from the Wacom website. This might become necessary especially after Mac OS 10.7 has been installed over an older OS version.
How does multi-touch input of Bamboo 3rd generation work with Windows 7 and Mac OS? Will it work with Windows 8?
The one and two finger gestures are basically the same as with Bamboo 2nd generation, but they work much better. Clicking, Zooming and dragging are the same, already familiar functions. With multi-touch integration, there are new gestures available now.
With three fingers, users can use the swipe left or right gesture to navigate. Three fingers are placed parallel and slightly apart on the tablet and swiped from left to right or the other way round. At the end of the gesture, users need to lift the fingers from the tablet. If executed from left to right, this moves forward to the next page or image in most browsers or picture viewers. Executed from right to left, it sends a "back" command. The gesture is similar to using the right and left arrow keys in document viewers.
With four fingers, there are two new gestures available. Four fingers are placed slightly apart and moved left or right. This opens the application switcher. Then, using a single finger moved left or right highlights an application and a tap selects the application.
The second four-finger gesture is the swipe down gesture for Flip 3D (Windows) or Exposé (Mac). The four fingers are once again placed slightly apart, then swiped down. In Windows 7 systems, the first swipe opens Flip 3D. Swipe down again to close Flip 3D. In Mac OS, the first swipe down opens Exposé, the second swipe down closes it again.
The swipe up gesture shows the desktop. Using four fingers spaced slightly apart, swipe up to show the desktop. Swiping up again moves the open windows back to the desktop.
For Windows 8, Wacom will start to develop a driver once Microsoft has finished the OS specifications. This is managed in close cooperation with Microsoft to optimise the user experience for Windows 8 users.
What applications does Bamboo 3rd generation support as standard from multi-touch perspective?
From a multi-touch perspective, Bamboo 3rd generation supports the standard applications from Microsoft (including Windows Photo viewer) and Apple as well as the main programs by Adobe, Corel, Autodesk andAmbientDesign(Art Rage). The main Internet browsers are also supported. As Wacom is continuously expanding gesture capabilities in a number of applications, users should regularly consult the product website for updated information.
What is the benefit of Bamboo 3rd generation for people who already have a multi gesture trackpad?
Key to our Bamboo 3rd generation is the idea that the intuitive user experience of a smartphone or media tablet should be transferred to a PC or notebook. Bamboo enables users to do so without limiting the power and diversity of PCs or notebooks in any way. Compared to a multi-gesture trackpad, Bamboo 3rd generation offers more space. With the larger active area, the execution of gestures becomes more ergonomic as the hand can move freely over the tablet and has all the space it needs. This is especially valid for multi-touch, because it involves more fingers and thus needs more space to rest the fingers on the tablet ad move them properly. In addition to the features of a trackpad, Bamboo 3rd generation features customisable ExpressKeys which give more functionality beyond pure touch. It also it not linked to a specific operation system as it works in both Windows and Mac and all standard applications.
What touch technology is inside the tablet?
We can′t reveal what touch technology is inside the tablet.
How does pen & touch input work together?
Pen and touch input work in an exclusive mode (non-simultaneous) only. This means that the user can at the same time either execute touch gestures or use the pen. The tablet recognises when the pen is in its reach and pen input overrides touch input. The reason behind this is that we don′t want users to execute gestures unwillingly while using the pen.
For Bamboo 2nd generation you talked about thinness of the product but now Bamboo 3rd generation is thicker, why is this? Is thinness no longer important?
Thinness is part of the overall ergonomic concept of Bamboo. With Bamboo 3rd generation, we managed to implement wireless capability by only increasing the thickness by 1.3 mm. This very small increase has enabled us to still design a tablet that is very ergonomic which is always our target for all our products.
What is the meaning of the grid lines on the tablet surface? Why is the area so much larger than the actual active area?
The grid lines on the tablet surface indicate the active area for pen and touch input. The area is larger due to matter of ergonomics. With this larger area, we provide a hand rest area that is very comfortable.
Does Bamboo support free online applications with pressure support?
Yes, Bamboo supports free online and free download applications that feature pressure support. The list is constantly growing due to software development and will be kept up-to-date on our website, but we can name a few here.
For free online applications, there are: Sumo Paint, Fatpaint and Odosketch.
Free download software are, among others: OpenCanvas, Gimp, Pixia, Artweaver and Project Dogwaffle
The Bamboo tablet comes in a brown cardboard box, which looks quite ecological, but then there is a lot of plastic (bags, etc.) in the box. Why is that and what is Wacom′s approach to become more sustainable and environment-friendly?
Wacom is very sensitive towards environmentally friendly aspects and continues to strive for the best in class out-of-the-box experience as well as the most ecofriendly packaging possible. Packaging material and production processes are under continuous evaluation with the clear target to improve and head for optimisation. The current packaging concept already shows first results of this process by using recycling paper and less material to wrap items in the box. We have also tried to avoid lamination processes wherever possible. Nevertheless, we know that these are only the first steps and we will continue to follow along this path for a greener approach.
How are products in Bamboo 3rd generation product line called?
Bamboo 3rd generation is offered in different product configurations across regions. Thus, there is no overall answer to this question. But the general naming of the product line up follows the use scenarios we see Bamboo 3rd generation fit for and the input method (pen & touch or pen only).
How can customers distinguish Bamboo 3rd generation products from the previous generation from the packaging outside?
The first indication is the different colour of the tablets (that can already be seen on the packaging). The second is the different packaging concept as the new Bamboo features a closed sleeve concept. To be completely sure in case of queries, the product code is the final mark for Bamboo 2nd or 3rd generation.
Do pens from older Bamboo generations still work with the new products? What about the replaceable pen nibs?
Pens from older Bamboo generations still work, but they are not optimised from a design perspective. Thus, they might show features in the control panel which are not supported, e.g. the eraser. Replaceable pen nibs from older Bamboo generations can be used in Bamboo 3rd generations without restraints.
Where can I buy Bamboo 3rd generation products?
All Wacom products are generally available through retail and an extensive network of dealers. In addition, a lot of online channels offer our products as well as our own estore. Nevertheless, this may vary from country to country. To find the nearest location in your country, please consider our website or contact us for more information.
Which accessories are available for Bamboo 3rd generation products?
For Bamboo 3rd generation, a set of accessories is available. These are: a carrying bag and a wireless accessory kit, and two kinds of replacement pens, one with and one without eraser.
What is the wireless accessory kit and how does it work?
The wireless accessory kit consists of the wireless module, a rechargeable battery and a wireless USB receiver. When you turn over the tablet, you will find slide lids that can be opened. Install the battery and insert the module in the respective slots. Close the slide lids.The wireless module is visible from the tablet side showing the battery status, LED and power button. Insert the wireless receiver into a computer′s USB port. After charging the battery by connecting the USB cable, the cable can be disconnected and the wireless connection will be established automatically.
Which Bamboo products are compatible with the wireless accessory kit?
The wireless accessory kit works with all Bamboo products of the 3rd generation with the exception of Bamboo Pen (model with only pen input).
Which technology is used for the wireless accessory kit? What are the advantages of this technology?
We are using RF technology with 2.4 GHz ISM band and GFSK modulation. We have specifically decided to go for RF because it offers a number of advantages. RF technology allows an easy and immediate pairing process and avoids compatibility issues. In addition, it doesn′t need any installation process and provides a very good performance with little power consumption.
How long does the battery last when fully charged?
Battery operation time depends on the actual Bamboo product, applications and the intensity of use. In standard operation scenarios, the battery lasts for 5 days. Battery operating hours for Bamboo Pen & Touch and the small version of Bamboo Fun are around 15 hours, for the medium version of Bamboo Fun around 10 hours.
How long does it take to fully charge the battery?
In only 3,5 hrs the battery charges up to 85% of the full capacity. To fully recharge from 0%, it takes less than 6 hours.
Can the user continue to work during recharge?
When the USB cable is connected, the wireless mode is switched off, the battery starts to recharge and the tablet works in USB connection mode. So there is no problem to use the tablet during recharge.
Can USB wall chargers be used for recharging?
Yes. Standard USB wall chargers with 5 Volt output can be used. The USB cable which is shipped with Bamboo should be used to connect the tablet with the USB wall charger. Bamboo remains fully functional in wireless mode then.