Practical Ecommerce

The PEC Review: A Pen and Touch Pad to Supplement a Mouse

The monitor, keyboard, and mouse are the three most ubiquitous computer peripherals.

In fact, it would be hard to image using a computer without them. But consider that prior to the invention of the mouse, most folks thought only of using keyboards or punch cards. So just as the mouse proved to be a better way to interact with a computer, a pen is a better way to interact with some drawings for illustration software.

For years, professional artists have been using special computer pens to draw directly on screen. And the release of the iPad and other tablet computers has made finger-touch navigation more mainstream. Recently, that sort of specialized user interaction — a specialized pen and finger-touch navigation — has become extremely affordable for all computer users.

The Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch Pad is a USB device that plugs directly into your PC or Mac. It consists of a touch pad that facilitates single-finger navigation for your computer and multiple-finger use for gestures on your computer. The dimensions of the pad are roughly 10 inches x 9 inches. And, you can alternately use a pen — rather than your fingers — for more precise graphic creation and manipulation. Because of Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch’s ease-of-use and price, I am awarding it four out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”

“The PEC Review” is my column devoted to introducing you to the products or services that I believe will help you improve some aspect of your ecommerce business. In this article, let show you why I think the Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch Pad can help you.

Video: Wacom Bamboo

Graphics, Graphics, Graphics

In my opinion, the pen is an essential graphics tool, whether you are touching up product photos, creating banner graphics for on-site merchandising, or making a new “hero” image for your store’s home page. It simply gives you more control than a mouse, and better simulates how artists and designers frequently work.

Likewise, the multi-touch pad can make it easier to resize, move, and rotate images.

Efficiency

Although the Bamboo pen will take you some time to get used to, in the long run, I believe it is a more efficient and effective way to work in graphics or illustration software.

No More Wrist Pain

If, like many ecommerce marketers or entrepreneurs, you spend hours on a computer every day, you may have occasionally experienced wrist pain from repeatedly using a mouse.

four stars

While there is no way to guarantee that you’ll experience the same relief, I found that using the Bamboo pen to manipulate images and occasionally alternating between the Bamboo multi-touch pad and my mouse has eased some of the stress on my wrist.

Gestures

The Bamboo’s pad can also understand some basic gestures. For example, brush your fingers to the left in your favorite web browser, and you will go back to the previous page. Sweep your hand toward you, and you will scroll down a page.

Price

The Wacom Bamboo retails for about $99, which makes it only slightly more expensive than a good quality wireless mouse.

Summing Up

The Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch Pad is a good alternative interface for working with graphics software or just resting your hand from repetitive mouse motions. It is not necessarily a replacement for your mouse — I use both and switch back and forth all the time — but it is a good extension of how you currently work. That is why I have awarded it four out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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