I bought my first wacom graphic tablet a long time ago and then got interested again recently. A gap of about 7 years or so but what a difference!
Of price first of all (I bought mine which seems like the modern Colorelli pad - a version for kids now - for about 20$) and of choice (Actually, this is a major problem: which one to choose?).
For a graphical artist, comic cartoonist and perhaps the hobbyst craftmaker, a graphical tablet is probably a tool hard to by pass.
This is video of my unboxing of Wacom BAmboo Special edition (March 2011)
While there is no way an electronic device can outperfom a human hand with pencil and paper, there is no doubt that a wacom board can definetely be much better than a mouse as input device. The problem for all beginner is the need to readapt your eye-hand coordination because you must draw without looking at the pen and look at the at the screen while you use the pen instead!
TIP: put your photo/drawing on the tablet and follow the outlines with the pen directly on it for an better drawing experience!
To cut it short, here is a video which explains what a wacom graphic tablet is.
You will see that a wacom tablet is not only meant for drawing, but actually a real substitute for the mouse, as I said..with a little time to adapt to the new device.
The following video explains very well the difference int he Bamboo series: bambo touch, Bamboo pen, Bamboo Touch an Pen, Bamboo Fun and Bamboo Crafts
In short, there are TWO kind of tablets as per today (5 october 2010):
- the BAMBOO series aimed at normal home-users
- the INTUOS series, aimed at professionals (and more expensive).
...the future is also here, by the same Wacom: a screen to digitally draw and colour directly: Wacom CINTIQ . Very expensive and reportedly the technology is not as yet as sophisticated as necessary, namely in the lack of touch sensitivity which the wacom graphic tablets have...
Oh, by the way, the wacom graphic tablet website is here!
If you need drivers (without them installed the computer cannot use the tablet) just in case, this is the wacom graphic tablet drivers webpage.