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How To Choose The Right Wireless Tablet


If you are a professional artist, you probably know that recreating the freedom of a brushstroke, or even a smooth, round curve of a pencil or a pen using a mouse is a pain. That's why tablets were created: made of a pressure-sensitive surface with a device that mimics the real deal (usually a pen, but without ink - although other accessories like digital airbrushes are usually available), they were a revolution in ergonomics and precision, bringing a whole new organic workflow to amateurs and professionals alike.

Your conventional, wired tablet, however, still limits your creativity: you cannot see your artwork from a good distance without stop drawing (which is very different from zooming in and out, and just as invaluable) and, even if you are the clumsy type of person, there's always the risk of accidentally hitting the wires and damaging your precious device - especially when you need to finish "that" urgent, commissioned artwork.If these possibilities send a chill in your spine,wireless tablets are certainly the way to go. Powered by Bluetooth technology, they provide you a great sense of freedom: imagine walking around your bedroom, choosing "your" best drawing spot while listening to a great song - that's a dreaming coming true!

Ok, you convinced me and now I badly want a wireless tablet. Where do I start from?

First and foremost, when choosing a Wireless tablet, make sure you have a fast computer. In order to be precise, tablets need to get your movements as fast as they can. You'll probably need an Intel / AMD CPU with 2.0 gigahertz clock. Also, make sure you have a *lot* of RAM (from 2GB to 4GB, if possible). Processor and memory, however, are not the only topics to cover.

Brands - The leading brand on the market is Wacom. Very respected in the industry, they provide you consistent quality. However, since even their simplest tablets are expensive, you can also choose other brands, such as Elmo, Hitachi, Cynopad, and so on.

Communication range - If you really aim for good wireless tablets, then you should seek for the ones that offer the best communication range (the larger it is, the farther away you can stay from your computer). Intuos4, for instance, allows you to stay 33 feet (10 meters) away from your computer, but other models (the Elmo CRA-1 wireless, for instance) allow you to say up to 50 feet (approximately 15.24 meters) away from your computer.

Battery charge - Artists certainly love to spend hours drawing a piece, and there's nothing more dangerous for them when the battery runs out when they are boiling with creativity. One should consider, therefore, a device with a long battery life. Intuos4 wireless is again recommended because it offers up to 18 hours of battery life, but other brands as Hitachi WT-1, can certainly come close, offering up to 16 hours of working time.

Charge time - Again, if you want to walk around, there's nothing worse than running out of batteries and needing to recharge. While a very good option for professional artists, the Intuos4 has a clear disadvantage here, needing up to 5 hours of recharge if the battery runs out. If charge time is a concern, then you might want models like CynoPad W0862, which takes only 2 hours to recharge and offers the same charge power of Hitachi WT-1.

Best tablet overall

As stated previously, if you want assured, consistent quality, nothing will beat a Wacom Tablet - Intuos4 Wireless greatly recommended. Despite its long charge time, it offers a decent communication range, combined with a good charge power (18 hours) and an affordable price when it comes to cost-benefit, is the way to go. Although there are cheaper alternatives, you should always be cautious when choosing among them: they might require AA-batteries instead of Lithium-ion batteries (AA-batteries are less reliable and last much less), or they might offer inferior styluses or break easily. Consider this piece of advice carefully: choosing wireless tablets is not something to be taken lightly.

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