Beginners Guide to SFX
$34.99 $24.99
Wacom Bamboo Tablet
Name: Wacom Bamboo Tablet
Essential Sale 1-10
1 = I almost never use this thing.
10 = You had better own this, like yesterday.
Essential Scale: 3

The Wacom Bamboo tablet is priced perfectly to get people into using pressure sensitive tablets for editing photos. It is the gateway drug for tablets.


The Bamboo Pen Tablet turns your computer into a virtual canvas, allowing you to create digital artwork with the touch of a pen. With its textured surface, the tablet simulates the intuitive feeling of pen on paper. Using the easy-grip pen, you’ll be able to add hand-drawn embellishments to your favorite photos, add life to digital sketches, and add personal touches to scrapbook pages with ease

Technical Details

  • Battery-free, ergonomic pen with two programmable switches
  • Includes Corel Painter Essentials 4.0 (Win and Mac) for creating natural media art and turning photos into paintings
  • Easy USB connection
  • Interactive tutorial helps you make the most of your Bamboo
  • Active Area Touch (W x H) – 4.9″ x 3.4″ (124mm x 86mm); Pen (W x H) – 5.8″ x 3.6″ (147mm x 91mm)


The Wacom Bamboo tablet is priced perfectly to get people into using pressure sensitive tablets for editing photos. It is the gateway drug for tablets.

Personal Experience

Since starting Phlearn more than a year ago I have talked a lot about tablets and have answered many questions on them. I have also head some great stories from people who have used these tablets as a result of watching Phlearn. Everyone loves them after getting over the learning curve which usually takes about a month.

Many people get the Bamboo and are perfectly happy, and that makes total sense. This tablet is geared towards a hobbist, someone who spends less than 10 hours a week editing in Photoshop. If you fall in that category, which most (normal) people do, this is probably going to be the tablet for you.

I do not fall in that category, as I edit images in Photoshop as my job. I also happen to write informative and humorous gear reviews.

For me personally the Wacom Intuos series is a much better fit, as it offers a bit more of a refined feel, and a few more options that someone like me (not normal) cares about. If you are interested in the difference between the two, check out my review of the Wacom Intuos 4.

Whether going with the Bamboo or the Intuos, you are going to notice a big difference over using a mouse.

The Goods

  • Cost – This tablet costs $59.99 at the time of writing this on AMAZON.  At that price it is totally worth picking up just to see if you like it. I have spent more than that at a bar and didn’t even come home with anything.
  • Size – The Bamboo is actually the perfect size. Personally I don’t want something huge on my desk, and the Intous is a little big for my taste.

The Bads

  • Pressure Sensitivity – 512 Levels gives you 1/4 the control that the Intuos does. Many people won’t notice a difference, but if you are serious about editing you may notice.
  • Pen – It is a little cheap feeling and a little to thin for my taste.


If you are totally unsure if editing with a tablet is for you, this is a great one to try. I suggest picking one up if you are currently editing with a mouse. If you don’t like it, just return it. Best Buy carries a line of Wacom tablets in their stores if you want one today, and like returning things yourself.

  • Holger Urbanek

     A tablet really makes the difference, and a Bamboo is a cheap but usable entrance. Definitely a must have (if on a budget).

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Random Tips

Having trouble cloning out fly away hairs on a complicated background? Duplicate your layer. On the bottom layer, use the liquify tool to shrink the head, which extends the background into the head (make sure to try and keep the background looking good and not warped around to much) . Now on top layer, use a mask to reveal the extended background, hiding the fly away hair.