With the Apple Magic Trackpad creating ripples regarding the spread of touch across all Apple devices, it's important to regard a product that visited this territory last year, and perhaps even attempted it more ambitiously. The Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch, a combination multitouch trackpad and pen-based tablet that theoretically offers a killer alternative to the Apple's pad for one reason alone: its versatility.
After reviewing the Magic Trackpad this week, I realized that a Bamboo was still in a drawer in my cube, and I pulled it out to revisit. How did it compare with Apple's sleek square? And, more importantly, are there any areas where it's even better?
First off, the Bamboo is larger than the Magic Trackpad. The extra-wide Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch I have is a lot larger. It's similarly colored to Apple's tiny device, but made of a less sturdy-feeling plastic that's prone to scratching. The Bamboo Pen and Touch is a also a USB-wired device, unlike the wireless Magic Trackpad. It's also more expensive: while a $69 model offers only pen or touch input but not both, the combination pen and touch-pad combo that most users would want costs $99. The extra-large version we reviewed, the Fun, costs $199. The not exactly cheap $69 Magic Trackpad comes off as a relative bargain. … Read more