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Wacom Bamboo CTH-460

  • Category: Peripherals
Last Updated
February 26, 2010

Editor's Rating
3.5 Out of 5

Pros
  • Pen is comfortable and offers an eraser
  • The tip is remarkably accurate and precise
  • Price is approachable

Cons
  • Not as pressure-sensitive as other models
  • Less buttons so fewer options
  • USB cord is short

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Review

When we deal with Wacom, we know we're in for a good, reliable product and they delivered with their Bamboo Pen and Touch CTH-460. the $99.99 track pad supports multi touch, which lets you scroll up and down through web pages and more, or zoom in and out of photos and other visual images using gestures with your finger. It edits both documents and images and rotates images on either a PC or Mac. The included pen can make drawing, editing photos and marking up documents and other protocols easy, simple and smooth. The CTH-460 doesn't have the necessary qualities to give proper competition to the higher-end Intuos4, which sells for $370 or the Cintiq, which sells for whopping $999.99, but for this product's sell price, this track pad delivers and then some for a much more approachable price tag.

The Pen and Touch CTH-460 weighs in at 7.6 ounces and measures 9.8 by 6.9 inches. It has a 4.9-by-3.4 inch active touch area and a 5.8-by-3.6 active pen area. The surface is made from hard matte plastic. You can reverse the pad for right or left-handed use which I found especially useful since I'm left-handed. There is a catch, however: the fixed four-foot USB cord doesn't detach like other Wacom products. The cord can get in the way depending on how you place the Wacom product respective with our either desktop or laptop. With the low price, this must be one of its setbacks.

Four unlit ExpressKeys line the side nearest the USB cord, instead of eight OLED-backlit keys like the higher-end Wacom track pad, another setback. You can program the keys to do various functions according to your specific preferences. The pen is a lightweight plastic tool that feels cheap and is it was made in two seconds, however the tiny tip on the end has a little give that provides solid feedback with precision edits. The pen itself also has two programmable buttons and a red, nylon cloth loop that holds the pen when you're not using it

The CTH-460 excels with artwork and photo editing. You don't get the 2,048 pressure sensitive layers of Wacom's Intuos4, but it's still accurate enough for regular drawing and editing. The pad is pressure sensitive to 512 levels, and the harder you press the pen, the more "ink" appears using the brush tool. With this, you can easily lighten and/or darken areas of an image the same way you can with the Intuos4. You can also flip the pen upside down and use the other tip as an eraser.

The CTH-460 also, with no surprise, supports multi touch. With five multi-touch gestures - forward and back, two-finger scroll (up and down), select and drag (two taps plus a finger tip drag), pinch-zoom in and out and rotate (two wide fingers and then twist) - you're able to move around images with ease. The Pen and Touch was accurate for gestures and even fine cursor movements, much more than other laptop track pads.

System requirements are low: any Windows 7, Vista or XP with Service Pack 2 machine, or Mac OS X (10.4.8 or higher) with a free USB port should work out just fine. Some versions of the Wacom product contain the track pad, pens, quick start guide, a driver software CD and a DVD containing full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 and Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 WE3.

If you're a serious Wacom user already and/or a design pro, the Bamboo Pen and Touch is not for you, and you'll want one of Wacom's higher-end products if you don't already. If you're simply looking for a track pad that does a bit more for its price, this is exactly what you're looking for and well worth the investment. It's ideal for light sketches, cartooning and even photo editing. It's much easier to use this track pad than a mouse for all of these tasks and you'll even look cool with a "fancy-smancy" track pad. For $99.99, this Wacom track pad is a solid choice.