Wacom Outs Bamboo Pad and Bamboo Stylus

Wacom unveiled a pair of cost-effective desktop touch-pads, under its new Bamboo Pad brand. Pictured above, the Bamboo Pad is a lot like Apple's Magic Trackpad, and can be used as an ergonomic pointing device. Where it edges past Cupertino's product is its higher tracking resolution, and support for stylii, which is sharp enough for handwriting and your random siblings, even if not quite as good for graphics. The $49 wired variant relies on a USB connection to the PC or Mac you plug it to; $69 while the wireless variant can also work wired, where it uses the USB connection to charge its battery. Also launched is the Bamboo Stylus, a single two-in-one device that can be used as a ball-point ben, and a coarse stylus for touchscreens. Its $19 variant includes just the stylus tip, while the $29 one includes the ball-point (so you're essentially paying $10 for a pen).

Bamboo Pad is Wacom's latest solution for adding navigation gestures as well as drawing and handwriting capabilities to a typical, everyday PC or Mac experience. Once plugged into any Windows 8 (or Windows 7) operated laptop or desktop computer, Bamboo Pad immediately delivers an authentic and more natural navigation experience to the user.

"Bamboo Pad is not just the next touch pad on the market. For people who would love to add a personal signature, a drawing or some handwritten comments to their documents, this new product offers the wonderful feel that only a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus can produce," states Rick Peterson, director of consumer products for Wacom Americas.

Bamboo Pad's ultra-slim design offers comfortable usage even throughout long working hours. Compared to a traditional computer mouse the new pad offers natural feeling multi-touch gestures (particularly under Windows 8). Communication becomes even more visual and fun by adding sketches, drawings or handwriting with the included stylus. "Add a personal signature to an e-mail or highlight words and paragraphs to support an important point or message," says Peterson. "Windows 8 users also have the chance to download the new Bamboo Page app from the Windows Store for free. This software allows a head start into note-taking and light sketching."

Wacom's two-in-one human interface device feels natural, looks stylish and gives users an opportunity to not only work in a relaxed and comfortable fashion, but add a little bit of fun and creativity to home or office computer input. Wacom's technology makes sure that gestures and handwriting never interfere with each other as the pad automatically recognizes whether a pen or finger are first to come into proximity with the pad's surface. For Windows 7 and 8 users, simply plug in Bamboo Pad to activate the device. For Apple computers (MacOS 10.7 or later) a driver has to be installed first, which can be downloaded from the Wacom support website.

Bamboo Pad wireless ($79 USD) and wired ($49 USD) models are intended to be available the latter half of this month or the beginning of October at select retail locations and Wacom's eStore. Users can choose from four designs. Either a discrete grey with a shiny surface or a basically white pad with one of three fresh and fashionable color accents in blue, light green or purple (wireless connection only).