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I have a life-long passion for art. Unfortunately, due to the usual demands of adulthood, I haven’t drawn since architecture school 20 years ago. I’ve also been slow to try my hand at creating digital art because the software and graphics tablets seemed too darn expensive.
The Bamboo Splash is marketed directly toward people like me: folks who are just getting going (again) or transitioning from paper to computer. The Splash succeeds with a good tablet and a decent art program (ArtRage Studio) for the low price of 79 bucks.
I was a little skeptical at the quality of tablet I’d get for this price, but Wacom delivered. The Splash is a well-made 11x7 tablet--for reference, it’s slightly thinner and longer than an iPad. The pen is about the width of a marker, and you can store it in a loop on the side of the tablet. Four little rubber feet keep my cat from knocking the Splash off the desk.
Your gateway into the graphics tablet habit.
The size of the tablet feels comfortable parked in front of my MacBook, and it’s small enough to stash in a desk drawer when I’m done. Drawing with it is very comfortable. During my testing, I didn’t draw all day on it, but rather in spurts of about an hour or so, with no hand cramping at all.
Where the package really feels complete is with the included ArtRage Studio application. I’ve always held the Gold Standard of drawing apps to be Corel Painter. Painter has a lot of bells and whistles that ArtRage doesn’t, but it also costs $359. Plus, the novice artists likely to buy this will be able to get up to speed with ArtRage faster and with less frustration. In addition to ArtRage Studio and Autodesk SketchBook Express (which is also included), the Splash works well with applications that support pressure-sensitive pens.
The bottom line. For $79, the Splash is a nice combination of well-built hardware and user-friendly software. It’d be great for photographers who want a small tablet for photo retouching, since it’s small enough to tote in a laptop bag. If you’ve been putting off dabbling in art, the Splash and ArtRage Studio will help you release your inner Michelangelo (just make sure someone holds the ladder for you). The best part is, you won’t get paint on the floor.
Nice combination of hardware and software for the price. A good tool for beginner and intermediate artists.
No eraser tool. Non-standard menus may confuse users.