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Wacom’s Inkling is a fabulous concept: draw in your own notebook, with a real pen, and easily download digital versions of those drawings onto your computer. In theory, it improves on existing digital tools--support for layers makes it more flexible than a scanner, and real ink and paper offer better feel and control than a tablet. The Inkling should be a perfect bridge between digital and analog art. Unfortunately, the product still has a few kinks to work out before we can truly sings its praises. The Inkling certainly does what it sets out to do--it effectively captures a digital likeness of anything you sketch. We just wish it did a better job.
But software isn’t the only shortcoming. We were disappointed to find that the Inkling didn’t always pick up exactly what we wanted it to--the digitized versions of our work didn’t quite match the actual drawings. A little fiddling with the sensitivity settings helped this, but we expected better performance out of the box. Further still, drawing too close to the sensor made us lose some of our sketch—a big bummer when drawing in a small notebook. Also, you’re limited to Inkling’s ballpoint pen, making it more suitable for diagrams, rather than artistic drawings. Some true ink options would make a huge improvement, especially since the Inkling doesn’t respond well to variations in pressure. Overall it was a frustrating experience knowing that what you’re drawing isn’t quite what you’re getting.
The bottom line. The Inkling has so much potential, but we just can’t see it delivering a faithful representation of a drawing for serious sketch artists. And for diagrams, rough sketches, and notes, while the Inkling performs well, it’s hard to justify the $199 cost.
Mac OS 10.4.0 or later, a notebook (not the digital kind)
Effectively transports your notes and sketches onto your computer; works with any notebook; nicely portable.
Cumbersome software; doesn’t always reproduce sketches accurately; ballpoint pen isn’t the most fun to sketch with.