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DigiPro Graphics Tablet with Cordless Stylus Pen

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DigiPro WP5540 Graphics Tablet

DigiPro WP5540 Graphics Tablet

The Bottom Line

The DigiPro drawing tablet is an inexpensive, yet capable, pressure-sensitive pen tablet for budget conscious users. The 5.5" x 4" model (WP5540) I tested was a steal, at two for $60. It's not flashy or feature packed, but it does the job it's supposed to do--albeit with some quirks when used with multiple monitors. If you're curious about using a graphics tablet, but don't want to spend a lot of money, the DigiPro drawing tablets are a solid choice.
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Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with Windows and Macintosh.
  • Hot-swappable USB connection.
  • Works with handwriting recognition in Microsoft Office, Windows Vista, and Inkwell in Mac OS X.
  • Works on older systems, including Windows 98Se and higher, Mac OS 9, and Mac OS X.

Cons

  • Creates an unpleasant scratching noise with heavy pressure.
  • Exhibits unpredictable behavior when multiple monitors are in use.
  • Pen requires a battery which will eventually need replacing.
  • PenSuite software is for Windows only.
  • Middle-click cannot be assigned in Macintosh.

Description

  • 5.5" by 4" working area with 512 levels of pressure sensitivity. (Other sizes available.)

  • Works in any software as a mouse substitute.

  • Lets you draw or paint more comfortably using the natural movements of holding a pen rather than a mouse.

  • Works in graphics software to add pressure-sensitivity to your brush strokes and lines.

  • Pen features two programmable buttons, clip, and power-saving auto-suspend function. Pen stand included.

  • Programmable "hot-cells" around the tablet perimeter can be assigned to keystrokes or programs.

  • PenSuite software (not tested) includes PenCommander, Annotate for Word, PenSigner, AnnotateAll, and PenMail.

  • Note that DigiPro is the brand name for UC Logic in the US. Current drivers can be downloaded from the UC Logic Web site.

Guide Review - DigiPro Graphics Tablet with Cordless Stylus Pen

Several readers have written to me about the DigiPro drawing tablets as an alternative to the more expensive Wacom tablets. When I had a chance to pick up a pair for $60 shipped, I decided to try one out for myself and give the other as a gift. Though it doesn't match the quality of a Wacom graphics tablet, the DigiPro tablet performs admirably.

The DigiPro tablet driver installed without issue in Windows Vista and Mac OS 10.4, and for the most part, the tablet performed as expected. I did have one problem in Windows where right-click menus would pop-up in the wrong position, but this only occurred when multiple monitors were active. Under Macintosh, I was perturbed by the lack of a middle mouse button command for assigning to the pen buttons. Nor was I fond of the plastic-on-plastic scratching noise when I used heavy pressure, but considering the price of this tablet, I could learn to live with it.

The tablet comes with a suite a pen-enabled software for Windows, which I did not install. This software allows you to send handwritten emails, assign pen gestures to launch programs and commands, add freehand mark up to Word documents and screen shots, and insert signatures and drawings into documents.

One nice thing about this tablet is that it will run on older operating systems, including Windows 98 and Mac OS 9, increasing the appeal for budget-conscious users. Granted, it doesn't have the value-added software bundle that you would get with a Wacom tablet, but in actual usage, it works just as well in a somewhat less elegant package.

If you're curious about using a graphics tablet, but don't want to spend a lot of money to try one, a DigiPro drawing tablet is a solid choice. It would also be a great tablet for kids who tend to lose things or who don't always treat equipment with the same amount of care that an adult would.

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