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Wacom Bamboo Slate A4: the full review 2020

A great champion of handwriting, god of designers, herald of digital palettes and other styli for tablets, Wacom is constantly launching products that try to combine the hand of man with all our digital devices. His lareview attempt is the Bamboo Slate, a duo consisting of a notebook holder and a special pen. The two partners work together to transform your notes, proses and other scribbles into digital files. A great promise.

The intelligence of the device is in the tablet itself, the Bamboo Slate itself. This A4 notebook holder (but any sheet of paper does the trick) is a nice product, well finished, that you shouldn’t try to twist. Electronics are indeed buried in its entrails: a surface with detection of the stylus, a battery (rechargeable by its Micro USB socket, cable supplied) and a button which is used for ignition and pairing.

The stylus is an inanimate object that does not need to be powered. Too bad, however, that it is the only one to be compatible with the Slate, it is a bit wide for our taste and not everyone likes the slightly rough gliding of ballpoint pens. However, it offers a pleasant touch and is lighter than many digital pens we have reviewed in the past.

The note-taking part is simple: we turn on the Bamboo Slate with a press of the single button, we write as usual, then we press the button again to change pages. Wacom was not stupid and provided its product with an internal memory: according to the Japanese brand, the Bamboo Slate offers a storage autonomy of 100 pages. Something to write without worrying about having forgotten your smartphone or tablet.

On the battery side Wacom does not communicate standard endurance, it logically depends on the standby time, the intensity of the note-taking sessions, but also on the storage temperature, etc. But its battery recharges quickly and, in the worst case, a connection to the mains or to an external battery for a few minutes gives it sufficient autonomy for several hours of scribbling. Sorry, work.

Once this work is done, it’s time to recover your data. The file transmission is necessarily done via a mobile terminal through the InkSpace application. We reviewed the Bluetooth synchronization app with the Sony Xperia XZ on Android 7.0 (app v1.5.1) and the iPhone 6S Plus on iOS 10.2 (app v1.5.2). And both platforms worked perfectly – for once the developers take care of the Android application as much as that of iOS, this deserves to be emphasized.

– Download the Wacom InkSpace app for Android
– Download the Wacom InkSpace app for iOS

Inkspace, the portal

Required for data transmission, the mobile terminal (tablet or smartphone) can also allow the export or editing of digital files. Note that if export is possible in image formats (.PNG, .JPEG) or PDF, you will need to subscribe to the InkSpace Plus paid cloud offer (€ 3 / month) to recover a vector format .SVG, a file format important especially for designers who want to edit their roughs.

For allergy sufferers from editing / consulting files on the phone, InkSpace is also available from a browser on the Wacom portal: www.wacom.com/login.html

A character recognition function is available, but it will have to be applied in your full and hairline: in our case (image above), which admittedly mixed the alphabets (Latin, Japanese and Chinese characters), the result was for the least mediocre:

Voice to first review page
Tatars toaiture. Ava talphabet:
Puisbs hiragana;
Thu 52 £ ‘H’ E C H z
One by chinos: we learn at compton
– = = II I’T I N t
‘#tpKsnttxtxatfYEItci-EEeI.3@risknega.i#tahr Hean 08; lehnert’s
jmifin dig A • He n ÷ ÷ ¥ Eyµ | de) <Jean-christophe
tnonuE@MImxIYdnYn.a oh. ‘Ent’ Victor …
springy, # ¥ # ¥ h # d-detention ftp. #
Jean-Pierre, qualify 1 = {6% 9}
year 4 × 100 m categories Pr. Schpok,
states minoinsdetokg “endure … Programing’Effggw

Anything big, but it is true that my writing is special. In any case, being able to recover files in PDF format is a good thing for students and other academics, especially since this vector file allows, in the case of a free account, to bypass the absence in .SVG format.

On the other hand, we appreciate the good quality of the detection. Because Wacom has made real progress in this area: if the pressure detection is still insufficient for anything other than crobarts, the precision of the writing traces is impeccable and allows very faithful archiving and sharing of notes.

Ink cartridges: juicy consumables

The Bamboo Slate works with a pen fitted with its ink cartridge – two are delivered upon purchase. Cartridges sold at a prohibitive price: € 9.99 for 3 very small units (in format D ISO 12757-2 DOC SWISS TC 68 mm long). It is expensive compared to a classic ballpoint pen! Fortunately there are compatible, but the problem is that the exact reference is not outside the Wacom site. So you have to be tricky: by looking for alternatives, you learn on a thread from a good site that these cartridge references are compatible.

We also found these models, stamped MiniStar, like the original cartridges, which should work (this is information only for information). Wacom wants to make money on consumables, which is understandable, but the price seems really exaggerated.

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