The Wacom Intuos Tablet for Digital Drawing and Painting

It’s actually been a couple of years since we’ve had the chance to review any Wacom products. We got the opportunity to review the Wacom Intuos recently, and with a budding artist in our house, we jumped at that chance.

This Intuos tablet from Wacom comes in two different sizes- small and medium, and has an option to buy with Bluetooth or without. We happened to receive the medium tablet with Bluetooth, but here are the specs for both sizes:

Wacom Intuos Specs

Small size is 7.87 x 6.3 x 0.35 inches with an active area of 6.0 x 3.7 inches and weighs 8.8 oz(with Bluetooth)

Medium size is 10.4 x 7.8 x 0.35 inches with an active area of 8.5 x 5.3 in. This one weighs in at 14.5 oz.

Buttons across the top of the tablet will allow for the creation of different shortcuts as well.

The pen that comes with the tablet is a 4k battery free pen. It’s wireless and pressure sensitive. Inside the pen, you will find an extra 3 standard nibs. It weighs a mere 0.4 oz. Two buttons on the side of the pen are programmable to add shortcuts at the tip of your finger. There are 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and you can use different styles of nibs to fill your own personalized needs.

You’ll also get a 4.9 ft PVC-free USB to micro USB cable with L-shape plug. This connects the tablet to your device when you do not have it in Bluetooth mode.

 

 

 

Use of the Wacom Intuos tablet

When you register your Wacom Intuos tablet, and create a Wacom ID, you’ll have the ability to download three different software programs for free. We downloaded Corel Painter Essentials 6 on our Windows computer, and after playing around with it for a bit, our daughter created this drawing:


She’s really excited to use it more and make some magnificent creations! The program wasn’t necessarily user intuitive for her, but fortunately, Youtube has some great tutorials that will explain how to use the different programs, and I would suggest checking out videos to help out if you are new to using these types of programs and equipment.

Buying the Wacom Intuos

Do we recommend the Wacom Intuos tablet? Yes, yes we do! We received the size Medium in exchange for our fair and unbiased review, but you can purchase it for $199.95. The small size with Bluetooth is $99.95 and the small size without Bluetooth is $79.95.

 

Edit and Store Photos on the Go with GNARBOX

For those photographers/videographers who need to edit and share on the go, we are bringing a review of the perfect solution called the GNARBOX.

This handy little device is rugged,durable, weatherproof, and small enough to take on the go- great for traveling with you all those places you don’t want to tote a laptop. The one pound GNARBOX is about the length of a cellphone, but thick enough to not fit in a pocket. It will fit nicely in a day pack- as opposed to a laptop, so it is perfect to travel on the go.

With the GNARBOX cell phone app (available for Android and iOS), you can edit any photos or videos easily using Lightroom Mobile 3.0 . For example, the video editing features frame-by-frame trimming, the ability to do slow motion or fast motion, changing aspect ratios, and adjusting light, color, filters or layering music. You can also get help finding highlights and from footage. You can export videos in full resolution, and directly export to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, and more.

The model we received to review has a storage of 128 GBs- which isn’t much, so if you need more space, there is an option to buy the newer version that holds 256 GBs. There is a $100 price difference- $399.99 vs. $299.99 for the one with less storage.

You can check out more of this great product on the GNARBOX website.

photo credit: Wil Africano(GNARBOX)

The Apollo Cloud from Promise Technology

apollo-square-frontSince I am in the holiday season, I am going to be reviewing a lot of products that will make great gifts. For those that want the gift of space, I will highly recommend the Apollo Cloud. I am not talking about space in the household, but space for all your digital files.

Yes, I realize that everyone is on some kind of cloud today. I mean, where else are you going to put all your files, on your computer? I mean, you have files on your phone, tablet, computer, and…oh my gosh.

The thing about the cloud is it is a cloud. I mean, it is made to be very nebulous, and it is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Now imagine that the cloud could somehow be lassoed down and brought to your house, and this is the necessity of the Apollo Cloud that you want.

Why do you want it: I can think of four reasons, and there are all terabytes. Yes, this has 4 TB of cloud storage for your files. If you think that you might run out of room, then you have more than 440 hours of HD video, or more than 220,000 photos, or 500,000 songs.

You get the idea. It is a lot of room, and it is easy to set up. All you need to do is plug it into your router, and then plug it into the wall. It’s pretty easy to set up the software after that, and you can just drag an drop your files. There is even the option of using hot keys, and I haven’t even figured out that part just yet. It is also possible to just connect a USB drive and directly upload files and folders to the Apollo Cloud as fast as one click.

Of course, what good is a device like this without an app? Yeah, it’s got one on the Apple store and Google Play for free, which will really help you manage your files on mobile devices.

You can find out more about the Apollo Cloud on the Promise Technology site here, and it is available on Amazon and the Apple Store. Are you surprised that it is available on the Apple Store? I’m not. I mean, look at how white this thing is, it just fits in with the Apple aesthetic. I found it on Amazon for $249.00 and on Apple for $299.99.

Our Review of the Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball

KensingtonWell, it is time again for us to review a fine Kensington product, and today it is the Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball. I suppose that this is a step up from the Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball, which we reviewed here.

What makes this one different from the Orbit and other wireless mouse is that you don’t need a wireless dongle. If your computer can do Bluetooth, then you can use the Bluetooth 4.0 LE to pair it.

The Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball also comes with some customizable software for some precise cursor control. There is also the possibility of using the Scroll Ring, some award-winning technology to scan up and down web pages or long documents with ease.

All of that, and it has that trackball fun, and makes me want to play Marble Mountain again. Other features include a detachable wrist rest for ergonomic comfort, and there is an ambidextrous design for right and left-handers. That, and it has four programmable buttons.

All in all, it is a pretty sweet deal, and it can be purchased on the Kensington site for about $99.99.

Kangaroo Computer is World’s Smallest Portable PC

Kanagroo ComputerWhat you are seeing here is not an iPhone case, but it is a computer. It is a Kangaroo computer, the world’s smallest portable PC.

It is a Microsoft Windows 10 PC, and if you hook it up with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, you’ve got a a desktop. You can even used an iPad, projector, or big-screen TV as a monitor. It even has Windows Hello integration, with that embedded fingerprint reader for easy login.

As for the internal specs, it has an Intel Cherrytail (Z8500) SOC and it has 32 GB of storage with a large capacity microSD card. The battery is good for four hours of casual use.

If you want to get the Kangaroo computer, it is available at Newegg.com and the Microsoft Online Store for about $99.

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Our Review of the Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball from Kensington

Kensington Orbit WirelessI had a great time reviewing another fine Kensington product with the Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball, and I have to admit, it is a pretty fine product.

Personally, I am more of a mouse person myself, as I need to move something around the desk. The Orbit takes your mouse and use it like a trackball, kind of like the controller on Centipede, the arcade game from 1981. Yeah, that might be a reference a lot of people don’t get.

The left and right click buttons are on the sides, so speaking of things that people might not get, it might take me a while to get used to this. Of course, that’s me, the mouse guy. I can’t even do a trackpad very well.

Set up for the Kensington Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball is pretty easy as plugging in the 2.4 GHz wireless dongle and the drivers happen. Then the mouse needs 2 AA batteries.

If this is something that you want, feel free to head over to the Kensington site and lay down $59.99 for it.

Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard Review

Matias QuietPro KeyboardI was hoping that I could get around to reviewing the Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard before the whole back to school season, but that just didn’t really happen. Still, for those that want to type out a paper and not wake their college roommate, you could probably get this.

I’m going to address something that would have affected my review, but I believe that Matias is telling the truth when they say they make the world’s quietest mechanical keyboard. The issue is that it is not as quiet as the keys on my laptop.

However, if you want one of those old-fashioned mechanical keyboards, I would recommend this. I will say that I like the way this keyboard as it is more ergonomic than my other laptop keyboard. The keys are laser-etched so the symbols never wear off.

By the way, the Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard comes with three USB 2.0 ports. That is cool to have because you will lose a USB port when you use this on your computer. By the way, it really is pretty good when it comes to downloading the drivers.

Did I mention that I am typing this out using the Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard? Yes, I am! If you want to get into this, you can Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard website for about $149.99.

My Review of the J5Create JUD480 USB 3.0 Boomerang Station

JUD480It has been over a year since I reviewed a J5Create product, and one of the products that I reviewed was the JUD500 Ultra Station. This time, I had the chance to review the JUD480 USB 3.0 Boomerang Station.

I’m sure that you can see why it is called the Boomerang Station just by its shape. I would imagine that if you threw it right, it would probably come back to you. Its shape is terrific for holding up your laptop at a certain angle, as you can see.

It is made for connecting a 2nd monitor with a VGA port, and you probably can’t see the other ports like four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, microphone, speaker, and Gigabit Ethernet. There is also a power adapter and a 3.0 Host port to connect it to your computer.

As I had a chance to try it out, I think something like this is a must if you are trying to make your ordinary laptop a super power center. After all, if you want another screen, then you are going to want some kind of hook-ups for everything, and laptops always seem to run out of USB ports.

If you want it, you can find out more information about it on the J5Create site. You won’t be able to buy it there, but you should be able to get it for about $140.00, because that is about the highest price I found it for.

iRig HD Guitar Interface from IK Multimedia

irig_hd_connect_iphone5_gui_335Some of you might remember the iRig PRO that I reviewed two weeks ago, and I had an opportunity to review what is probably the predecessor, the iRig HD. Well, it is the least expensive model, but we’ll get to price later.

I hate to say something that I have said before, but I will have to say that I am not the best person to review this product. This is not because I’m not a guitarist, but if I had one, I would use this “high-quality” guitar interface.

The iRig HD is connectable via Lightning, 30-pin, and USB devices, and it fits into one’s pocket quite well. It is a 24-bit A/D converter that delivers you from crosstalk and noise. And it is powered by an iDevice like iPad, iPhone, or iMac or PC.

It comes with a free app known as Amplitude, with an option of a full-priced version. You should be able to plug-and-play, and there are dials that you can “spin” on a touchscreen for adjustment of a signal level for your instrument and the apps. Oh, by the way, the iRig HD works with synthesizers, keyboards, or mixers. In addition to the app, there is a multicolor LED on the device itself to give you a signal of what is going on.

There really is a lot to like about the iRig HD, and if this is something that you want, you can get it on the IK Multimedia site for about $99.99.

Optimus Popularis Keyboard: A keyboard of screens

Optimus PopularisIf you have never heard of Art Lebedev, then you really should have. His company, or studio, has put out a lot of cool stuff, and this includes the Optimus Maximus. I first saw the Maximus years ago, and it is essentially a keyboard where each key is a programmable screen.

That’s right, I am talking about a keyboard full of screens. There are about 77 keys that are half-inch square displays (72x72p). I suppose this is good for any time you switch languages while typing, but this isn’t what I would use it for.

No, I would use it to make one-button Macros, and create it so one button leads me exactly where I want to go. In addition to these screen keyboards, there is a 7-inch LCD that allows you to display whatever information that you want.

This really breaks down traditional keyboards for sure, but should we be surprised? After all, most of us are using touchscreens to interact with our smartphones, why not a new system for input.

If you like this, you can get it on ThinkGeek for $2,399.99. Yes, that is a lot.

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