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The pen is mightier then the mouse
Today I'm serving up a review of a somewhat exotic input device, a pen tablet. With the advent of laser mice, wireless keyboards and even touch screens, where does this device fit in? Long story short, it sort of has its own niche in the computer industry. Actually it's not that simply put, join me and explore all about the Volito 2 pen tablet.

The Volito 2 is a pen tablet from a whole series of pen tablet Wacom produces. It’s the basic model for those who want a cost-effective introduction to using pen technology with their computer. When you look on the Wacom website you do find another pen tablet called the pen partner which is basically designed for use with laptops.

The size and pricing of the Volito are carefully determined and designed in such a way that it becomes an attractive proposition for beginners who can cut their teeth on this tablet and perhaps then decide to invest more money in a larger or more featured model.

About Wacom
Wacom is founded in 1983 and is a worldwide market leader in the pen tablet and interactive pen display industry. The company has got customers all over the world that use the wireless, battery less, pressure sensitive pen technology to make digital content. Wacom’ patented, electro-magnetic resonance technology, with the name Penabled®, is used as OEM solution by many fabricators of PC and Macintosh computers. A lot of the tablet computers these days rely on the advanced qualities and reliability of the Penabled technology for pen input. In the future Penabled technology will play a big part in the development of mobile devices, such as smart phones and PDA’s.

Wacom is a worldwide establishment with the mother company, Wacom Company Ltd in Japan en branches in North America, Germany, UK, China, Korea, Australia and other offices in the Asia Pacific.

System requirements
The system requirements are very easy. You only need a free USB port, Windows 98SE/ME/2000 and XP for operating system and a CD-ROM drive when you want to install the extra software.

Volito 2 Specifications
Volito tablet
Active area 127.6 x 92.8 mm
Physical dimensions 200.6 x 205.2 x 12.9 mm
Cable length 1.5 m
Powerusage 0.2 Watt
Weight 340 gr
Resolution 1016 dpi (40lpmm)
Precision +/- 0.5 mm
Max readingheight 3 mm
Interface USB A
Volito pen
Physical dimensions 148 x 12.5 mm
Technology Wireless, without batteries
Pressure levels 512
Weight 12 gr
Buttons 2

 

Volito 2 Product Overview

Installation
The installation of the pen tablet is very easy, you simply connect the tablet to your computer using the USB interface and let Windows detect it. In some cases with older Windows version you might need to install the tablet driver because the operating system can’t detect it by itself.

For Windows 2000/XP it should be a snap, as the device is detected as a human interface device like a mouse.

There's no mention of having Windows XP x64 support in various documents but the tablet is fully supported there as well. The drivers and software have versions for this operating system. As soon as the drivers install themselves you have yourself a working tablet ready to go, but to get the most out of the tablet you have to install the software that comes with it.

Installing the software is just as easy as connecting and installing the tablet itself. With the software you get a control panel with which you setup and control various aspects of the tablet. Much like the control panel for a mouse, this control panel lets you adjust the double click settings, assign buttons and adjust the tip feel settings.

After installing the software you get to see a tutorial. This tutorial steps you through the necessary skills explaining how to use the pen tablet optimally. Knowing many people will skip the tutorial and not get the most from their new purchase Wacom have introduced a neat feature whereby it has random download codes displayed at the end of each tutorial section. Once you've viewed all the sections of the tutorial these codes add up to give you the link to a hidden download on the Wacom site.