Wacom bamboo 3 pen touch review

Here I am with a tablet. Why did a programmer buy a tablet for graphic designers? Well he needed to retouch tons of images. I would like to share with you my thoughts about wacom tablet. Why did I choose wacom brand? Cause well… I think that they’re the only company that means something in this market. Other companies create tables but I’ve never heared a good word about them. Why pen & touch version? Cause I wanted to check out the touch functionality. It’s really like using a huge trackpad! Ok let’s get to making some stucture in my writing.

What is a tablet?

Tablet is basically a computer mouse. The only difference is with the way you use it. Instead of moving a mouse you move a pen(a special one) on a special surface. How it’s different to the mouse version experience? The way you move. When you hold a mouse and move a bit left you move the cursor a bit left. If you take up the mouse and place it in different place on the table it won’t matter. In tablet version it will matter a lot. This difference is the maping of tablet to the screen.

Maping the tablet to screen ratio

Tablet surface is mapped to the screen in 1:1 ratio. What does it mean? Look at your screen and then imagen that every place on it has a corresponding place on the tablet. At first glance it can feel awkward but later when you get used to it, it feels very intuitive. Some people use tablet instead of mouse. I personally as brought up on FPS games don’t belong to this family.

Pen vs mouse

When pen is better than mouse? When you want to do a very natural “pen like” moves. The second advantage is the pressure sensitivity. Using a mouse in graphic application can be a nigthmare when you need to create a subtle tone changes when you use brushes. The last and I think the biggest advantage of a tablet is the lack of many problems with wrists. Many people that use daily a mouse can have those kind of issues.

Mouse on other hand can be very quick and responsive.

Materials from which Wacom bamboo 3 pen touch is made of

I won’t surprise you, it’s made of plastic. In my view it’s well built I don’t feel that I’m holding in my hand a cheap piece of plastic that will break in few minutes time. The most important part is the sensitive surface. It has a pattern that is trying to simulate a feeling of drawing on paper. Maybe it does but in my opinion it only quickens the time when you will need to change the tip of pen. My second observation is that after one week of heavy usage you can see when I used the pen mostly. It doesn’t make the tablet less usable but well at a good angle and a lot of sun you can see those lines (not visible normally).
The rubber on the bottom part of the tablet is very good. The tablet stays in place.
The buttons on the tablet are plastic but what’s interesting about them is their look. They look like made of ice…fine I won’t try to explain :) Just check the image below.wacom bamboo pen touch back sidewacom bamboo pen touch portswacom bamboo tablet buttonswacom bamboo pen touch back side 2wacom bamboo pen touch pen on tabletwacom bamboo pen touch pen holderwacom bamboo pen touch pen in holder

Oh one thing. The usb cable attached to the tablet is too short for me. I think that wacom thinks that everyone connects the tablet to a laptop. The cable is about 50cm long.

Space that really work

wacom bamboo pen touch buttonsFirstly I though wow, I got so huge work space. After connecting the tablet to pc everything was clear. The working space is the one marked by those small markers. It’s size is about A6 format. Not big, but for my non professional usage it’s fine. I’m a preacher of buying small and progress when and if you need.

Touch gestures on the wacom tablet

Touch gestures. There are some, if you don’t want to use them you can turn off gesture functionality with the top button on the tablet (great feature tbh ). Do I think they’re usefull? It depends. I usually use a trackpad on my laptop when I don’t have access to a mouse. As the tablet needs some space I mainly used it when a mouse was around. I wasn’t really encouraged to use it as a big trackpad. To check what gestures are available please refer to the section “Settings in administration panel” where one of the screenshots shows them.

issues with zooming gesture

Frankly, I have problems to use those gestures. They don’t fire the way I would like them to fire. I have no problems with gestures on my smartphone but those on wacom…well are easy to master. I use one gesture a lot in photoshop. The zoom. The issue I have is that nearly every time I try to use this gesture the rotate gestures gets activated. It’s very annoying and I’m starting to understand why so many people turn off gesture functionality. I think that wacom should work on it a little bit more.


Pen is fine, sadly I have no comparison to tell you that some other tablet-pen is more suitable for the job. This one is fine and using it for longer periods of time doesn’t fatigue you.

buttons on the Wacom bamboo 3 pen touch pen

wacom bamboo pen touch pen buttonsThere are three buttons. The rubber button (green-yellow one at the pen’s end) and two buttons at the front of the pen. I like how front button panel is designed. It’s frankly one long button. When you hit it on front you activate the left mouse button. The one at the back is the right mouse button. I also like the fact that the front button is very low and you can very easily use it while drawing. Rubber button? Well it just works. Frankly, I prefer to change the function with keyboard shortcut rather than rotate the pen in my hand.

wacom bamboo pen touch pen rubber


build quality

The pen is made of plastic :) Like every bit of this tablet. It doesn’t feel cheap in hand. Maybe the front button feels a bit cause while shaking the pen it makes clunking noise. Nothing big but just wanted to mention it.

how long stays the wacom bamboo nib

wacom bamboo pen touch used nubMaybe I press it too hard I dunno but for me I’m shocked how quick I was able to use it. After two days of work I started to change the pressure sensitivity and I managed to slow the process of wearing out. Still I think that they’re very soft and easy to wear out quickly. Is it really an issue? It depends, if the nibs weren’t so soft they would scratch the tablet. This version would be much more expensive.wacom bamboo pen touch used nub 2 Good that you can purchase additional ones, bad that they aren’t cheap.


wacom bamboo pen touch used nub 3

Settings in the control panel

There are many options to customize the way the tablet works. The most important feature in my opinion is ability to control the sensitivity of the tablet. You can also customize buttons etc…etc… :) One great feature is to turn off some gestures. It’s the only way to get rid off the issue I had with zooming/rotating. I won’t get into details with every option, let the images tell everything.

wacom bamboo setting penwacom bamboo setting pen pop-up menuwacom bamboo setting tabletwacom bamboo setting touch functionswacom bamboo setting touch options

Bamboo Dock

wacom bamboo bamboo dockA Bamboo dock is a panel you get with wacom tablet. It gives you many applications and a virtual keyboard. Frankly I didn’t think it’s useful but well we have it. It appears when you connect the tablet to the computer. What else I can say… bunch of apps made for tablet.


wacom bamboo unlocking bamboo dock wacom bamboo blocked bamboo dock



wacom virtual keyboard and bamboo dock

available applications

Frankly I didn’t got through all the applications cause I used the tablet mainly in graphic application. I see those apps as a great way to train your hand to use the tablet more efficient.

wacom bamboo more apps screen

You can download many applications, just showing those that are by default installed.

wacom free the bird appwacom bamboo landmarker appwacom bamboo paper


The most important thing I was searching on the web was a tutorial for the tablet. I couldn’t find any proper that would show me how to use it. Lastly I understood why, it was embedded into bamboo dock so no one needed to create one on the web. Sadly I couldn’t change the language to english so I’ve got a screenshot in polish :)

wacom tutorial screen in polish

Was it good? Yup, it show many features. Not only by showing you how to do something but also by providing simple exercises so you will quickly get used to the tablet.

how much computer resources does it consume

The software eats about 50-70MB of ram. Quite a lot if you ask me. Most of this eats the bamboo dock which I suppose is written in flash.



wireless connectivity module


wacom bamboo remote modulewacom bamboo wireless usb stickwacom bamboo wireless module with battery

I haven’t bought this module but I think I will buy it. Having an option to place the tablet where you want is really useful. One thing, not every version of wacom bamboo tablet is able to get wireless module. Check firstly before buying the tablet :) I’ve got some nice images of placeholders for this module. wacom bamboo pen touch wireless module placeholderswacom bamboo pen touch wireless module place


wacom bamboo pen touch wireless module battery holder

pouch – Wacom Bamboo Carrying Case

Another great addon :) A pouch to store your tablet. Firstly I didn’t think that it would be useful but after moving the tablet from place to place I’ve changed my mind. I also didn’t bought the pouch but I encourage you to have a look at the screenshots :)

wacom bamboo pouch closedwacom bamboo pouch with tabletwacom bamboo pouch with usb cable

Final word

I didn’t felt that I’m using a “fun” tablet that was designed just for fun. Maybe I’m not a pro at tables but for me it done what I needed it to do. For beginners I think it’s a great tool for which you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Those nibs are a question for me cause they aren’t cheap. I don’t want to spend extra 10 bucks every month… To be frank after awhile of using the tablet my hand got used to using it and now the nib is fine for longer period of time. I also use pressure options in photoshop only if I really need it. By turning this feature off I don’t have to press so hard.

If you like the review, with a ton of images, and would like to purchase the tablet I ask you to do it via my link. It will redirect you to the amazon. You will get a nice tablet and I will get a few cents for a new book. Thanks in advance.

wacom bamboo pen touch pen on tablet
Title: Wacom bamboo 3 pen touch
Pros: Cheap
: Nice materials
: Good drivers - no problems
: Overall look and feel
Cons: Problems with gestures
: Heavy application that sits in background
: Nibs are too delicate when pressed hard
Amazon tablet link
Wireless toolkit

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