USB Graphics Tablets Debut

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CalComp (602/948-6540, ) and Wacom Technology (360/896-9833, ) are hoping the pen proves mightier than the mouse–the iMac mouse, that is. Both companies have released USB versions of their entry-level graphics tablets with pressure-sensitive pens. Meanwhile, Macsense Connectivity (408/844-0320, ) has introduced the iCatch, a $10 attachment to make the iMac's notoriously unergonomic mouse easier to handle.

CalComp's $129 USB Creation Station features a pressure-sensitive pen, a cordless mouse, and a translucent purple 4-by-5-inch tablet. Bundled software includes Totally Hip's Web Painter and MetaCreations' Art Dabbler. The vendor offers a one-year "no questions asked" warranty. An optional tethering accessory for mouse and pen costs $10. CalComp plans to ship the tablet in early 1999.

Wacom's $99 USB PenPartner features a pressure-sensitive pen and 4-by-5-inch translucent Bondi blue tablet. It is bundled with Art Dabbler and is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 1999.

In addition to working with the iMac, both tablets work with Apple's new USB-equipped G3 desktop Macs. Don't be surprised if the manufacturers release USB versions of their larger tablets, which target the same design pros who form a primary market for desktop Macs.

If you're just looking for a better iMac mouse, consider the iCatch. The device snaps onto the round mouse, making it easier to handle while retaining the distinctive iMac style. Choose from translucent magenta, gold, or blue.

March 1999 page: 30

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