I wrote a response to a thread at AUGI a long time ago that discussed using a pen tablet instead of a mouse with Revit. I was using the Wacom Graphire then. I wrote a post here called The Mighty Pen after the post at AUGI.
I stopped using it when I started traveling a lot. It was just another thing to pack and I gave into the smaller simpler mouse. I pulled it out every now and then but the last time I realized our new puppy had managed to sink her teeth into the cord in such away that I couldn't repair it. I tried with solder and iron in hand but gave up.
Last week I was contacted by Mike at Wacom about my experience with their products and Monday I responded to the door bell to find a couple boxes with the Wacom name on them. The smaller one contained their intous 4 Pen Tablet. I'm not going to get into what the larger box contain in this post, doing so would break my Five minute rule.
The packaging is first rate, very polished looking and everything very neatly presented as you opened it up. It only took a few minutes to get up and running. The tablet software took the longest to install but even that was only a couple minutes. I received the smallest version because I mentioned that arm travel can be a bit of a problem while using Revit. The conventional wisdom that I've acquired and heard from others is that smaller is better for Revit work and the larger sizes are better for graphic artists. It still comes down to personal preference I suppose.
The Graphire that I had didn't have scrolling functions or any extra buttons. The intous carries a scroll wheel (think iPod) and a center button as well as six extra buttons, three above and below the wheel. I quite like the wheel for scrolling web pages and documents. I still haven't gotten used to using them for SHIFT, ALT, CTRL but its only been a couple days now. It comes with a mouse too but I've only used it for a couple of seconds here and there. I've stuck to the pen.
In my previous post I mentioned poor posture and arm discomfort. Since I went through that before I've been better about it from the start. I hold the pen so that my thumb can trigger the toggle button for Right Click and Double Click. I settled on that arrangement before too so I didn't have to struggle with it either. The pen is much more substantial than the one I had before. I was always worried about breaking the Graphire's pen. This one doesn't worry me at all.
I picked the right side orientation, it supports either orientation. Here's how it's playing with my other stuff right now.
This next image is a long one, I'm sorry about the scrolling! It's the menu that shows what each button is programmed to do. The top button turns it on.
If you've thought about getting one the Intous models are a bit pricier than the Graphire I had before. The Small (approx. 12x8) that I'm writing about now lists at $299.00 on the Wacom site. The XL size (approx. 24x18) hits $798.00 and the Wireless version (about the same size as the Medium (approx. 14x10) is $399.00.
If you can't tell, I'm enjoying getting to use a pen again! After I've been at it a bit longer I'll follow up with some additional thoughts. That other box is for another post *-)
[Full disclosure: I may get to keep the intous. They made no requirement for posting or otherwise was imposed on me but I wanted to be able to try them out and post reviews.]