Whiteboarding on non Touchscreen monitor using Wacom Pen-Tablet CTL-672
Being in software development we all know how useful whiteboarding sessions are, and in this work from home scenario I miss it even more. Nothing can truly replace the actual physical whiteboard but we have to find workarounds therefore in that endeavor I recently purchased a Wacom Pen tablet to use with my non touch screen laptop and this article is intended to be a product review for this Pen tablet from a software engineer perspective.
- Needed a basic Pen tablet to write, annotate and draw diagrams on my non Touch-screen monitor during my office meeting screen share sessions.
- My usage would be limited to just few hours a week.
- Don’t need any high end designing features required by digital artists.
- It shouldn’t take up a lot of space on my desk and fits nicely beside my Keyboard and Mouse.
- It should be quick and simple to connect, something that I can keep connected with my PC at all times using USB port.
- No wire inserting, no connecting with Bluetooth, no charging and no worries about battery. Just pull out the tablet and start drawing.
My current solution: Wacom Pen tablet CTL-672
Read many good reviews regarding this USB based Pen tablet specially from teachers looking for whiteboard alternatives during their online classes.
- I can do handwriting, sketch and draw conveniently in my non touch-screen monitor using this USB Pen Tablet.
- Definitely far better experience than mouse when it comes to drawing, annotating, highlighting as evident from the Pen-Tablet Vs Mouse comparison below. Needless to say, writing with mouse was time consuming and painful.
- Pen is really good. It has nice grip and size. It doesn’t require any battery or maintenance. I keep it together with my other pens in the pen stand on my desk. Just keep it upright to protect the nib as only 3 spare nibs comes with the package.
- It can do everything a regular mouse does as the pen has configurable left/right mouse click buttons available. It’s not a mouse replacement and scrolling will require a lot of movement across the tablet surface.
- Size is perfect for my desk and when in use, I keep it in front of my Keyboard. There is also a smaller model CTL-472 available but I wouldn’t suggest it because it will be difficult to capture more content on the screen.
- Tablet doesn’t get heated at all and stays cool to the touch even after staying connected with my laptop for days.
- No latency issues observed in any software and the Pen is very responsive. I primarily use Microsoft Whiteboard and Paint app.
- Tablet works only when pen nib is within a cm distance. Therefore there are no issues with accidental touch even when my tablet is powered on or if there are clicks made through the pen.
- This tablet doesn’t have any buttons on it which keeps it plain and simple.
- Since we are not directly writing on the screen therefore our hands doesn’t touch the actual screen thereby not smudging it or hiding any content.
- There is a slight learning curve involved. Since the dimensions of your screen and tablets differ therefore it takes some time getting used to varying aspect ratios. I suggest a lot of handwriting in the start.
- Even though I have opted for the bigger tablet, writing space still feels small and I end up zooming in/out quite often. It feels like I am not able to use the screen properly. It’s definitely a poor experience when compared from a Real Whiteboard.
- I had some screen to tablet mapping issues in the start but when I installed the windows drivers then it became flawless. This is not necessarily a con as installing drivers are essential part of the initial onetime setup.
What would be ideal?
No doubt! the writing experience was far better than a mouse but I felt that, direct writing on the touch screen using a pen would be a much better experience. Microsoft Surface laptops come to mind.
However, many suggest that indirect writing through tablets is a more superior experience but it definitely demands some getting used to.
I will share my experience after few more weeks of practice.