Is Wacom really that good? Is N-trig really that bad? And who is Hanvon?
For denizens of the tablet blogosphere, it seems like you can’t look anywhere without seeing commentary about the current crop of dual-mode digitizers (including, ironically, here!). In recent months, N-trig DuoSense digitizers have appeared on several new tablet models, including the HP Slate 500, the Fujitsu T580 and Q550, the HTC Flyer and the Motion CL900, to name just the most recent issues. Meanwhile, Wacom in a dual-mode digitizer has appeared on only one new model so far, the impressive Asus EP121.
It didn’t take long for the reviews to start appearing; N-trig’s inking experience wasn’t very good and Wacom was always cited as the gold standard against which these judgments were rendered. Which begs the question; is Wacom really that good?
Certainly, Wacom has made an enviable reputation for itself in artistic and photographic circles. Their Intuos, Cintiq and “penabled” tablets have been available for years and are the brand of choice for many, many creative people. But how many of the critics have actually owned and used both systems on a continuing basis? Well, I have. And after spending over three years using various generations of N-trig and more years than that using Wacom hardware (all on tabletPCs), I think I’m in a good position to critique both systems with some depth of perspective. And so I shall, over the next few weeks, writing periodically as I am able to find the time.
However, here’s my bottom line up front: The current Wacom dual mode system, as exemplified by the EP121 is not quite as good as some would like you to believe. The current N-trig system, as exemplified by the Fujitsu T580, is not nearly as bad. Detailed comments will follow.
And Hanvon? Well, there’s a new gunslinger in town, and time will tell if Hanvon is worth the community’s attention, or not. For a very brief teaser, see:
http://liliputing.com/2011/05/hanvon-introduces-dual-touch-displays-for-finger-stylus-input.html#more-33931 (Thanks to Bronsky on the TabletPCReview forums for this link)
Maybe the game is about to change…???