By Bruce Bicknell
The US$199 Inkling from Wacom (http://www.wacom.com) is a digital ink pen and receiver clip combination that allows you to draw or sketch anywhere and digitize those sketches.
Simply clip the receiver to your notebook or sketchpad and you’re ready to rock! The receiver captures all of the information from the pen. Push the button on the receiver to add new layers and set up the drawing for export to Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketchbook Pro. This alone is cool enough but it does have some drawbacks, even on the sketching side.
The UI takes some getting used to and it’s hard to get really good results with shading using a pen, but with repetition that may work itself out. While not necessarily a new concept (Digital Scribe is a good example), Wacom does focus more on the artistic side than text recognition, so don’t expect to take perfect notes with it. This may be just a bit annoying but it’s a trade-off that I can live with for now.
The portability of the Inkling is amazing. Compare carrying a pen and receiver that come in a small case to busting out your laptop and a tablet and you get the idea. The pen will feel somewhat familiar to all of you Wacom tablet users, as it’s similar in shape and feel.
I really like the Inkling and have used it in many client meetings to sketch out storyboards, concept ideas, and even take rough notes. For this alone, I’ve saved a ton of time not having to re-create these by scanning and redrawing. This is a great tool that has some growing to do, but for anyone who sketches, it’s a step in the right direction to get your concepts into your digital world.
Rating: 8 out of 10
(This review is brought to you courtesy of “Layers Magazine”: http://layersmagazine.com/ .)