Wacom Bamboo Stylus fineline Review

There is a fineline Between Good Art and Great Art

Fernando Lyons

10/4/2014

Price $59.99

My preferred medium for drawing these days has been on the computer, using my Wacom Bamboo pen and tablet.  Working on the computer is a lot cleaner than using traditional tools, like pencils, charcoals, paints, etc., it allows me to quickly upload my pictures online, and it allows me to add effects to my work using software editing capabilities.  The only problem with my current setup, is that I have to always connect the tablet to my computer to use.  I have dreamt of upgrading my Wacom to the (way) more expensive, interactive touch screen Cintiq model, but I became convinced that my multi-capable iPad had to have a similar software and hardware solution.  I found several good drawing apps on the App store, but I couldn't quite find the right stylus to use with them.  Until just recently, the most precise model that I had found was the Bamboo Stylus duo, but that model, like my previous stylus purchases, had a big rubber nib, which prevented me from drawing fine lines and details with any accuracy.  Fortunately, for me (and mobile, iPad owning artists everywhere) Wacom recently released the Bamboo Stylus fineline.   


One of the first things you will notice about this stylus (outside of its healthy price tag), is that it is a fine looking piece of equipment.  There are a lot of unattractive styluses on the market, so I can appreciate the effort Wacom put into aesthetically designing the fineline.  Unlike other iPad styluses with their wide rubber nibs, the fineline has a fine tip, which allows artists to add finer details to some of their digital artwork.  The Bluetooth sync button is curved inward to prevent users from hitting the button unintentionally, which was a smart design choice.  Speaking of the sync button, this stylus uses Bluetooth technology to sync to your iPad.  Syncing is an easy and quick process, requiring a simple button push.  I was able to easily connect the fineline to my iPad 2 (even though all documentation states that it is compatible with the third generation iPad and newer) with no discernible issue.  


The stylus is compatible with a variety of drawing and note taking apps, including Bamboo Paper and Sketchbook Pro.  The stylus is quite precise and accurate for drawing, and has 1,204 levels of pressure sensitivity, which allows for some pretty detailed iPad drawings.  The stylus also has a good weight to it, however, it has a pretty hard grip and you may suffer hand fatigue after prolonged usage.  The Bluetooth connection is pretty consistent overall, however, there were a few moments where the stylus disconnected for a second.  The stylus is USB rechargeable, and a full charge should give users about 26 hours of usage.  The palm rejection detection varies across apps, where some handle it well, and others don't consistently.  Because of this, when I rested my palm on the iPad screen, I ended up making a lot of stray marks on my test drawings which had to be constantly erased.  Since I had to do quite a bit of erasing, I wish that this stylus would have had built-in eraser capabilities.  This would have made this stylus a little more convenient to use.  That being said, these minor gripes are not enough to ruin a pretty satisfying overall experience with the stylus.  I highly recommend the Bamboo Stylus fineline  for any iPad owning artist.          

Bottom Line: 

+ Stylish, Easy to Synchronize, Also Works with iPad2, Precise, Pressure Sensitive, Long-Lasting Rechargeable Battery

- Expensive, No Built-In Eraser Capability, Not the Most Comfortable Stylus to Grip, Palm Rejection not Consistent Across Apps   

 

Comments: 2
  • #2

    Lyons Art & Media (Tuesday, 30 June 2015 23:57)

    Hello, Zachary. According to the Wacom website, the Bamboo Stylus fineline is not yet optimized iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. So I assume you have one of these models. I can't speak as it relates to the iPad mini 3, but I have found the stylus performance is pretty solid on my new iPad Air 2, with only minimal offset and lag. Also, using the Bamboo Paper app, I was also able to sync the stylus up through Bluetooth and use the enhanced pressure sensitivity and eraser features. The most significant issue I have noticed with this stylus, is a problem that is consistent with any other active stylus. If you draw a diagonal line slowly, the line may come out wavy. This problem isn't as prevalent when I use the Bamboo Paper app, but if I am using third party app like Sketchbook or Paper, I usually expand my canvas size or draw the diagonal lines a little faster to avoid that problem. Nevertheless, its a minor inconvenience that I hope will be resolved with a future software update.

  • #1

    Zachary Styles (Tuesday, 30 June 2015 19:25)

    You say that it paired normally with your iPad 2 with no discernible issues, but what is the offset issue like with regards to any iPads that don't necessarily support it and if you did not use the bluetooth function?

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