Anyone serious about their artwork will be using a graphic tablet. The mouse simply doesn’t enable the degree of flexibility required. And when you consider the benefits of pressure sensitivity, which provides line thickness and ink density, you’ll quickly realise that the old soap-on-a-rope mouse is living on borrowed time. However, tablets can be expensive things and although cheaper models are available from rival manufacturers it’s Wacom that win hands down with quality and performance that’s worth paying that little bit more for.
Thankfully, cost isn’t too much of an issue with the Volito. Aimed primarily at being a mouse replacement than a drawing tool, the Volito has a tiny footprint of around 20x20cm which contains the A6 sized active area. And although this might not provide the amount of freedom available to A4 sized Intuos3 users, the Volito is infinitely more preferable to the standard mouse. The battery-free stylus is a little lightweight with a pair of side buttons that take a little getting used to, but it feels comfortable and glides smoothly against the tablet’s surface giving a welcome feeling of pencil on paper.
Exactly 512 pressure levels can be detected with a resolution of 1,016 DPI which provides a reasonable level of sensitivity when compared with higher-end tablets but an infinitely preferable level when compared with a standard mouse. Power is provided directly through a single USB cable so your desktop will remain relatively clutter free while it’s small size means it can sit comfortably next to your keyboard to occupy the space already used by your mouse.
The ArtRage bundled software is good, although unlikely to completely replace your existing paint application, and limitations of tablet size are soon compensated for with familiarity. An excellent mouse alternative with some scope for the budget conscious artist.
•A6 active area
•512 pressure levels
•12g two-button stylus
•Cord/battery free stylus
•Plug and Play
•ArtRage software bundled
•Windows 98SE or later
Reviev from www.imaginefx.com: