||[Feb. 2nd, 2007|09:18 am]
Ever since I lived with cyfis and watched her using her tablet, I've always wanted one. I kind of want a Tablet PC, but right now that's out of my budget range (and Toshiba, strangely enough, hasn't entirely switched over to Vista, yet). Main uses for the tablet? I don't do as much art, but when I want to prototype an image or sketch something out, a tablet would make doing so tolerable. I've tried messing with the mouse, and I just can't do it. I think a tablet would help a lot. Secondly, writing Japanese characters! Drawing complex kanji with the mouse sucks.
I was unpleasantly surprised that I couldn't find the IME Pad functionality on Vista Ultimate when I first started using it. It felt like they'd pulled something essential out of the operating system. However, one of the cool things about Vista Ultimate is that you have the Tablet PC functionality there, whether you have a Tablet PC or not. (I think this is the same with Home Premium as well, but I haven't used it, so...) The Tablet PC Handwriting Tool is awesome from the limited amount I've used it. Instead of writing out kanji step by painful step in the IME Pad, instead you can write around five characters at a time, so you're likely to be able to write a whole word. Even better than that, it actually appears to get the reading of the kanji that you wrote. So, when I sketched out "kyou" (as in today), it offered me the same word in hiragana, as well as the kanji "kyou" as used in "kyoumi".
I also like the way that the Tablet PC handwriting tool works when you close it - instead, it retreats to the left side of the screen. It sticks out a good 10-20 pixels into the screen, which would seem to conflict with the Start bubble menu, but when you pull the Start menu up, it retreats a smidge more to just leave a 2-3 pixel line there. I just like the feel of it, perhaps because it feels like the system is actively trying to adapt to what you're doing.
Will have to see how it works under more extended use, but...
Oh, right. The entire point of this was that on Wednesday, I went into a local computer store and tried to pick up a Wacom (since it's a brand I know). Unfortunately, someone(s?) had pillaged their tablet stores, and the only things left were unknown names. Sigh. So I'll have to go back when they're more likely to have more stock, maybe this weekend.