Let me start off by saying that I’m in no way an expert on fancy technology. I’m not really a gadget girl, just one happy tablet user! You might hear them called pen tablets or graphics tablets, but I prefer to think of them as super, fantastic photo editing devices that have made my world 10x better! A tablet consists of a flat surface that you “draw” on using a stylus, while your movements translate onto the computer screen. Simply put, a tablet functions like a mouse, only better! (sorry mouse)
Now I didn’t always feel this way about tablets. I tried one out years ago and felt totally clumsy and annoyed. Needless to say, I didn’t give it much of a chance. I started really using a tablet about a year ago when I began getting major issues with my hand and wrist from using my mouse all day long. I had a wrist brace, prescription medicine, nightly hot packs… not fun. I was starting to get really worried that soon I wouldn’t be able to sit down and edit photos at my computer at all! So I did some research and bough my very own Wacom Intuous 5 Touch tablet. And, hurrah! My problem was soon solved. Not only was I no longer experiencing pain, but I realized that I completely prefer the tablet to the mouse. It took me a week to get the hang of it, and from then on, I couldn’t be happier. The tablet felt more natural than a mouse ever did. Being a lefty, I found it especially nice to be able to edit using my dominant hand (I never could get the hang of using a mouse with my left hand). I discovered that the tablet sped up my workflow significantly, and was way more accurate when it comes to tasks like dodging and burning, and masking. My tablet has all sorts of cool buttons that you can set to make workflow faster, the pen can be set to be pressure sensitive, and I can even use the tablet with my finger when I’m busy doing other tasks like browsing the internet or chatting it up on Clickin Moms. I would suggest going with a smaller or medium sized tablet- a big one might wear your arm out, having to swing it all over the place to move around the screen.
If you’re thinking of making a change and possibly saying goodbye to your trusty little mouse… give it a go! I truly don’t think you’ll be disappointed. My best tip for when you get that brand new tablet is to put your mouse away. Like in the closet, in another room… don’t let it sit on your desk. You’ll need to train your hand and your brain to start working in a different way and it will be way too tempting have the cute little mouse sitting there urging you to use it.