Pros / You don’t need a special pad of paper to use this digital pen.
Cons / This pen can’t make audio recordings.
Verdict / This pad is great for artists because it digitized every pen stroke in our test drawings.
Wacom’s Bamboo Smartpad is the best smart pen for artists because you can put any type of paper on the smartpad and the pad will digitize your notes or drawings. The pen is the lightest that we tested, weighing 0.6 ounces, or about as much as three normal Bic pens. For saving and sharing doodles and drawings digitally, this pad and smart pen is our favorite of all the digital pens we tested, for these reasons the Wacom has won the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
In our writing accuracy tests, this pen scored the highest marks possible with zero errors, earning an A+. This pen also scored very highly in our drawing test, as we only found one small error in one of the drawings. We believe this small error isn’t enough to detract from the freedom of digitizing pen strokes on any paper surface, so this pad and digital pen is still our choice for best pen for artists.
The manufacturer states that you can write using the pad for eight hours before you need to charge it. Unlike the other pens, you don’t have to charge the actual pen with this device. Instead you charge the pad through a micro-USB connection. There is a light that comes on when the pad is charging and it turns off when the battery is charged.
It took us a little over one minute to turn on the pad and have it pair to our test smartphone, which was the second longest of all the pens we tested. Using the pad is straightforward. When you turn on the pad, the notification light is green. Once you touch the pen to your paper, though, the light turns blue, letting you know that your drawing has not yet been synced to your connected device. When you’re ready to sync, you press the button and the light turns green again.
The pen is the lightest we tested, in part because so much of the technology resides in the smartpad. The pen features soft-grip rubber and a strong metal clasp at the end. It was one of the most comfortable to hold, and all you have to do to start writing is twist the pen to expose the nib. Wacom includes a pen refill and nib removal tool to give you the most use from this pen and tablet.
There isn’t any charging port or opening on this pen, which is nice because you don’t have to worry about charging the pen – only the pad needs to be charged. However, the pad won’t recognize any other pen input, so you need to write with the included pen.
You can download apps to use this tablet with your iOS or Android device. Pairing is simple and straightforward, and the Wacom Inkspace app has an easy-to-follow tutorial that guides you through all the steps.
During our testing, we found that if you don’t power on the Bamboo Smartpad for several days, you might need to reconnect the device by toggling the Bluetooth settings. This is far from a deal-breaker, but other devices were able remain paired, even after several days of not connecting and being powered off.
Help & Support
This pen has a one-year warranty which will cover any manufacturer defects or problems. You can find a FAQs page on this company’s website as well as tutorials and videos to help you use the device.
The Wacom Bamboo Folio Smartpad is an excellent tool for artists and doodlers to easily save and share their work digitally. The pen is one of the lightest and most comfortable we tested, and the pad is easy to sync and use, thanks to a tutorial in the Wacom app and more tutorials online.