Wacom Bamboo CTL471 Review

The Wacom Bamboo CTL471 is a tablet by Wacom aimed at beginners and hobbyists that want a reliable tablet that they can use to exercise their passion.

Let's see if Wacom fills that need with this tablet or if there are other models that would better suit this type of consumer.

Wacom Bamboo CTL471 Specifications

TypePressure-sensitive, battery-free
Minimum System RequirementsWindows XP or OS X 10.5.0
Model NumberCTL-471
Size8.3 x 5.8 in
Active Area5.8 x 3.6 in
ConnectionUSB
Express KeysNo
Multi-TouchNo
TiltNo
Spare Nibs3
Pressure Levels1024
Wireless SupportSold separately
Resolution2540 lpi
Pen Reading Speed133 rps
Warranty6 months

Initial Impressions

The Wacom Bamboo CTL471 came packaged with the tablet itself, stylus, USB cable, 3 spare nWacom Bamboo CTL471ibs and tablet documentation.

The setup for the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 was very straightforward and I was able to get the tablet working fairly quickly.

The tablet is a little small but I'm hoping that there are some great features that overshadow the size of this tablet.

Let's get this thing out of the box and get into the review.

The Tablet

The Wacom Bamboo CTL471 comes with an active area of 5.8 x 3.6 inches that may be a bit small for some.

I recognize that this model of tablet is marketed towards beginners, but as someone with larger hands it was a bit difficult to draw on for extended periWacom Bamboo CTL471ods of time.

If you're looking for something to sketch on every once and a while this may not be as big of a deal, but artists that want something they can use very often may find this model of tablet just won't do it for them.

It's worth noting that there is a larger version of this tablet with an active area of 8.5 x 5.3 inches called the Wacom Bamboo CTL671. This model may be worth looking into if you have larger hands like me or just don't want to deal with a fairly small work space.

The Wacom Bamboo CTL471 has the surprising absencWacom Bamboo CTL471e of ExpressKeys, which is a bit of a disappointment. One of my older Bamboo models had ExpressKeys and they really helped me get into the groove of drawing on a tablet when I was first starting. This just means that you'll have to have your keyboard nearby if you want to use those fast shortcuts you like to use.

Despite the small active area for drawing and lack of ExpressKeys the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 makes up for its flaws by having a fantastic drawing surface. Like with other Wacom models the tablet surface of the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 is extremely smooth.

This compliments the stylus greatly, which is where this tablet really shines.

The Stylus

The stylus that came with the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 is a great companion to the tablet itself.

Even though the stylus only features 1024 levels of pressure as opposed to the 2048 levels that many of the higher-end models have, it makes up for it by being extremely responsive aWacom Bamboo CTL471nd dependable. In the time I spent working with this tablet I never once had any problems with pressure detection from this stylus.

Like all other Wacom models, the stylus that came with the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 has no battery. This means you can just take your stylus out of the sleeve on the tablet and begin drawing without ever having to worry about plugging it in or changing batteries. No one really has Wacom beat in this department, having no battery is a big plus and it doesn't come at the cost of lesser reliability. There's no downside!

The stylus also comes with the almost-universal feature of two programmable buttons on the sidWacom Bamboo CTL471e of the pen. These can be programmed from your computer to execute certain shortcuts without having to stop drawing. If the exclusion of ExpressKeys bothered you a bit, at least you still have these buttons that you can use, albeit they have less options for customization than regular ExpressKeys.

Lastly, it's worth noting that after two weeks of continuous use I found no wear on the nib inserted into the stylus. You'll get good use of the nib plus the 3 spare ones included for a long time.

Art's Assessment

The Wacom Bamboo CTL471 is what happens when a good tablet is shrunken down with a shrink ray.

The tablet came with a disappointing active area of 5.8 x 3.6 inches, however this may be enough for some hobbyists. There is another model of a this tablet called thWacom Bamboo CTL471Wacom Bamboo CTL671 that features a larger active area. If size is the issue then this may be worth looking in. There are also no ExpressKeys on this tablet. This may be difficult for some buyers to get used to. The tablet does have a fantastic tablet surface texture that works great with the stylus.

The stylus is the real star of the show with fantastic responsiveness despite it's 1024 levels of pressure. It also has no battery(which is pretty much tradition at this point with Wacom) which is always a great feature, as well as the usual two programmable buttons.

If you are a beginner looking for their first tablet the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 will serve you well. Just make sure you're comfortable with the area of drawing space that this tablet provides.

4.0 out of 5.0 – Fantastic

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