We got our eager hands on a CyberTablet Z12 from Adesso (adesso.com). It works with any PC or Mac and sells for $122, which is around the midpoint for such tablets. You can write notes, draw highly defined pictures, edit photos and use it to add your signature to email and documents.CyberTablet Z12

What amazes us is how advanced these tablets have become. The $122 price is less than the first clunky 4 x 5 inch low resolution tablets we reviewed 25 years ago. But the CyberTablet Z12 has a 10 x 6.25 inch drawing surface and is only a third of an inch thick. It can record hand-writing and drawing with resolution as tight as two thousand lines to the inch. If you’re an artist with a steady hand, the screen is pressure sensitive and the thickness of your line can change in response to more than a thousand levels of pressure.

Using the supplied software or Vista’s built-in features, the system will convert hand written notes to regular typed text. You can write numbers directly into an Excel spreadsheet, for example, and you can send handwritten notes and numbers directly through Microsoft Outloook. Click a button to send handwriting and drawings through email. Clearly marked hot spots on the tablet are dedicated to common word processing functions like cut, copy and paste and another 25 hot spots can be used to hold any other macro functions – opening other programs, word processing, pasting in so-called “boiler-plate” text, etc.

Our Z12 tablet came with software for creating macros and editing notes, as well as a copy of Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 5. This last is great for editing photos or drawings, especially for “masking.” Masking means taking any part of a picture, like a person’s face or figure, and moving it to another part or even to another photo. This is usually done by carefully outlining the object using a mouse pointer, but this offers nowhere near the control that you can get with a pen and tablet.

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