Review : Wacom Bamboo Spark

Review : Wacom Bamboo Spark

Tech October 23, 2015 17:24

- Wacom is best known for his drawing tablets. With the new Bamboo Spark, the company focuses on people who prefer to take notes or draw on plain paper, but soon will be able to digitize and store the result.

Hardware Bamboo Spark is a gray folder containing a note book and a pen. The outside is not to mention very exciting. The design is nice, but the sleek appearance and color sombre makes strict and businesslike. The inside is soft and gray material feels good.

There are three versions available from the Bamboo Spark, namely one with a pocket for the smartphone, one with a sleeve for a tablet and one that lets you snap the iPad Air 2. I have the first model under scrutiny. Furthermore, in the package a USB cable plus the pen with two ink cartridges

The size of the Bamboo Spark is 20.6 cm by 25.3 cm and the map is 3 cm thick. That he is several inches larger than the iPad Air 2. The other specifications can be found here.


The Bamboo Spark gives users the ability to create with the supplied pen on plain paper notes and draw. In the back of the folder is an electromagnetic plate that communicates with the pen. This tells the Bamboo Spark where the pin is exactly on the paper and what you writes.

The paper in the notebook supplied has no lines, but you can also create an A5 notepad slide into the holder. It should not be more than 50 pages, otherwise the Bamboo Spark can not register what you're doing. The pen can not be replaced with other stationery. So do not lose especially the pen. Two additional refills are supplied and on the Wacom web site you can buy a new set of three cartridges for € 9.90.


You link the Bamboo Spark via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet. Put before the free app and slide the switch on the bottom of the map to the right. Next, you must press the button in the middle in order to bring about the coupling. If you follow the instructions, there can be little wrong. You can also indicate whether you're left or right handed.

It is the intention of the Bamboo Spark indicates that you have been written or drawn after each page with a push of a button you start a new page. When connected with the app automatically displays the page. Should that not be the Bamboo Spark can store up to 100 pages to the moment you open the app. The battery lasts 8 hours.

Writing and drawing on old-fashioned paper still I prefer over the use of a stylus on a tablet. It always feels strange to work so. The advantage of the tablet is that you instantly have a digital copy of your notes and drawings. The Bamboo Spark combines both. You work on plain paper, but simultaneously captures a digital backup. It records without difficulty texts and drawings.


At Bamboo Spark app so you can find all the pages back. They can immediately be uploaded to Wacom Cloud. Those who register before getting 5GB of free online storage. Be the pages within the app as. jpg,. pdf. will (a file format Wacom) mail, print, convert and save them on your smartphone or tablet into Evernote and Dropbox.

Wacom does not support optical character recognition (OCR). That means you can not convert digital text to your handwritten notes. Definitely a missed opportunity. You can not let the OCR function in Adobe Acrobat on the PDFs. There is a detour available via Evernote. There, on images (and PDFs as a paid user) is automatically applied by the servers ocr. But you can then just as quickly with the Scannable app Evernote scan the pages of your regular notebook. There you do not Bamboo Spark required.

For artists and designers there is an extra trick in the app. This offers namely the possibility to step by step to go back in a drawing. So if you unsatisfied, you rewind and split your drawing. Then you have two images. One with all the places you 've put to that point and the other contains all of what you've signed after that point. If you regret the split, you can also rejoin the two images. Furthermore, you can still sign in the app delete pages or things with the eraser.

Price and similar products All versions of the Bamboo Spark costs € 159.90. For taking notes, the Livescribe 3 Smartpen is a good alternative. This is € 189 with slightly more expensive and requires special paper, but it does have character recognition and can also make audio recordings when writing. Handy if you want to know what was said at any time during the making of the notes. Who has no problem with writing on a tablet, can use apps before that as Bamboo Paper (free), Penultimate (free) and Soundnote (€ 4.99). With the latter, you can also simultaneously record and take notes.

Who wants to make his drawings on paper and immediately digitize addition to the Bambo Spark really no alternative. You possibly drawings afterwards photograph or scan with a smartphone or tablet. Whether you switch on the tablet and then makes drawings with a stylus. The advantage is that you have available different stationery and color in the apps. Bamboo Paper and paper are both free and also offer the ability to rewind. Conclusion Bamboo Spark offers the possibility to make notes and drawings and digitize them immediately. It writes and draws better on plain paper instead of a screen, and you can quickly share the results with others. Handy for meetings or lectures. For artists and designers on the go prefer sketching on paper is the Bamboo Spark certainly a godsend.

With a price tag of € 160 it is available as case or the Bamboo Spark meets all of your expectations. Would you like for example text recognition on your notes, then there are better alternatives. Also for artists can be a disadvantage that you can only spark the Bamboo Pen and do not use other stationery such as a pencil.

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