One-Up Your Mouse
If these aren't enough reasons for you to switch to a tablet, you're probably not ready to give up your mouse quite yet. And you don't have to. The two can work in harmony, or you can use the Intuos3 Mouse in tandem with the pen. If you're not quite prepared to spend the $329.99 SRP for a 6x8 Intuos 3, there are a few other choices out there. Tablets from Wacom's competitors Aiptek http://www.aiptek.com and e3Works http://www.e3works.com,offer models at $159.99 for a 9x12 tablet and $49.95 for 5x3¾ respectively. Wacom itself makes a smaller 4x5 Intuos3 tablet that retails for $219.95 and also offers the Graphire 3 line that comes without ExpressKeys, Touch Strip, tilt sensitivity, and with half the pressure sensitivity of the Intuos for $199.95 for a 6x8 model. Check out http://www.wacom.com/productinfo/intuos.cfm for pricing and the various models available. Both the Intuos3 and Graphire 3 ship with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2, Corel Painter Essentials 2, and nik Color Efex Pro 2 IE. Another option is Calcomp http://www.gtcocalcomp.com/tablets.htm, but their pens either have cords or use batteries. Your best bet is to demo a tablet in-store before you make a purchase, especially if you choose a less expensive brand. Just be forewarned that it may permanently ruin you for a mouse.