Aldi is about to offer a USB graphics pad from Medion that is easy to install, great to use, and has a very attractive price tag. This new device will hit stores on July 24, 2008 with an RRP of just $69.

Click to enlarge
The tablet sports a flat design and has a large working area of 254 x 159 mm. The entry surface is surrounded by 29 function fields which can be customised accordingly using the included software. A blue LED display is located at the upper right hand side of the unit, with the USB cable running for the same area. A stylus, a pair of tweezers (for replacing the stylus), two stylus refills, and a driver CD is also included in the box.

Windows XP and Vista users must install the Macro Key Manager in order to fully utilise the function fields. The software is pre-loaded with 15 shortcuts (e.g. cut, paste, launch IE, new, save), but users can opt to replace the hotkeys with their own predetermined set.

The included pen runs on a single AAA battery, which may be the most annoying thing for users who are used to input devices that are rechargeable once docked. Despite this minor setback, we found the pen to be both responsive and sensitive, with the tablet being able to quickly pick up the signal from the pen.


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Macro Key Manager included
We used the tablet with different programs to test its versatility. The tablet performs best when users use it for drawing on programs like Adobe’s Illustrator or Microsoft’s Paint program. Using it for programs like Word is also possible, although this feature requires a user to install the Free Notes and Office Ink software included in the installation disc (Windows XP only). Vista users can write from the get-go, as the OS automatically brings up its handwriting program.

Besides the Macro Key Manager (Vista and XP) and Free Notes/Office Ink software (Windows XP), Medion has also included programs like Power Presenter (XP) and Photo Impact 12 (Windows XP and Vista) to help maximise the use of the tablet.

The Medion MD85637 graphics tablet is certainly not for everyone. It may be a worthwhile purchase for users who use drawing/painting applications a lot, but for others, a mouse may still be the better option.

See page over for product information and final rating.


Medion Design USB Graphics Pad P46000 (MD85637)

Technical data:
Technology: Electromagnetic
Working Area: 254 x 159mm
Interface: USB 1.1
Dimensions: 306 x 257 x 9mm
Energy Supply: Device: Through USB port, Pen: 1 AAA battery

System Requirements:
Computer: PC/AT compatible computer
Processor Type: Pentium III
OS: Windows XP/Vista
Graphics Card: 64MB (16-bit)
Optical Drive: CD or DVD
Connections: USB interface

Medion MD85637 Graphics Tablet | $69 |  | www.medion.com/au

For: Easy to install; Up to 29 programmable keys; Responsive pen; Affordable price
Against: Pen could have been rechargeable; Not for everybody
Conclusion: An affordable tablet for artists who prefer the pen more than the mouse.

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