Alternatively referred to as a drawing tablet and pen tablet, a graphics tablet is a hardware input device that enables an artist to draw or sketch digitally using a pen or stylus. They are helpful because they provide a more natural and precise feel than a standard computer mouse. The picture to the right shows an example of a graphics tablet and stylus manufactured by Wacom.
The first graphics tablet for home computers was the KoalaPad. Developed by Koala Technologies in 1984, the KoalaPad was originally designed for use by the Apple II computer, but later was available for the IBM PC compatible computer as well.
Similar to an artist drawing with a pencil and paper, a user draws on the graphics tablet with a stylus. The computer will convert the drawing strokes into digital form, displaying them on the computer screen.
The graphics tablet can also be used to capture users' signatures. This use is similar to the signature pads found at many retail stores, where you would write your signature after using a credit card to make a purchase.
Who uses graphics tablets?
Below is a list of professions and people who are more likely to use a graphics tablet.
- Architects and Engineers
- Fashion designers
- Graphic designers