Wacom’s New Smartpads Turn Your Real Drawings Into Vectors And JPEGs

Wacom's released the latest editions of its sketch-to-digital smartpad range, letting you save sketches as vectors and handwriting as text.


Wacom has released a new line of sketchpads that automatically digitise your words and drawings. Following last year's iPad-sized Bamboo Spark, we now have the an A4 and A5 Bamboo Slate smartpad and the A4 Bamboo Folio, which has a cover.

The smartpads digitally transform hand-taken notes, light sketches, mind mapping and visual thinking – making them a useful tool for designers, creative directors and artists. 

Users can essentially jot down their organic ideas to paper and turn their handwritten scribbles or sketches into digital files, saving them to the Wacom Inkspace app and cloud services.

The Inkspace app works on any Bluetooth iOS or Android smartphone and tablet, allowing users to edit, organise and share files. Up to 100 pages can be stored on the Bamboo Folio before needing to be synced to other devices. 

The main excitement over the Bamboo Slate and Folio is the ability to turn sketches into vector files, and handwritten notes into rich text (but only with a paid subscription).

Read: Lenovo's beautiful tablet/laptop hybrid also captures what you draw on paper

The Bamboo Slate is a slim smartpad used to quickly capture ideas. It comes in a small A5 and large A4 format.

The Bamboo Folio is designed to keep notes and ideas safe and organised. It comes with an integrated cover with extra slots for business cards and documents and in a large A4 format.

The new main features available on the devices are vector output and the support of rich text in the handwriting to text feature, meaning bullet points and paragraphs are captured in the text. 

Image: Wacom's Bamboo Folio smartpad in A4 format.


With a paid subscription, users can export sketches as vector files, making them available to use in creative software. 

All files can be stored digitally through the Wacom Inkspace app in different formats – including JPG, PNG, PDF or WILL. These files can then be made available for Bamboo Paper, Inkspace, Dropbox, Evernote and OneNote.

Editing features include real time mode, the undo and redo option, as well as pressure sensitivity.

Image: Wacom's Bamboo Slate smartpad in A5 format.

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The Inkspace Basic subscription is free, and only requires you to sign up to the Wacom ID. With this, users are allowed 5GB of storage in the cloud and sharing across different devices, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.

The Inkspace Plus subscription is available on the Wacom Marketplace. It converts handwriting to rich text, lets you export vectors in SVG and searches handwritten notes for further editing and quick recall.

With this subscription users will have access to 50 GB storage, professional sharing in teams and real-time collaboration in digital ink files.

Owners of the Bamboo Folio and Bamboo Slate are given a three-month subscription to Inkspace Plus after they gain access to the service at a discount.

Image: Wacom's Bamboo Slate in A4 format.


Both sizes of the Bamboo Slate and the Bamboo Folio will be available for purchased from the Wacom Estore and selected retail outlets.

The A5 Bamboo Slate costs £90.90, the A4 Bamboo Slate £104.90 and the Bamboo Folio £139.90.

Image: The back of Wacom's Bamboo Slate A5.