A graphics tablet is undoubtedly the best means of taking advantage of illustration and photo-editing software, but if you've ever used one you'll know it's best to keep a mouse to hand for everyday jobs.
Wacom's Bamboo Pen & Touch aims to change that, by combining a traditional digitiser pen with a finger-driven touchpad.
The tablet itself has an A5 drawing area, so it's one for the occasional doodle and photo retouching job, rather than full-time use.
The pen - stowed in a fabric loop on the right-hand edge of the tablet - is comfortable to use and requires no battery. It boasts eraser and pen facilities, plus a rocker button on the barrel.
Resolution is a decent 2540dpi, and it feels accurate and natural in use.
The buttons on the pen are awkward to click while holding it, so the Bamboo also has four buttons on the pad; by default the bottom pair is configured for left and right mouse clicks, while the top toggles touch on and off.
Put the pen down, though, and the Bamboo transforms into a touchpad.
This takes some getting used to, but the multitouch facility has its advantages. You can use pinch gestures to zoom in and out of web pages and photos, scroll and pan using two fingers and, in certain applications, rotate images too. And it works in both Windows 7 and Vista.
It isn't perfect, though. While the pen works well, the multitouch is sluggish and unresponsive. Single taps suffer from a delay, gestures feel similarly laggy, and we couldn't get flicks to work.
Worse still, on a Windows 7 system the control panel crashed regularly, preventing us from adjusting the pad's advanced settings.
So, the first multitouch graphics tablet is a bit of a let-down. It's neater than having to run a mouse alongside a standard graphics tablet, and the price is reasonable. But it needs to be more reliably implemented.