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Aiptek Slim Graphics Tablet Review

There is an old adage that applies to many a purchase, whether electronic or not.

“You get what you pay for”

In the world of Graphics Tablets, there are many pretenders to the throne currently held by Wacom and the same adage applies to this industry too. Although some graphics tablets are cheaper, you don’t always get a good deal.

The Aiptek Slim is a generous sized tablet, measuring at an impression 12.1 inches across. There are a vast number of programmable buttons around the outside edges of the active area that allow you to quickly access commonly used functions and options, without having to reach for your keyboard or deal with menu items. These are pretty much standard for most graphics tablets these days.

The technical specifications of the Aiptek Slim are also good, featuring 1000 lines per inch (lpi) resolution and 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. Then wireless pen supplied is also of adequate build quality and features a few buttons to help you switch between different tools.

So, on the surface, the Slim seems pretty good. Unfortunately, this is where the good parts of the review end. We used a rebadged model of the Apitek tablet. As we are based in the UK, the tablet comes under the Medion brand name, which is synonymous with cheaper electronic goods, sold at cheaper stores. The tablet itself is physically identical to the Aiptek version and the software and documentation is the same too.

Here at Graphics Tablet Reviews, we use a variety of different computers. Mac’s, Windows 7 PCs and Windows XP too. We had major issues getting the tablet to work with our Snow Leopard based Macbook and also had some issues with the Windows 7 build PC too. In the end, we had to manually hack things out of the registry to get it to work properly and resorted to getting different drivers to allow it to work on the Macbook. All in all, if a normal consumer bought this product, they may have had serious issues getting it to work properly.

After the initial teething problems, we were left with a standard graphics tablet that performed adequately in our tests. The pen tracking was good and the size of the active area and lightweight design were the plus points for us. We used Adobe Photoshop for most of the tests and found the Apitek easy to use and accurate.

This graphics tablet does not have any “wow factor” moments. You get what you pay for. A medium quality, cheap graphics tablet, that will hopefully perform well on your machine. There are a slew of bad reviews of this tablet on places like Amazon, yet they continue to sell in their 1000’s each year. If you can’t afford a Wacom tablet, this may be an option for you, but expect to be happy with it rather than ecstatic.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Jeremy Brown - February 12, 2010

Hey, so I have this Slim Tablet. I bought it for a laptop that had Vista installed and it worked great. I know have a laptop with 7, and, although it works, it seems as though I can’t get the pressure sensitivity working right, and the original install disc is no help. Did you guys get full functionality with your digging around? If so, can you tell me what you did exactly? I appreciate it!
Jeremy

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admin - February 22, 2010

Jeremy, I think they will release some new drivers at some point that will resolve this issue. We tested under XP and Vista, so never came across the issues you are having. You will need to speak to AIptek i’m afraid!

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Calin - September 11, 2010

I’ve been using one of these Aiptek Slim tablets for 3 years now, no issues whatsoever. Thought it was broke a few weeks ago, as the cursor was jumping all over, then I remembered I still had the original battery in the pen. Changed that battery, now it’s working fine again.

IMO it’s VERY good bang for the buck. A Wacom of the same size will cost at least 4-6 times as much, and provide only marginal benefits. I suggest you really look into it, if you’re considering this as a first tablet or a gift.

I’ve only tested it on Win XP, so I can’t tell how it works on other systems.

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admin - September 11, 2010

@Calin – thanks for the comment. The cheaper ones are as good as the Wacom models!

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Lollie - September 16, 2010

This was the first graphics tablet I ever bought and I used it on Vista and found it very easy to use and very sensitive. The large drawing area was amazing and wherever you moved was where the pen moved! Plus, the trasparent overlay was brilliant for tracing my sketchings rather than scanning them.
However, I used to transport this tablet everywhere and after I’d had it for about 6 months I started to notice ‘blind spots’ where the pen would suddenly jump or disappear. These gradually got worse until I had to give up and buy a new tablet.
I replaced it with a Wacom and was actually very disappointed. Using the pen felt much clumsier and it was more difficult to ‘guide’ it. As in, I would draw a curve and what came out on the screen would be a much wider curve than I wanted, and this would happen repeatedly (never had this problem with the apitek!) and not only that but even though the tablet cost the same, the drawing space was very small and I frequently found myself going off the edge. Very frustrating.
So to conclude, I much preferred this tablet to the Wacom alternative, but it broke! If you treat your tablet with care and don’t need to transport it, get this rather than the Wacom! It’s brilliant sensitivity won’t let you down.

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Martin - July 27, 2011

Great review!

Lollie, maybe I’m stupid asking this but could the “wider curve”-problem have to with different aspect ratios of the wacom-tablet and the screen? Perhaps the tablet being 4:3 and the screen 16:10? Just a thought.

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