With millions of students now attending school from home, affordable laptop alternatives like the Chromebook are more popular than ever. The cheaper price point does come with some trade-offs including limited support for some software and hardware, but artists on a budget can now use a Wacom tablet with their Chromebooks to nurture their burgeoning artistic skills.
As noted on Wacom’s website, while the basic functionality of some of the company’s older pen-driven drawing tablets might work on certain versions of Chrome OS, more advanced features like pen pressure sensitivity and the use of a Wacom tablet’s shortcut keys won’t reliably work on a Chromebook. But that could soon be changing as today Wacom has officially announced that its One by Wacom tablet is the company’s first device that’s fully Chromebook compatible and has received the official Works With Chromebook certification.
Since so many young students rely on Chromebooks the One by Wacom — which is the company’s most affordable drawing tablet with a $99 price tag — will be natively supported under the latest version of Chrome OS which means that no drivers have to be installed and there’s no Wacom software to be installed and regularly updated. The tablet can simply be plugged into a USB port and used as a more precise alternative to a mouse for drawing and image editing, although the One by Wacom only supports basic stylus functionality including pressure sensitivity. More advanced features like tilt detection or programmable shortcut buttons are only available on more expensive Wacom models.
Artists and designers requiring more advanced features and functionality in their tablets typically tend to also rely on software from companies like Adobe and Autodesk who currently only support operating systems like Windows or Mac OS and machines featuring enough RAM and processing power to handle intensive graphical workloads — though there are versions of both Adobe’s Photoshop and Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro available via Android on Chrome OS. Wacom has also confirmed to Gizmodo that all of the company’s tablets and pen displays will be getting Chromebook certification. Support for the One by Wacom will be followed by Chrome OS support for Wacom’s other tablet lines including Intuos, Intuos Pro, Wacom One, Cintiq, and Cintiq Pro.
Getting into digital art may have just gotten a little more affordable.