If you’re worried about over-complicating things there’s no need. Installing the Flair is one of the quickest and simplest installation jobs I’ve had to do recently. Just plug it in, dump the CD in the drawer and you’ll be penning your way happily around Windows a matter of minutes.
As a replacement for your mouse it takes a bit of getting used to, but before long I was navigating my way around Windows with speed and precision. Manipulating scrollbars right at the edge of the screen can be tricky, but since the rocker switch mounted on the barrel of the pen can be assigned to various different tasks, it’s a problem that’s easy to circumvent.
The pen is comfortable to hold with its soft rubber grip – though a bit on the plasticky side – and the pad itself is about the size of standard mouse mat. It measures just 20 x 19.5cm (WxH), so there’s no need to give up precious desk space either. In fact the only real negative is that it doesn’t have, as more expensive tablets from Wacom do, an eraser on the other end of the pen.
I’ll still be going back to my mouse for navigation purposes because I find the scroll wheel so useful and I can’t imagine playing games with a tablet, but if this doesn’t bother you it’s a perfectly capable alternative.
It’s not as a mouse replacement, however, that graphics tablets like this come into their own, it’s when using drawing packages like Adobe Illustrator and photo editing software such as Photoshop that you really notice the difference. The precision with which brush and pen tools can be manipulated, masks applied and quick selections made is a revelation if you haven’t used one before, while the pressure sensitivity is a real boon for making quick sketches.