The Inkling is a digital sketching tool from Wacom that lets you create drawings in a notebook, sketchpad or even the back of a napkin and transfer them directly to your Mac.

It uses a clip-on receiver, which you attach to your drawing surface. This then picks up signals from a digital pen, similar in design and feel to a Wacom graphics tablet stylus, and turns them into digital lines.

You can work on a variety of surfaces, up to A4 in size, with the Inkling's receiver holding up to 2GB of files in its native file format. These can then be viewed and exported via the dedicated Wacom Sketch Manager software with files exported as rasterized JPEG and PDFs or editable SVG vector files so you can finetune them afterwards. You can even create layers while you draw by tapping the button on top of the receiver.

What makes the Inkling different to a graphics tablet is that the pen also has a ballpoint nib in the end, so you create an actual drawing in your notebook as you use it. This makes sketching incredibly intuitive as the physical sensation of drawing on paper is much more familliar to artists than working on a tablet or iPad.

Although working with a biro removes some of the subtlety that you would have with a pencil or ink pen, the Inkling's stylus offers 1,024 degrees of pressure and so the amount of detail it picks up is comparable to high-end Wacom tablets.

In our tests the detail that was transferred was very impressive, picking up all but the subtlest of pen strokes with excellent accuracy. However, if the receiver is knocked or moved in any way then images can slip out of alignment, which you do not discover until the sketch is finished and on your Mac.

The same is true if you block the sensor with your hand while drawing or using a ruler and so this may prevent it from being used for more intricate images.

At the affordable price of £149 it is cheaper than a high-end Wacom tablet and so should be more than enough to tempt gadget-loving artists.

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