The Viewsonic Woodpad Paper or ViewBoard Notepad (model PF0730-I0WW) is a tablet designed for students and teachers for distance learning purposes.
How it works is, you write on the paper pad that's on the tablet, and your lines appear on paper as well as on the monitor. Whatever you write or draw on paper will get digitised instantly.
I've reviewed similar products in the past, namely, Wacom Bamboo Spark, Bamboo Slate and XP-Pen Note Plus Smart Notepad. Those products are designed for usage with phones and tablets. Viewsonic Woodpad Paper is designed for use with computers.
These are the items included in the box:
- USB-A to micro-USB cable
- 2x ballpoint ink refills
- Nib remover
- 2x double side tape
- Paper pad (6.5 x 4 inches)
The back has foam and rubber feet.
Woodpad Paper's usage is almost similar to earlier Woodpad models except you need a paper pad to write on.
The paper pad measures 4 x 6.5 inches.
You can use any brand of paper or paper pad as long as it can fit the marked out active area on the tablet. 4 x 6 inch paper pads are common but 4 x 6.5 inch paper pads are rare (I can't find them).
Double sided tapes are provided to stick the back of the paper pad to the tablet. This is make sure the paper pad doesn't move while you're writing. Tearing the paper pad off from the double side tape is going to leave a mess though. I actually just use Blu tack (or white tack) as adhesive since it can be remove cleanly.
The battery-less pen supports pressure and tilt sensitivity. There's no side button though.
Pressure works fine. I did not test for tilt sensitivity though.
The pen uses normal ballpoint pen ink refills. These look like Zebra or MiniStar ballpoint ink refills (ISO 12757-2 MiniStar D).
The tablet driver needs to be installed before the tablet can be used. There are Mac and Windows drivers.
The tablet driver can be found on the MacOS menu bar, or Windows taskbar.
There isn't much you can do with the driver except adjust the pressure sensitivity...
And mapping the tablet's active area to your computer screen.
You can use the tablet with any software. The app I used above is the note taking app Notability.
This is ink on paper.
This is another example.
Occasionally the lines will break but thankfully that does not happen often. The pen and tablet are able to capture my handwriting and drawings quite accurately. The user experience will also depend on the apps you use.
I'm not exactly sure why you may want to get a tablet with a paper pad for writing or drawing when you can actually just get any other pen tablet, such as those from Wacom, Huion, XP-Pen and the many companies that make these tablets.
The selling point with WoodPad Paper is you get to write on actual paper. But the compromise is you give up versatility. In this case you'll need to buy ink refills and paper pads.
You need to know a few things when it comes to working with ink. You can't erase ink, and hence you can't make corrections.
When you use the pen to select colours, tap on icons, tools, you're actually tapping on the paper with the pen and it will produce dots on the paper.
This tablet is best used with all the essential writing or drawing tools already displayed on the computer screen, and it's best to have ample digital canvas space to work with. Apps that have many tools, palettes and menus, such as digital drawing apps are not recommended.
Important thing to note here is the Woodpad Paper is designed with the primary purpose of writing, not for digital art.
Selling point of Woodpad Paper
One use case for Woodpad Paper is in education, more specifically long distance learning. With the tablet and relevant software (e.g. Viewsonic Viewboard or Whiteboard), a teacher and student can write and whatever's written can appear instantly on each other's display. This allows for instant feedback.
This promo video from Viewsonic shows how the tablet can be useful in a real world scenario.
The other use case I can think of is when you're using the tablet for online meetings or conferences. Whatever you write can apply on the displays in front of other attendee.
Having said that, I also don't understand the selling point of Woodpad Paper because it seems like you can already do all that with a normal pen tablet. With a normal tablet, you won't have the limitation of having to use ink and paper, and hence no need to replace them.
Ultimately, it make come down to whether you prefer to write on paper vs writing on a pen tablet. Some people may not get use to the hand eye coordination when using a normal tablet because you have to write on the tablet while looking at the display.