632 of 647 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intuos 4: a worthy upgrade
Originally I gave Intuos4 Large a bad review because of the nib wear. But after 2 years of heavy use, my surface is completely smooth and no longer wears out my nibs at an alarming rate. Now I'm very satisfied with this model.
- More sensitivity, doubling from 1024 to a whopping 2048 levels. It's a nice improvement when sketching very light...
Published on October 3, 2009 by Marcos Shih
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review for Tablet Intuos 4 Wireless
I use the tablet for sketching. I love the 2048 levels of sensitivity, because the pencil feeling is closer and also the multiple functions on the tablet make it a very functional and versatile tool. However, I use sketchbook pro which is a very simple program, but very practical and agile, and in this program I found very disappointing the delay shown in the wireless...
Published on May 18, 2010 by Ruben Ortiz
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632 of 647 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intuos 4: a worthy upgrade,
This review is from: Wacom Intuos4 Extra Large Pen Tablet (Personal Computers)Originally I gave Intuos4 Large a bad review because of the nib wear. But after 2 years of heavy use, my surface is completely smooth and no longer wears out my nibs at an alarming rate. Now I'm very satisfied with this model.
- More sensitivity, doubling from 1024 to a whopping 2048 levels. It's a nice improvement when sketching very light construction lines, ie "ghosting". Not a huge help for painting in Photoshop, since I use opacity and flow to adjust my paint layer applications.
-Scroll wheel is a nice addition and offers good control when zooming.
-OLED screen for shortcuts is also a nice addition in case you forget the express key assignments.
-Like it's intuos3 predecessor, the pen is ergonomic and comfortable.
-Pen holder has good functionality because it now holds your spare nibs. Convenient, since you will need to replace nibs like crazy.
-Widescreen formats now for all sizes.
- The nibs wear out to an annoying chiseled point within hours, and completely gone in days! If you continue to paint with a worn out nib, you will scratch the surface so don't be cheap. This has been the most common problem since most forums have very disgruntled artists spending extra money stocking up on overpriced nibs. $1-2 per plastic nib that costs them 1 penny to make. Just type "intuos4 nib wear" and you can read for yourself. This is due to the new paper-like friction surface, which is nice but not necessary. I've never worn out my intuos2 or intuos3 nibs in 6 years!
- As a result, the surface sheet will eventually become completely smooth. Depending which area you use the most, you'll soon get uneven surfacing throughout. So while one side has the friction feel, another area is worn out smooth. So you'll have to replace the sheet within a year. I've yet to replace my intuos2 or intuos3 sheets.
-The express keys on one side is a great idea, but they are TOO FIRM. They also are placed awkwardly, are too small, and sizes are too similar. I find them uncomfortable and useless since I rarely look down while working since it's about speed and productivity in the motion picture/gaming industry. Plus having wrist issues in the past, these buttons are not ergonomic at all.
-Express key area is a fingerprint magnet. If you continually clean off that area, you will slowly produce little scratches.
-Bad customer support for intuos4 from Wacom. The design flaws i mentioned above have been reviewed by Wacom forum reps on their Wacom Europe forums. It seems they are in total denial of any design flaws. They have offered cheap ploys that blame the customer for the nib wear and bad advice such as taping paper onto a $400-700 piece of hardware to cover up their mistakes. SAD but true.
-If you are thinking about upgrading from intuos2, an intuos3 or intuos4 is a must. The ergonomic intuos3 or intuos4 pen alone makes it a necessary upgrade.
-The only size that I would not recommend is the Extra Large version. It's way too thick: 1.1 inches thick vs the thin .6 inches of the Large model. I have no idea why Wacom couldn't keep the same thickness, go figure.
437 of 447 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great deal for the price.,
This review is from: Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet (Personal Computers)First of all, I must say that the only tablet I have used before is the Wacom Intuos3, so I will be drawing my comparisons mainly between the Intuos3 and Intuos4. I understand that there are a multitude of tablets/digitizers in the market, such as Genie and *forgot the company's name*, but my review will mainly focus on Wacom's line of tablets. To start off, I must say that if you are considering a tablet, then you might want to first try the Wacom Bamboo/Bamboo Fun before shelling out hundreds for a Intuos.
Everything aside, I love my Intuos4, and I think it is definitely a worthy upgrade from Intuos3 (or any other tablets in general), especially if you spend hours everyday with a pen.
Intuos4, instead of the gray metallic look of the Intuos3, hosts a cool black matte finish with a high-gloss black side panel. It is a lot thinner than the intuos3, a much lower profile, and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Since most of us have widescreen monitors, I think it is very thoughtful of Wacom to update the aspect ratio of the Intuos4, but be warned though; if you use a 4:3 monitor, you might experience problems with drawing ratios since the 16:9 active area will be 'squeezed' to fit into a 4:3 layout; what this means is that if you draw a tilted line on the tablet, the line will appear to be squeezed horizontally and stretched vertically on the 4:3 monitor. Of course, you can manually limit the active area in the Wacom configuration software, but that would force you to sacrifice a portion of working area, so take this into consideration when purchasing this tablet.
The biggest design change from the Intuos3 is the layout of the expresskeys. Because of the ambidextrous design, Wacom placed all the keys on one side of the tablet, so there are more keys available to the users. What I think is extremely thoughtful of Wacom is that for the Small tablet, it came with 2 USB tables, one tilted upwards and the other downwards, as to cater to both the left-handed and the right-handed configuration. Note, however, that the Small version of the Intuos4 does not have the OLED display to the right of the expresskeys, and instead of 8, you will only get 6 keys (but it is more than sufficient for me).
The problem I have with the expresskeys is that in the Intuos3, the keys are shaped differently, so that it is very easy to locate a specific key without having to constantly look down; however, for intuos4, since all the keys are shaped exactly the same, it is extremely easy activate the wrong key...this is especially the case with Intuos4 Small, since there is no visual indication as to what function each key is assigned to, making navigation difficult. I think Wacom should have made each of the keys more distinct tactilely[sic?], especially for the Small version. However, I think this should not be much of a problem after some time of getting use to (I only had it for a day).
The Touch Ring is what I think the biggest innovation in the Intuos4. The touchstrip was great, but you can only assign one function to the strip, but with the new touch ring, you can assign 4 different functions, switchable with the press of the central bottom. What this means is that you can assign Zoom/Rotate/Brush Size/Opacity/Flow/etc. all to a single touchring, which greatly boosts productivity, and makes the tablet more intuitive to use. This is especially true with the new 'Rotate' feature in Photoshop CS4, but I have noticed that there is a significant latency delay (lag) when invoking the rotate function with the touchring, but it may just be me.
The new rubberized grip pen also features the cool black finish akin to that of the tablet; the weight of the pen is almost perfect, and the rubber grip makes using the grip pen more comfortable than ever before, but the rubber grip also attracts dust and lint, so it may be subjected to constant cleaning. The pen supports 2048 levels of sensitivity, and since I have a light stroke, the penstrokes register a lot better with Intuos4. The rocker on the pen, however, has a very poor travel, and a bit awkward to use. But all in all, I prefer the Intuos4 grip pen over the Intuos3 version for its comfort and usability.
The new improved tablet surface is perhaps as close as you can get with real Pen-on-Paper experience with a digital tablet. Intuos3's surface is extremely 'slippery', and drawing on it feels like plastic-on-plastic; however, the Intuos4's surface makes me really feel like drawing on paper with almost perfect travel and traction. The different nibs offer different levels of friction, simulating different mediums. This concept was attempted in Intuos3, but I think Intuos4 has really perfected the formula, making drawing on the tablet feel almost the same as drawing on paper.
I don't usually talk about the pen-stand, but the pen stand for Intuos4 is definitely worthy mentioning. A high gloss black finish, the pen stand can be twisted open, revealing a nib storage compartment with slots to store 10 extra nibs (and a nib extractor). I used to lose track of my pen nibs all the time, but not anymore, so kudos to Wacom for their attention to details.
The tablet comes with a wide array of softwares (Photoshop Elements, Sketchpad, etc.) all available online to Intuos4 customers via Wacom's website (but you'll have to register your Intuos4 to receive the softwares); the driver installation is extremely easy (but I do recommend resetting your wacom profile in the Wacom Preference Utility and uninstall any old wacom driver(s) before installing the new one to prevent conflicts); it took me literally 15 minutes to set everything up and running under Vista, and no problems thus far.
The expresskey configuration, however, is a bit tedious, especially if you plan on using different presets for you applications. There are many great additions, such as the Radial Menu, which is, in short, a nice multi-command invoker; this, along with the additional expresskeys and the touch ring, would probably take some time to configure to your liking.
There has been complaints about Intuos3's poor Vista support (although I have had no problems with my Intuos3 under vista); according to other reviews, Wacom seems to have fixed most of the incompatibility problems with Intuos4.
Note that I have intentionally left out the Wacom mouse because I never was a fan of Wacom's mouses, so it is still sitting in my box...maybe I'll take it out and test it someday...
+ Cool black finish, matte frame extremely comfortable to rest hand on.
+ Ambidextrous design
+ More expresskeys
+ Touchring with 4 presets
+ 2048 Levels of sensitivity
+ 16:9 Aspect ratio (may not be a pro if you have a 4:3 design, see above)
+ Great drawing surface, feels like pen-on-paper.
+ Thinner, lighter than Intuos3
+ Great driver, vista support.
+ Improved customization software, many useful functions
+ Improved grip pen, comfortable to use
+ 10 replacement nibs (should last 2-5 years)
+ Innovating pen holder, serves as a storage for replacement nibs
+ Color rings to give the grip pen a different feel
+ Tons of extra softwares, great value.
- Expresskeys shaped the same, easy to press the wrong key
- Intuos4 Small does not have the OLED display
- Only 16:9 is offered
- The rocker on the grip pen has poor travel
- May not be the best choice if you prefer the smooth drawing surface of Intuos3
- A bit too big for a small tablet (compared to Intuos3 Small)
- High gloss side panel is a fingerprint magnet
- The rubber grip on the pen attracts dust and lint.
- Does not come with a travel sleeve (is this really too much to ask?)
All in all, Intuos4 boasts many notable upgrades from the previous Intuos3 line. If you have been holding off for a Intuos3, then this is perhaps the time for you to finally jump on the Intuos boat. Due to the size limitations, the Small Intuos4 lacks a few features available in the other models of the Intuos4 line (notably the OLED display, dual USB ports, etc.), but the price difference between the Small and the Medium ($199 vs $349) tablets does not seem to justify for the price jump (especially since I don't have the space to accommodate for a medium tablet).
Again, if this is your first time shopping for a tablet, then I would recommend trying out the Bamboo line of products before considering the Intuos.
I enjoy the Intuos4 tablet, and I would recommend it to any serious graphics designers/photographers/animators/etc. This is a worthy investment and you won't regret it.
Final Verdict: Wacom, you have done it again. ^^
513 of 537 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Photoshop retouching.,
The New Intuos4 is better in almost every way! In this video I'll show you my favorite new features.
113 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you're buying your first Wacom tablet...,
This review is from: Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet (Personal Computers)All the product info is on the Wacom site and there are plenty of reviews here to give you an idea of what people may or may not like, though honestly the intuos4 is your best choice for a tablet at this point in time (but you probably already knew that.) So what I'm going to do is talk a little about the things I wish someone had been friendly enough to talk to me about years ago before I bought my first Intuos.
I'm an artist, freelance photographer and web designer, why should you care? Well if you're doing the same things I am then maybe I can help you decide what size tablet you should buy. If you really want a Wacom tablet chances are no one is going to change your mind and all that's left to decide is what size to get and how you're going to justify spending so much money (until the tablet arrives and you can only think about how cool it is.) I do a little digital painting and sketching, usually just for fun, the majority of my painting and drawing is done with traditional materials. I'm not a digital artist, but all the best digital artists I know have a really strong background in traditional painting and drawing, so if you're a budding digital artist don't dismiss what I have to say just because I'm getting old and prefer pencil and paper, those are still valuable tools, and they're cheap! I do a LOT of photo editing and web design, that's the primary reason I have a tablet. I do a lot of detail work so I prefer to draw using my wrist as opposed to using my whole arm to make big sweeping strokes.
When I first decided to buy a Wacom tablet I did a lot of searching around the internet and asked for opinions at art forums I was a member of. Most of what I found was people complaining about how "stupid art n00bs" constantly ask for advice about tablets when they shouldn't own one and the occasional comment from a professional digital artist about how they prefer the XL size, none of that helped me. So I bought a large Intuos2 because I thought that sounded like the right choice, it was huge. I loved the tablet but I found that I always ended up mapping a much smaller work area onto it, so all that extra space was usually wasted. I don't think it takes all that long to get used to using a tablet in general, but what did take some time was getting used to moving my stylus 3/4 the distance I wanted my pointer/brush to move. You see, a small mouse movement usually equals a large screen movement, but when you have a big tablet you have to make larger movements and it can feel a bit awkward at first.
So recently I decided it was time to upgrade and I bought the small Intuos4, for me it's perfect.
The tablet is about the size of a standard clipboard, it's thin and very portable. I can feel all the buttons and they're slightly tilted so as long as I remember which button is for what (or if I push the first one to see the on screen display) I can easily find the button I want and push it. I don't need the OLED display, I never look at the tablet while I'm using it. I never find myself running off the tablet or wishing I had more room. I have absolutely no problems with this product, it's exactly what I wanted, it's perfect for the work I do.
My advice: give the small tablet a try. It's cheaper and if you buy a refurbished unit you'll get one that's practically brand new for around $50 less with a one year warranty, that's not a bad deal. You can take that $50 and buy a Belkin Nostromo game pad, program it with keyboard shortcuts for your favorite image editing program and cut your work time in half. There's no shame in having a small Wacom (giggle if you have to) a lot of people prefer the small because of how they work and the size of their workspace. If you buy a small and don't like it you can always return it and buy a medium instead.
I hope all my rambling helps somebody... :D
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intuos4 Medium vs. Bamboo Fun,
Please keep in mind: I have worked in the IT industry for over 13 years. However overall I am not a pro user of these products. I have about two weeks of use on each. I used the tablets on a Mac Pro with photoshop, corel, and sketchbook pro 2011.
I spent close to two weeks trying to decide on a Wacom tablet for Christmas - Bamboo Fun vs Intuos4 Medium. I kept reading about the pros of each. I could not find a comparison review, nor a single product review that pushed me solidly one direction or the other. Should I spend the extra money on the professional level product?
In the end, I started with the Bamboo because:
I didn't want to waste money. The Intuos4 medium was another $150 - almost twice the cost of the Bamboo. I am not a professional and people said the Bamboo had the same levels of sensitivity as the previous professional model (Intuos3). I wasn't 100% sure the kids would keep using it or get full value from it. If I didn't think it was for me, I could always trade up and try the Intuos4.
Initially we were very happy playing around with the Bamboo. There is nothing blatantly wrong with it at all. It has deservedly positive reviews. People make wonderful works of digital art with it. After playing for about 10 days, and watching youtube vids of people using Wacom tablets, I ran across a comment against the Bamboo that finally broke me. Someone pointed out that the USB cable was attached to the tablet, and cannot be replaced if it breaks. Toss it straight into the trash. Hmmm - bad news. If you look closely at the construction, you can also tell it would be very easy for the cable to wear out. I cannot believe I hadn't noticed that flaw myself. We have two lefties and two righties in the house and we are constantly rotating the tablet. I don't want to be replacing a 200 dollar tablet over a 10 dollar cable. I boxed her up that day and returned it for the Intuos4 Medium.
Let me tell you what people, the Intuos4 is worth more than the extra $150. Any day of the week. Even removing it from the box was a pleasure.
Bamboo - Cable is attached, thin shielding, and not replaceable.
Intuos4 - Cable is removable, very well made, thick and several feet longer than it needs to be (2.5 m). TWO USB inputs on the tablet, so the cable can always be situated at the top. Also provides a spare port in case one breaks! As an IT guy, this alone was worth an upgrade. Well played, Wacom.
Bamboo has 4 buttons. One button is used to turn the touch functions on and off. Touch Pad functions can be used to pinch zoom, rotate, scroll, etc if the app supports touch.
Intuos4 has 8 buttons with LEDs plus a touch ring wheel. The touch ring can be assigned 4 functions for all applications. Fully programmable. The kicker - the touch ring can be used for all the touch pad functions that the Bamboo did, and does them better. Rotate, Zoom, Scroll, Undo, change your pen size - you name it. Spin the ring with your off hand while drawing. Another upgrade that was easily worth the 150 bucks alone.
Bamboo accuracy .02 inch. A very light, plastic toy feeling pen. There were a couple extra nibs in a plastic bag.
Intuos4 accuracy .01 inch. Pen is noticeably heavier. It reminded me of picking up a very well made tool after using some crap made in China and getting that sudden realization that you've been doing it wrong all this time. The pen recognizes tilt - the angle you hold the pen at. The cool "ink well" stand is classy and holds 10 extra nibs and the nib replacement tool. You suddenly start signing your name with a flourish. It just feels right! The Intuos4 also includes a wireless mouse that can be used on the pad if you are not using the pen.
People said you can't tell the difference, but let me tell you I could, and so did my wife. It may not be the ONE thing you need to upgrade for, but it's one more reason to spend the extra cash, for sure.
Bamboo 2540 lines per inch
Intuos4 5080 lines per inch
Are basically the same, Intuos4 software package must be downloaded though - Bamboo has physical media.
Basically same review as the Pens, the Intuos4 is heavier and feels much sturdier and like a professional tool.
Bamboo - 1 year
Intuos4 - 2 years USA and Canada
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review for Tablet Intuos 4 Wireless,
This review is from: Wacom Intuos4 Wireless Pen Tablet (Personal Computers)I use the tablet for sketching. I love the 2048 levels of sensitivity, because the pencil feeling is closer and also the multiple functions on the tablet make it a very functional and versatile tool. However, I use sketchbook pro which is a very simple program, but very practical and agile, and in this program I found very disappointing the delay shown in the wireless tablet. It make the tablet useless, due that this delay disturb the sketching and you can't sketch as agile as you normally do on paper. I have to use it wired to be able to have the quick response I expected. If you use this tablet on Photoshop or Illustrator, you have no problem with it. Is wonderful, but if you use, sketchbook Pro, Corelpainter, ArtRage or some sofware similar, wireless tablet is definitely not the choice.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You may have loved this tablet as I did, until your USB ports break!,
This review is from: Wacom Intuos4 Large Pen Tablet (Personal Computers)Review Amended as of 2/25/10
I decided to amend this review because there's a serious defect with any size of these Intuos tablets with the exception of the Intuos 4 XL. That is the USB ports. While people complain about the nib wear, it's just a purchase for new nibs or waiting till they put out a surface sheet. However, this is a big issue on Europe's forums for Wacom.
Try realizing your barely year old tablet now has failed USB ports due to an extremely cheap soldering Job on Wacom's part. I generally hail Wacom's quality but they seriously dropped the ball on the USB ports. On other forums such as Concept Art you'll find out about the Loose ports along with pictures.
When you RMA the tablet to Wacom you have to pay for the shipping. If you have a large tablet that can hit you for quite a large amount of money since Wacom doesn't recommend USPS to mail it to them. They do pay for shipping it back to you, but prepare for a sticker shock when you have to pay upwards of 50 dollars in shipping to insure your tablet, make sure you have your receipts, and original packaging.
Be prepared to wait around a month without your tablet as it is being repaired. If you got deadlines to make as an artist I really hope you kept your older tablet around as a spare.
I included pictures of how these usb ports are soldered to a 500 dollar tablet.
- End Amendment -
-First review below-
I'm pretty familiar with the Wacom lines of tablets and especially intuos. I've gone through all the versions now. They're made of rather durable quality where I end up having to sell them and haven't had one break down on me.
Wacom really outdid themselves with functionality and design with this tablet, it's worth every penny. The tablet actually feels more or less the same weight as the intuos3 6x8 ..it's weighted better too.
I was hesitant to purchase a larger sized drawing tablet because it might be too big. I certainly was surprised to see how large it was in person, box and all. However, upon taking it home, I realized a larger sized tablet really does make a difference. I have to move my whole arm and that ended a cramping issue I had with the smaller ones.
The features it touts are certainly not a lie. The surface is just right, it does feel like drawing on paper. The responsiveness is awesome. I love the surface for the buttons but like most shiny surfaces, you get annoyed because of fingerprints.
The pen's weight is rather nice and the new nibs do have something to do with the friction, as I can feel some of it when I put the pen on an intuos3 surface. The downside to the nibs is that they seem to wear down pretty fast. There are identifying rings in case you have more than one pen so you can tell which pen is for "painting" and another for "inking" as an example.
The express keys are a gold mine, so many shortcuts and you can program even more by using submenus, the possibilities are endless. Think of using the Radial Menus for a set of functions like layer adjustments, creating another set of menus for document handling, and another set for selections.
The OLED menus are very helpful, and somewhat amusing if you want to program funny shortcuts. It displays exactly what you named the Keystroke. It can make for some moments of immaturity. I'm sure artists wish they would really work like defined. "Coffee" "Sleep" shortcuts ;) Don't make the wording too long on your shortucts or you can watch your Tablet Preferences Crash. Hopefully Wacom can fix this by adding a character limit feature in the driver. It also has a sleep function for the OLED lights themselves, so you don't have to worry about burnout while the tablet is plugged in but not in use.
I also like the touch ring, and they certainly made sure they allowed you to adjust the sensitivity. With some applications you can use canvas rotation with the keys, but scrolling and brush size are definite pluses. You can add 4 custom settings to the touch ring.
There is a downside to having so many shortcuts...the time you have to take to program them.
One other nice little feature is that it's very nicely weighted design makes it more comfortable for a left handed person like myself. You can also flip the tablet orientation and still not look like a moron since the Wacom logo is on both sides of the tablet.
Because it's ambidextrous, whether it's an intentional feature or not- a new plus is the detachable usb cable. No more worrying about cord wear on your tablets (while I don't have this problem, I know others that did). You can buy a new cord that is a mini usb and not have to send your tablet in for repairs.
The mouse...well I know there are people who use it, may be the only downside for the tablet. It's not that the mouse is terrible, but since these intuos have a tool id, it would be nice to see packaged Intuos with 2 pens instead of a mouse or what would suit an illustrator.
Another downside is maybe older application support. Some applications will run fine using the tablet without the shortcuts, but some may respond in a more fussy manner.
I can't for example, get Easy Paint Tool Sai to respond to a ctrl+alt hotkey programed into the tablet. It seems to be hit and miss. Sometimes it won't respond to the key, and I had to add a ctrl+alt+1 to it, and it will cause a delay in response...but it at least reads. - Edit - Since I wrote the review I found out that Sai has some odd delayed program response that you can fix in the preferences Go to Options - Tools. Operation with CTRL pressed - change the delay time to 0 or whatever you prefer.
Painter 11, I haven't seen much in improvements with this tablet (other than the ghost dabs and missing stroke)...it seems the bugs like copying and pasting are worse with this tablet. I think this may be attributed to the CPU bug though.
Speaking of Software, the software bundles offered are nice. There's Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter Sketchpad, and Autodesk Sketchbook 2010 Express. (In the US you get your choice of 2 out of the 3). The only problem was a delay in getting the serial number for Sketchpad...that is until I found out that if you previously downloaded a trial version of Sketchpad you'll run into installation issues and won't install your free software. Apparently, the system is having issues. Wacom support was great in resolving this issue!
I should also mention Autodesk's Sketchbook 2010 Express...does need certain kinds of graphic cards to take advantage of its rotation features. Expect the startup/gui to be incredibly ugly if you do not meet the graphics requirements. You need to turn canvas rotation off and it will work as before. A shame though, I wanted to try this feature (and other programs can do it without having to use certain graphics cards). They should mention the requirements more clearly before download too.
Overall this tablet is very much worth the investment, they last! Don't be scared of the price tag, since I can assure you the tablets have high resale value and have usually outlasted my computers/parts.
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty On the Inside.,
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)Honestly, the place I work doesn't look very impressive. It is full of cobbled together machines, with mirrors askew and wires everywhere. I am comforted by the knowledge that it is accomplishing high-end science, and perhaps professional tools simply shouldn't be pretty. The Intuos line seems to have followed that logic quite closely in the past, with very sterile and clunky looking tablets that delivered impressive results. With that in mind, there may be some trepidation about this flashy update, all covered in shiny black plastic and LCD screens. I assure you, though, that they have not forgotten where they will be used or who they will be used by.
A modern tablet is expected to do a few things. It should give touchscreen-like functionality (with a pen rather than a finger). That means that I should be able to draw as I would with a real pencil/paintbrush/etc. To this end, the tablet must have pressure sensitivity. For example, pressing harder with a simulated paintbrush should create a larger blob of paint. Really, these are all that are required, and the Wacom does them excellently, giving both an extremely precise (high resolution) X-Y position and pressure sensitivity. It is very enjoyable and intuitive for use in Photoshop, which is my primary use. Will the increase in sensitivity resolution over the Intuos3 demand that you upgrade? For all but the most demanding, I would say no. With that said, you will surely enjoy it when you do decide to upgrade. Specifically, I enjoy the ability to use very light strokes, which did not register as anything on older tablets. For people who enjoy using very faint lines in art, this is a very appreciated addition. Also appreciated is the nib holder in the pen base, which houses a good number of nibs, preventing the "missing sock" phenomena you may have experienced in the past, as the small guys tended to mysteriously disappear. Regardless of which nib is chosen, the surface of the new Intuos gives a very natural feel that Wacom has really perfected at this point.
As you would expect, there is also the intuitive ability to use the other end of the pen as an eraser as with all Wacom tablets. This end can also be customized for other purposes. The customization in general is quite extensive. Every button can be mapped as desired, as well as tilt sensitivity, tip feel, and tip double-click distance. Additionally, the surface can be set to pen or mouse mode. I saw another reviewer critique that someone had not set the tablet to mouse mode, which is why the mouse felt sluggish. Actually, this is not what these modes represent (the tablet automatically detects if a mouse or pen is being used and responds appropriately). Pen mode, which most people will prefer, creates a 1-to-1 mapping between the tablet and the screen. So, if I touch the lower right corner of the tablet, I will click the lower right corner of the screen. Mouse mode is so named because, like a mouse, the pen movement will simply move the cursor in an unmapped fashion. I will need to move the pen down and right, then, to get to the lower right of the screen.
Speaking of the mouse, it is a handy peripheral to have around. The tablet can take up a lot of space, leaving no good place to have a mouse on the work surface. The Wacom mouse, which works on the tablet, solves that issue. I can not say it is the most ergonomic design, but it looks slick and functions well as a standard 5-button mouse. The scroll wheel is inferior to those on Logitech mice I am used to, but it is functional. The bottom of the mouse seems to be covered in felt, which allows it to slide across the tablet without scratching it. As with the pen, the buttons can be fully customized, in addition to the speed and acceleration of cursor movement.
A very nice feature of the mouse is that it detects the orientation that the tablet is set to (buttons on left, buttons on right, buttons on top, or buttons on bottom) and behaves accordingly. Unfortunately, this is the only notable feature of the mouse. If you are planning to purchase this tablet because of the mouse, I suggest you think again. It feels like it is a bit tacked on for the sake of workflow, but is not really the focus of this product.
The flashiest aspect of the new Intuos by far is the slick set of 8 buttons with LCD labels. I am happy to report that this is not just a gimmick, however, as the button labels are immediately useful. Without them, the buttons are completely ambiguous and would take some effort to memorize. That is fine, but in the process, it would become too much effort to change them as needed over time or for different programs. Speaking of the latter, the buttons can also be customized to be program specific, which is great. Additionally, as with all functions of the tablet, the labels can be set to function properly for both right- and left-handed tablet positions, so do not be concerned about upside-down letters. One of the button options is to open up a star menu, in which you can press the button and motion in a particular direction with the pen or mouse to choose a function. This creates even more options to avoid having to use the keyboard. If you choose a larger tablet size, the keyboard may be pushed to the side or below and so this will be quite beneficial. In addition, it's just cool.
Speaking of cool, there is a central wheel which can be toggled between four functions easily. The wheel is not new to Wacom, but the toggle feature allows more functionality at a quick pace. This tablet has clearly been thought out in real-world terms.
But, I do have one qualm here. The buttons feel terrible. They are mushy and don't click at all. I feel unsure of whether or not I pushed the button when I push it. Perhaps this is a matter of taste, but I was immediately turned off by the buttons, and their strange and unnecessary angling does not help. I think this angling is the result of using two long LCD screens, rather than eight individual ones, presumably to cut costs. This means that the buttons can not be separate; rather, they are shoved right next to each other. The angling is a makeshift solution to allow us to differentiate the buttons from each other, avoiding the potential of hitting the wrong or multiple buttons. It is a functional solution, but one that could have been avoided altogether by separation of the buttons.
Why the five-star rating? Because this tablet is not about the mouse, which is admittedly mediocre, and I can not drop an entire point for mushy buttons. The thoughtful design for modern workflow is amazing, and the real functionality we all care about - the pen - is near perfect. I can see room for improvement, but for all practical purposes, I think this is going to serve exactly the purpose you want. Please enjoy it and your work.
50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 steps forward, 2 steps backward,
This review is from: Wacom Intuos4 Large Pen Tablet (Personal Computers)As my review title suggests, Wacom has improved once again with it's new tablet, yet has taken a couple steps backward also which keeps me from giving it 5 stars.
1. If you're a 3d Artist, you might use the Ctrl/Alt/Shift buttons much more than regular graphic artists.. Intuos4 lined up these buttons making it harder to select more than one at a time, and the buttons themselves are harder to press and now feel "cheap". Intuos3 buttons were perfect, the changes are purely for looks and the functionality suffered because of it.
2. Zoom is circular now? whatever. Again, looks cool, less functional.
1. Beautiful looking! A bit thinner & wider which is great for us dual-monitor users. I could even see a market for a "9x18" size.
2. Wacom FINALLY got the surface improved. No more "painting on glass" surface.. it now has a bit of 'roughness' to it, like you're drawing on paper. HUGE improvement!!!
3. Small improvement to the grip on the pen. Same pen, but the rubber grip slips less (so far).
note: Wacom mouse now works like a regular wireless mouse, it's axis/input is determined by the mouse location/direction... not by the tablets. It's the first Wacom mouse I've considered using!!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective,
I am very new to working with tablets and I started with a basic Bamboo small. This was a great little tablet, but the important word there was "little". I upgraded to an Intuos4 Medium because I wanted a bigger tablet, and I have been delighted with it. I do not use this tablet in the way a true artists would use it, but I have gained a deep appreciation for it nevertheless.
Because of the work I do, I use computers very frequently. I use them at home too, which is where I've attached my Intuos4. I am always looking for ways to make computing more comfortable, and on a whim I tried tablets. I discovered that, for me, tablet pens are more pleasant with which to work than mice.
The Intuos, in particular, is a good fit with an excellent digital pen that is designed well and fits my hand comfortably. The feel is right, and when writing the nib/tablet contact feels very much like writing on paper with a pencil. There are multiple nibs too, as well as additional pens for purchase, that make finding the right combination easy. So far, I have used only the default nib that was in the pen when I opened the box, and I am satisfied.
There is also a mouse in the package that works for most generic purposes but I rarely touch it. It is a no-frills, three-button scrolling mouse that is actually not bad, but it is only used on the writing surface of the tablet.
My primary use of this tablet is for writing, not drawing, and I have found the handwriting recognition software that is activated with the driver install to be mostly reasonable with translating my chicken scratches. It does have a bad tendency, however, to translate my lowercase letter "b" to "6" or sometimes even "d". As a result of this and other minor quirks I have changed my writing mannerisms to give the software better accuracy, and these new mannerisms are so habitual that I find that when I am writing on paper I have carried these new habits with me to that medium.
The tablet is much more pressure sensitive than my Bamboo was and when I make an effort to either bear down or lighten up with the pressure I can see the difference. This is especially true when using artistry software like Corel Painter. For serious artists, the Intuos4 offers 2048 pressure levels which should suffice for most.
I've made no use of the buttons on my Intuos4 but I use the Touch Ring frequently for scrolling. This is an excellent substitute for a scroll wheel, though it is not critical for my uses.
The pen and tablet are NOT useful for everything. For example, it's a bad choice for playing FPS games like Unreal Tournament. For chess, sudoku, working in MS Word or even grunching numbers in a spreadsheet, it is very workable.
Ok, so why do I prefer this higher-end tablet over a Bamboo Fun? I tried a Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch, which is a tablet that is more in line with people of my skill level (rank beginner and home user). That said, I could not get comfortable with the Pen and Touch, and I feel the Intuos4 pen is a much better for for my hands. Also, the Touch portion was awkward for me. The Intuos4 just works better for me, plain and simple.
For a non-artist, the Intuos4 Medium Tablet is a high-dollar item that can possibly be looked at as an unnecessary expense. For me, though, it is a blessing in that it makes most tasks on the computer more comfortable and easy. I am hooked on this tablet and recommend it to anyone who is either a serious artist looking for a good digital tablet or someone like me who just wants to be comfortable while working on the computer. It is a serious input device and will change the way you interact with the computer.
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Wacom Intuos4 Large Pen Tablet by Wacom
Used & New from: $315.00