on May 18, 2010
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.
on May 4, 2009
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!!
on August 13, 2010
Let me preface by saying I'm not an illustrator. I'm a multimedia designer. Thus, the improvements to sensitivity, easier to adjust brush sizes, and variety of nibs isn't as important to me than others.
The Intuos4 visually looks like a beautiful piece of hardware on any desk. I also like how the ExpressKeys and wheel are broken out to have better accessibility. I don't have any problems with the software side of using the device.
However I have a couple gripes with the hardware which resulted in me actually buying another Intuos3.
First of all, as people have mentioned, yes, the nib wears out quickly. And on top of that, it actually scratches the surface of the tablet which is not only a big eyesore, but it creates grooves that occasionally causes my stylus to get stuck. I used an Intuos3 for two years on a daily basis and the surface never had any visual abrasions nor did the nib wear out. Conversely I've used my Intuos4 intermittently for about a year and it looks far more used.
Secondly, the stylus is slightly lighter than the Intuos3's model, specifically because it's about a few centimeters shorter. While some people might like this, I find it harder to get the exact precision in cases where I'm trying to be pixel perfect with light touches on the tablet.
Thirdly, the black surface is less protected than the transparent plastic surface of the Intuos3, which results in more dirt showing up in the light. And I find that my palm rests easier and more comfortably on the older version.
These might sound like very superficial reasons but it does influence my daily experience with the tool.
Overall I give it three stars because even though it has great functionality, the whole experience is less than what I expected for the price I paid, especially since it's supposed to be an upgrade over the older model.
on July 20, 2010
I agree with the other reviews commenting on the positives for this tablet. As an artistic tool, it is great. Please also note these 2 negatives for the wireless, as I also use the Intuos4 Large Tablet, and am familiar with its design and operation:
1 - Wireless tablet has one USB port which appears to have been constructed in the same manner as Intuos4 wired tablets. As has been noted in the case of the wired tablets, the tablets' USB ports are fragile and could break easily if the cord is removed from/inserted into the tablet socket with any above normal force. Research this issue in the wired tablet reviews for your own protection, it allegedly costs $ and is a pain to send back to Wacom to get fixed.
2 - Wireless tablet does not have the mapping options (in Wacom Tablet Properties > Mapping > Tablet Area) for 'QuickPoint Left' or 'QuickPoint Right'. I also have used the wired Large on my Mac following installation of the new Wireless tablet drivers, and the 'QuickPoint Left' and 'QuickPoint Right' mapping options are still available for the Large, but are not available for the Wireless Medium. I don't know whether or not this mapping feature is available on the wired Medium, or whether or not this mapping feature is exclusive for only the Large and XL wired tablets, but it would have been great to have had these mapping options on the Wireless Medium, as it can make navigation easier. In my experience there would have been space on the Medium tablet for this dual navigation, so it's a shame it isn't an option on the Wireless.
on September 27, 2011
In short, if you are using the Intuos4 wireless medium in bluetooth mode with customized express keys there is a .5-3 sec delay/lag when you are switching between applications. This is because there is not enough bandwidth to transfer the OLED data/shortcuts fast enough to the tablet. When the unit is plugged in it works perfectly fine with no delays when you switch between applications/programs. Also there is no delay when drawing/using the pen... only when you are switching between applications. If you don't program any of the expresskeys/touch ring there is no delay in wireless mode, but what's the point in upgrading to intuos4 if you don't use them?
To give you an example of what it's like this is how my workflow was interrupted just trying to setup the tablet- Switch to PS to reference shortcut key ..1...2...3, Switch back to Sys Pref's ....1....2, Enter shortcut, switch to safari to google shortcuts ....1..., switch to illustrator ...1....2... Over the course of the day this adds up to minutes. It basically makes my mac pro at work and i7 macbook pro at home feel like they are 10 years old. During these delays it feels as if your machine is beach balling- you can watch the tablet load each expresskey one by one before it lets you do anything.
Unfortunately Wacom had this to say on their European forums:
"I am sorry, this is a limitation of the Bluetooth connection. There will always be some lag in Bluetooth/wireless mode due to significant bandwidth/throughput difference compare to the wired connection. There is no (sic) much we can do about it."
I was very surprised to find out this was considered normal, and was more surprised because I spent a lot of time reading reviews and watching youtube videos and not a single person mentioned this. It seems like a) very few people take the time to program shortcuts b) a lot of people who buy these things are just looking for nice/shiny/expensive things to buy. So I thought I'd write a review warning you if you are a power user and you are looking at the wireless version. I'd just get the wired version because the active area is slightly bigger and the cord will be in a better spot.
What Wacom should've done was put built in memory into the tablet. It's so dirt cheap now a days (think of the onboard memory of every single cell phone, or thumb drives that companies give away as promotion now) it would've costed pennies to add 1mb (or even less) memory into the tablet to store your expresskey data. Instead Wacom thought it would be a great idea to just force this data through the bluetooth bottle neck every single time you switch programs. Ok, I'll stop complaining now.
I'm a graphic designer. During my day job I work in primarily illustrator/photoshop and at night I moonlight as a web designer. I've been a daily intuos3 6x11 user for the past 4 years. I also have a 4x6 intuos3 I rarely use because I'm a lefty. What can I say that hasn't been said about intuos4? They took everything that was wrong with intros3 and fixed it. Ambidextrous design, oled display so you actually know what the keys do, and my favorite- radial menus so you can stuff a ton of those finger bending, mind escaping shortcuts to programs like inDesign which I use once a month and waste time kicking myself trying to remember the tabs, rules, etc shortcuts.
I was waiting for my intros3 to bite the dust before upgrading but I don't think that'll ever happen. My needs changed so I upgraded. The 6x11 was too big for travel, the 4x6 was too annoying to use when I was traveling, and the express keys were never used on either because I just couldn't remember what did what.
Some other notes-
*People complained that the express keys are all the same size and they are but the middle ones sit at different angles. It's actually quite easy to feel and differentiate.
*OSX lion and reverse scrolling: The tablet still scrolls normally so this is kind of confusing when you are using a mbp or trackpad.
*I don't understand the mini usb into the side of the tablet. It's NOT solid feeling at all. It feels like if I rested my arm on the cable over time this connection can become weak and break. some people have broken the usb connection. A full size usb would've been more stable. Again, this is why I purchased bluetooth- because the tablet goes from home to work daily and the idea of plugging in/out of the cheap feeling port 2-4 times a day scares me.
*Price- a lot of people complaining about the price. It is a pro level device. Deal with it. I paid $350 for my 6x11 4 years ago and it looks like I could still sell it on ebay for a couple hundred if I wanted to. Right now bluetooth is only a few bucks more but I would still go with a wired version. In fact I'm thinking about sending the bluetooth version back for a wired...
****UPDATE**** In response to a question I've also added more quirks I've noticed with my wireless intuos4.
Other quirks I am having: Sometimes the OLED display will just turn off when I'm working and I'll have to power the tablet off/on to get it back. The other annoying one is some times when I'm using the toggle switch to go through the 4 different touch ring settings the indicator light will say I'm on the first setting when it's actually on a different one. For example if I'm in PS the tablet will say I'm on Autoscroll/zoom when it's actually on Brush Size. The onscreen display will show you toggling through all the different settings but the light will just stay in one spot. This happens about once or twice a day, and it doesn't matter if it's plugged in or wireless. All I have to do to correct it is power off/on- easy fix but it really messes with my work flow because it seems to happen when I'm "in the zone". I contacted tech support and they basically just kept telling me to reinstall the driver. "Still happens? Well we've never heard of the problem before... try deleting all the profiles, and reinstalling the driver"- I kept getting answers like this and eventually just gave up.
on November 30, 2010
This review compares the intuos4 line to the intuos3 line. Wacom leads the tablet market by a longshot in my opinion.
This tablet has a pile of improvements that almost made me leave my intuos3 behind, but it, the pens, and the nibs for the pens are extremely fragile.
The customizable buttons and increased pen-pressure sensitivity make this tablet a happy experience out of the box. I have dropped my intuos3 dozens of times, and it keeps ticking like it's fresh out of the box. The intuos4 however, the pens have this annoying little screw-on rim near the tip that strips easily. The nibs themselves wear incredibly fast, whereas my tips for the intuos3 last for over a year each. The usb ports on the intuos4 are fragile and are prone to failing--this is just as important to the bluetooth tablets as well, since they charge via this port. I Would own the intuos4 for myself, but I wouldn't travel with it, and I'd be nervous about letting others use it.
I work in a computer lab and we allow (college)students to check out tablets for use on site and we go through dozens of brand new intuos4 pens and tablets a month, where most of our intuos3 tablets are still going strong even though we stopped buying them when the intuos4s came out. I'll admit that this is a polarized example because these people are brutal to these tablets, but it nonetheless says something that the intuos3's are surviving at Least 3 times as long on average. They probably know this, expect a more durable model in the near future--and maybe wait, especially if you have an intuos3.
on November 2, 2011
I've been using these tablets since they first came out and I love them, I rarely ever use a mouse anymore. Having sustained a wrist injury from too much computer use, I have to be careful. A pen puts my wrist in a natural position, less strain, than a mouse. To avoid elbow strain I keep this table directly in front of my keyboard so my elbow is always turned in towards my body (if it flexes to the right of your body you get strain, and can suffer 'tennis elbow'). This setup works great. When I need to type I just sit up and rest my elbows on my tablet as I type. HOWEVER, with this tablet I have to be very careful when reaching across it to my keyboard because the controls are in the way. This means my forearm is hovering over controls which, if pressed by accident, can mess up typing and commands and keyboard shortcuts, as has been the case. So, I have to move the tablet to the right so the controls are between my arms as I type. That's a pain, and since I don't use the controls anyway, I am going to tape something over them. Even if you do use the controls, if you accidentally touch them while doing something on the computer, like reaching to do a keyboard shortcut, you can wind up really making a mess of things. So far I've experienced having my system preferences changed, software acting weird, etc. Until I kept a log and noticed what was happening prior to these odd events I thought maybe my Mac needed repair (even though it's 2 y.o.). I took it in for repairs and they found nothing wrong. I narrowed it down to this pad and my left arm accidentally resting against a control. So, just be aware that this could be an issue for some. Other than that, it's a wonderful tablet. I just wish it had a disable switch for the controls. A bigger tablet is not helpful for me btw.
on August 22, 2013
I've updated my review as of 26 December, as I began having a ridiculous issue and Wacom is taking forever to resolve it. One day my mouse just began double-clicking. I can honestly say, it's one of the most maddening things I've ever encountered dealing with computers. Normally on a mouse you would open it up, clean it out and poof issue corrected. The intuos mouse is not meant to be opened...can you open, possibly, I've viewed several videos where others have Macgyvered their own mouse open because of the SAME ISSUE.
Further research showed this is an issue that not only I have but hundreds of others who purchased it have as well.
So two weeks ago I contacted Wacom tech support and I get an answer about every three days, with some very standard tech support, i.e. uninstall/reinstall. Three days later, clear cache. Three days later canned air into mouse. Personally I work as network administrator for 15 years, after the third email I explained this politely to kinda hint can we progress a little bit quicker?
Nope. So perhaps it's only the person who is responding to my trouble ticket, but to have a piece of equipment that cost the price that it did and the mouse is now not working is not excusable. I would imagine the majority working on this scale of a tablet have some pretty darn good knowledge of troubleshooting and can imagine how utterly frustrating it is to have tech support bouncing my ticket around.
So two stars lost for a mouse going rouge and Wacom not handling it. A quick Google search shows this is a known issue therefor they need to ramp up their tech support on it and have some type of assistance or backup plan in place for when a customer complains about it. I am without the mouse for over three weeks now, while the pen is still fine there are times I prefer the mouse. Unfortunately it's hard to say next time I'll just buy a "blahblah" tablet because Wacom has a nice monopoly on the market.
I will update the review once again, if I ever make it through tech support's gauntlet.
I knew it was time to upgrade my Wacom Bamboo and did a lot of research into the Intuos5 before deciding on the Intuos4, which has better reviews due to a few kinks in the five.
Here's my thoughts....
I purchased it used here on Amazon, it was a Prime item and I thought if it sucks no worries I can return it quickly and for free. The item was listed as complete, everything included and I was able to score the large size for a great price.
I picked the wired one. I don't need a wireless tablet and working in IT has taught me that wireless items can get funky.
The Amazon box arrived yesterday. When I opened it the tablet was inside in it's original box, everything INCLUDING the nibs were in there, perfectly packed.
The screen was in top notch condition , just a slight wear showing in the center of the screen, perfect otherwise as were all the contents.
I'm running it first on an Alienware desktop with a Windows 7 64 bit OS. Plugged it in and in under 10 seconds the driver was installed and it was up and running.
It is SMOOTH. A tremendous upgrade from the Bamboo.
Next I installed on a laptop, also running Windows 7 32 bit (which I use when I don't feel like being tied to the desk and I want to draw on my couch). Again plug and play worked great and I also updated the driver from the Wacom and set up the hot keys for the desktop, Chrome, PS CS5 and Painter X3. Not one hitch, everything went exactly as it should.
I then proceeded to draw for 7 hours straight. Ok maybe I took a break for some cookies and a quick run to the john.
The large size screen is super impressive. I am glad I went this route, I like the freedom to not have to constantly drag around to the areas I want. I would've went xl but, that couch thing I mentioned...I don't think it would have worked as sweetly with that setup.
The hot keys and wheel are lovely shortcuts and if set up properly a sweet time saver. Since you can program them for each individual program (personally I work very differently in CS5 then I do in Painter) it's nice to have them all customized.
The mouse feels great. Mine has a scroll wheel, I've heard others say theirs did not. I'm sorry for their loss.
The pen is lovely. No jittering whatsoever and I did not need to adjust the jitter settings in PS or Painter as I did (tremendously) with the Bamboo. I'm definitely going to look into the other Wacom pens that work with the Intuos4 since some of them are highly rated. If this pen feels this good they must feel heavenly.
The tilt is delightful, works awesome in CS5 and really changes the feel and allowed me to work more proficiently and quickly without having to switch up the brush or it's settings.
I love the screen, I hated the Bamboo screen, it was like drawing on an oil slick. I know there have been complaints about the nibs wearing down and the price of them. Here's my thoughts on it.
1) If you buy a tablet worth this much you're probably a good artist. Sell some of those lovely scribbles and pay for new nibs. If they're two bucks a pop and you get, say twenty hours out of each one, do the math. It's a lot cheaper habit then smoking.
2) I worked on it for seven hours. No nib wear AT ALL. Maybe my screen was already worn to the point where it no longer happens, I have heard of this happening, if so I'm happy.Maybe I just hold the pen differently or my pressure is different. We're all snowflakes people, everyone is an original.
3) I ordered three extra packs of nibs when I purchased it, in worry that I would need backup. I am now prepared to doodle to my hearts content during the zombie apocalypse.
If you are an artist and have a Bamboo and you are pondering upgrading, I see no comparison, the Intuos4, in my very, very humble opinion blows it out of the water. It's like switching from a Dodge Neon to a Mercedes Benz. My only wish is I had upgraded much, much sooner as I would have saved a lot of time I spent fine tuning the settings on the Bamboo doing what I love....creating art.
on June 24, 2011
First the good points - it's a tablet with high sensitivity and special controls for two handed use that work for righties AND lefties. Wacom does great work, and this Intuos is no exception. I've owned every Intuos version at some point in the last 13 years, and each new version has been great. The build quality is great and it feels like it will last a while. Finally, the primary reason for buying this model is the wireless feature. When it works, it's awesome. When it doesn't work, well...
Now, the less-than-desirable points - the Bluetooth implementation is OK. Not great, but OK. If you use OS X you will likely pair up the tablet and your computer and be off on your way. On many Windows-based PCs you will have issues connecting over Bluetooth due to the technology Wacom used in this tablet. It's not that they necessarily did something wrong, but it's just not very compatible with many the Bluetooth software on many Windows PCs. For instance, I use a recent model Lenovo ThinkPad at work, and while my ThinkPad can see the Wacom tablet, it can't actually get it to work as a tablet, much less even a mouse, no matter how many tricks and tweaks I tried. I use a MacBook Pro at home, and it paired the very first time. Fortunately, it comes with a USB cable (which is also the way it charges it's battery), so when I'm at work I just use the cable. When I'm at home I can use it wirelessly.
Overall, a great tablet, but if you use Windows you should look around online to see what sort of success people have had with pairing it and the tablet.
on November 13, 2014
I've had this tablet for 2 years and it's really great!! A very good tablet, my first "pro" tablet after using a bamboo fun small since I was in middle school. And for 2 years it worked fine. One of the USB ports broke, but I just switched to the other one and life went one.
Then the second one broke. I opened it up and saw that the usb ports broke clean off. I showed it to my dad, who's an electrical engineer and was even able to extend the life of a broken faulty macbook charger, and told me that it was made to be broken. Since I can't find my warranty and I don't have the time and money to get this sent in to be fixed, it's a huge bummer that this nice expensive tablet was decommissioned from faulty USB ports.