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Intuos5 Med vs Lrg
on March 9, 2012
UPDATE 4/2 - I have been working on the large tablet for two weeks. It has been working great without any glitches or lockups (i've still yet to have any driver problems..ever). I feel a lot more confortable with the tablet to screen ratio. When I draw the strokes feel a lot more comfortable and natural. When it comes down to choosing between the Medium or the Large size tablet, you have to look at what your main working focus is going to be. Since I do illustration and digital painting, I value the natural feel and movements. I do agree with the fact that you could retrain your muscle memory to a smaller tablet but it's simply your preference. My co-worker has a small tablet and his main use is for photo retouching/editing. The touch function is handy when you get use to the new gestures, but again, I feel that the gestures are mostly for navigation and partially for some convenience. Main focus of a tabled is for pen/tablet graphical work (at least for me). I do like that you can turn the touch gestures on and off with a button. Also really like that if I gently place my finger over the button, the tabled will display the map of each function for the buttons. I still give this tablet a 5 stars because of the ergonomical confort in the design, But, most importantly, it is an amazing tablet to work with. As an digital illustrator/painter, the large size meets my needs for the most natural feel (updated 4/2).
This tablet is simply amazing. The new button set up and feel is a great change. While drawing you really get a paper texture feel. If you have used an Intuos4, you might not notice much of a pressure and response difference but the new buttons and rubber is a big change. I think its a lot more practical and more efficient while in use. I constantly found myself feeling like I needed to clean my Intuos4 from smudging it.
Now, if you are considering Medium vs Large....
I use to have an Intuos4 Lrg and loved it. I owned the tabled for 2 years and used for graphic design, illustrations, and some digital painting. The strokes always felt very natural and good ration of tabled to screen. I hardly ever used the precision mode button because my table to screen ratio was very good.
Now, I switched to the new Intuos5 medium and loved the new look and feel, but did not like the screen to tabled ratio. Just navigating through photoshop from one end of the screen to the other was very awkward. I messed around with the mapping settings and I still couldn't get something that I liked. Now, I have been using a Large tablet for the past 2 years and it might take some time to adjust. But, since I rely so much on my tablet for what I do as a career, to me it is worth spending a little more and getting what I am already confortable with.
Professionally speaking, the tablet to monitor ratio is a big deal to me. If you are using the tablet with just a 15 or 17 monitor/ laptop, the Medium tablet ratio is probably okay. If you are primarily using the tablet for photo touch up and some moderate design, the Medium size will suit your needs. But, if you have some drawing background (fine arts), you will probably find the Large tablet to suit your needs. The biggest reason is the way you probably do your strokes, you use your arm & shoulder instead of your wrist. Wrist movement would be appropriate (common) for photo touchups, and some illustrations, but for bigger custom made designs you would want the Large tablet. The medium size tablet is like drawing on half a sheet of paper at a time and the Large tablet is like drawing on a whole piece of paper (8.5x11).
One big thing I noticed was the active area difference between the two tablets. The active area is only within the white cross hairs (or "L" figures) on the tablet. You have an extra .5" of blank space around the active area and it doesn't really seem to do anything (at least from what I could tell). This makes your active area a lot smaller than what it looks. This was a big deal breaker for me and the reason for why I am going back to using the Large size tablet.
When it comes down to performance, both tablets have equal sensitivity and touch performance, there is no question in that. The biggest thing is consider the monitor real estate you will be using and the tablet to monitor ratio. Remember that a tablet is a tablet for computer graphic work that requires a pen/ pencil style, not Navigation and or web browsing. The touch is a nice plus and I believe its just Wacoms way of gearing to the new Navigation style that computers are headed to.
I will be returning the Medium and getting a Large. I will post an update once I get it