I’ve had a Wacom graphire Bluetooth pen tablet since I bought my PowerBook G4 back in 2005. I must confess though, I used the mouse more than I ever used the pen. A big part of it was my essential tremor. The shaking in my hands makes it difficult to control the pen tip with any degree of precision. New therapies, new drugs, etc help but still it just wasn’t a match. Maybe it was too small (6×8 I think).
March 25th Wacom announced their new line of Intuos4 tablets. Unlike the previous lines of Intuos tables, these are not "measured" in inches like 6 x 8 or 9 x 12. This is the same sizing they used with their Bamboo Fun line (Small and Medium). The new line comes in Small, Medium, Large and XL. I decided to give it another go, this time with the Intuos4 Large, a tablet with an active area (the area that reads the pen tip or mouse tip) of 12.8 by 8 inches. With the frame it is 18.7 x 12.8. You need a big space to put this one!
Photo © Wacom.
All I can say is "Wow!" This tablet is amazing! Eight Express Keys that you can program with either generic functions or application specific functions. The Medium, Large and XL tables have OLED labels that tell you what their functions are at any point in time. The Scroll Ring, a selector button. Five function mouse, enhanced pen, 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, the list seems to go on and on. An Airbrush Pen, Inking pen, and a Classic pen. All kinds of buttons and functions you can program for your workflow.
And yes, I am using the pen a whole lot more!
So far, I’ve programmed the buttons for Safari and Adobe Contribute CS4. I’m going to try Dreamweaver CS4, Photoshop CS4, and Illustrator CS4 next.
If you are looking for some training on setting up your new Intuos4, I suggest KelbyTraining.com. Corey Barker has a great training class on this new tablet. Look for "Getting Up to Speed with Wacom Intuos4."
The price for Wacom’s pro-line tablets isn’t cheap (the Large lists for $469 but you can get it cheaper from Amazon). However, they are worth every penny and they last for years.