Wacom Intuos4 – The Pen

Posted on this Monday, April 20, 2009 20:37 by caw
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I had to give it a couple of weeks to let the newness wear off my Intuos4 tablet. Enough waiting. I love it! This baby gets an official 5-out-of-5 stars! I haven’t been this jazzed about a piece of hardware since I got an iPhone!

As I mentioned in my first post, I got the Large tablet and I’m glad I did. For me, this is the perfect size. I have enough space on my desk to accommodate the tablet. It fits nicely between the front edge of the desk and the stand for my 23″ Cinema Display (keyboard is on a tray underneath the desk-top’s surface). The tablet is about 13 x 18 and has an active space of about 8 x 13. Not quite the same size as a sheet of legal paper. The pad is all black so it blends into the desk top nicely.

The pen is a little on the heavy side. For me, that’s beautiful. I prefer heavier writing instruments. My favorite fountain pens are all on the heavy side. The pen has four input points: the writing/drawing tip, an eraser tip, and a two-sided rocker switch. All of them are programmable using the tablet configuration software (a pane in System Preferences). Wacom got it right with this one. It’s easy to hold, the tip has the right amount resistance on the pad surface, the buttons are spot on as far distance from tip goes.

The pen has up to 2048 levels of sensitivity. To make maximum use of the new features, you’ll need the latest software (such as Adobe’s CS4 or Corel’s Painter 11). Older versions of the software are only going to see 1024 levels sensitivity (or less). The newer software can also take advantage of the angle of the pen relative to the surface. I assume you could see that best in Illustrator CS4 or Painter 11.

Wacom released an update to their tablet software (now at 6.1.1-2(RC)). And no, I don’t get their naming convention for releasing software. Most companies use “RC” to designate a “Release Candidate,” which mean they have worked most of the bugs out but they need a larger test base to make sure. Wacom seems to keep RC releases around forever. Anyway, I installed it, no problems so far but still caveat emptor. Click here to get the details. Look in the upper-right corner and select your tablet and OS.

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